University of Wisconsin–Madison

Frequently Asked Questions about the VCFA EID Survey

VCFA Engagement, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID) Survey
Survey period:  February 17–March 13, 2020

These FAQs provide answers to the most commonly asked questions about the VCFA EID survey. If you have a question or concern that is not included here, please get in touch with the EID survey liaison in your division.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of questions are included in the survey?

The survey includes questions about your workplace environment, work unit, work tools and opportunities, relationship with your supervisor, experience (if any) with hostile and intimidating behavior, and overall job satisfaction. Studies indicate that these topics have a significant influence on employee engagement in the workplace.

How long will the survey take to complete?

We estimate that the survey will take 15–20 minutes to complete.

Must the entire survey be completed in one session?

No. You can start the survey, save your responses, and complete it at another time. However, we recommend that you complete the survey in one session. Once you submit your responses, you will not be able to re-open the survey or change your responses. Please be sure you’re satisfied with your responses before you submit your completed survey. If you need to have the survey re-opened for you for any reason, you must contact the EID survey liaison in your division.

Are my responses confidential?

Yes. Your individual responses will not be connected to your name. The survey tool is designed to ensure employee confidentiality. Your division, unit, and supervisor will not have access to your individual survey responses.

Survey results will only be tallied at the level of the work unit, not at the level of the individual. If you are in a work unit of less than 10 people, your responses will be rolled up to the next level (for example, a department or division) in order to further protect your confidentiality.

You can be completely candid in sharing your perspectives, and it is important that you are. The survey results will only be useful if the participants are honest in their responses.

What is the purpose of the unique tracking number assigned to me for this survey?

Each person is assigned a unique tracking number that protects your identity. The tracking number can only be accessed by the employee to complete the survey and by Qualtrics, an independent survey firm. Qualtrics will use this information to determine whether you have responded and to match your responses with demographic information on file. Your survey responses will not be connected to your name.

Can I just go to a website to access the survey?

No. You must use the unique link that was sent to you via email. This link is for your use only, and should not be shared with anyone else. When you respond to the survey using the link, Qualtrics will be able to determine that you have responded to the survey. They will also be able to match your responses with demographic information on file. Using the link you are provided will not connect your survey responses to your name. Your responses are still confidential.

Can I respond using a paper survey?

Paper surveys will only be made available to a small, select group of employees who have been identified as needing them. Everyone else is being asked to respond to the online survey. This will make it easier for us to tally the results and report the findings on a timely basis. Online responses are completely confidential, and the survey tool is easy to use. If you have any concerns, please speak with the EID survey liaison in your division.

Is participation in the survey voluntary?

Yes, participation is voluntary. You are not required to complete the survey. However, we hope that you will! We greatly value your insights, and this survey is a great opportunity to share your candid perspectives. Surveys like this one are the most reliable way to gather feedback from employees, and they work best when participation rates are high. We need to have your feedback in order to make good decisions about improvements in our workplace environment.

What is the purpose of the EID survey?

The survey results will help guide our decisions so that we can make improvements that will enhance your day-to-day experience at work. Research has shown that higher levels of employee engagement, inclusion, diversity, and well-being result in better individual and organizational performance.

Is this a new initiative or part of an ongoing effort?

The VCFA has been using employee surveys for some time to gather employee feedback about our workplace environment, work relationships, opportunities, and more. In that sense, this is not a new initiative. However, this year we have made some changes to better measure what we now know to be important factors in employee engagement, diversity, inclusion, and well-being. Research about employee engagement has led to new approaches. Workplaces are also ever-changing, so it’s important that you share your feedback every time an EID survey is conducted.

How have the survey questions changed since the last survey was conducted?

The survey has been updated since the last one was conducted in 2018. There are some different questions that indicate a new direction. We made these changes after consulting with leaders and partners from all divisions that participate in the survey. These changes should help us gain more meaningful insights into your employee experience and workplace environment. It should also be easier to compare our results to data from other organizations that measure employee engagement, diversity, inclusion, and well-being.

Will the results of the survey be shared with employees?

Yes. Survey results will be shared with all employees. Your manager or supervisor will also be available to review the results with your work unit and engage you in a discussion of any improvements that might be considered. Remember, results will only be tallied at the level of the work unit, not at the level of the individual. If you are in a work unit of less than 10 people, your responses will be rolled up to the next level (for example, a department or division) in order to preserve your confidentiality.

When will survey results be available for sharing?

We do not have an exact date at this time, but we expect to be ready to report results in the spring. Discussions about next steps, such as improvements we might make in our work environment, will be scheduled as appropriate for each unit, department, or division.

What are the benefits to me as an individual of participating in the survey?

The survey gives you an opportunity to provide honest, insightful feedback about your experience at work. You can also voice any concerns you have, with the assurance that your feedback is confidential. Your feedback will be taken into account when decisions are made about improvements in the workplace.

The survey results will help us all create a more engaging work environment. Employees who are engaged in their work enjoy the following benefits:

  • Greater personal meaning in work
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Improved individual performance
  • More opportunities to improve skills, learn, and grow
  • Heightened feelings of connection to work, mission, and co-workers
  • Greater overall sense of well-being, which enhances both personal and work life

What are the benefits to the organization of higher levels of employee engagement, inclusion, diversity, and well-being?

Organizations see results like these when they make improvements in response to employee feedback:

  • Increased involvement and collaboration in decision-making
  • More informed decision-making to ensure resources are effectively used
  • Higher employee retention
  • Improved ability to attract new employees who bring talent and skills
  • Better organizational outcomes such as productivity and achievement of goals
  • Stronger partnerships across campus
  • More equitable processes and organizational systems