Experience of Work 2008 Results

This past March, Samuel Merritt College (SMC) participated in an annual survey examining employees' attitudes and practices regarding work experience. More than 90 percent of SMC employees completed the Experience of Work (EOW) survey that enables policy makers to focus on areas for improving institutional performance. According to past practices this will help everyone be more effective, and motivate them to perform at their best.

"The purpose is to build employee engagement by making the feedback an ongoing part of getting work done at SMC," said John Garten-Shuman, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services (VPESS) and EOW Committee Chair.

A total of 29 questions were asked to 197 invited participants. More than 180 employees participated. Each question was allocated to one of eight dimensions. Strengths and opportunities are identified within each dimension.

The 2008 EOW results showed improvement in four dimensions for all questions in those categories. More improvements are needed in those areas indicated below.

Dimensions Improved From 2007 Needs Improvement in 2008
Worthy Organization Checkmark Image  
Meaningful Work Checkmark Image  
Positive Team & Individual Relationships Checkmark Image  
Credible Leadership Checkmark Image  
Resources and Flexibility   Checkmark Image
Effective Recognition and Rewards   Checkmark Image
Additional Questions   Checkmark Image
Opportunities for Growth and Development   Checkmark Image

Each dimension had three to six questions for comment. For example, employees were asked to respond to:

Meaningful Work

  • My skills/abilities are utilized
  • My job is challenging/interesting
  • My work contributes to success

Positive Team & Individual Relationships

  • Manager respectful
  • Coworkers try to understand customer
  • Coworkers cooperate

Worthy Organization

  • My job is important
  • Would recommend as healthcare provider
  • Organization is ethical

According the EOW Committee, the results showed good improvement in the six years the survey has been in existence at the College.

"This data allows us to benchmark and track progress over time, it helps identify priorities for improvements and share best practices across the College," said Garten-Shuman, VPESS. "This is one of the benefits of being part of Sutter; we can provide opportunities for employees to communicate their level of satisfaction with the workplace."

Based on the information gathered, the EOW Committee is reviewing the data, and some results were presented to a special SMC Community meeting this month. Participants were asked to come up with action plans for 2008.

"The survey does help the College a lot. For instance, last year employees wrote they wanted 'monitoring and improving my safety area,' from that information we created the Crisis Response Team (CRT), worked with ABSMC to understand their assignment of security officers and posted more lights to secure the area at night. Not to say we won't continue to do more, but it's a start."

The next EOW survey, created by the Hay Group, will be sent out in March 2009, with results coming out on May 2nd. For a list of the results and comments contact John Garten-Shuman at jgartens@samuelmerrritt.edu.


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