Your Voice Counts

Dear colleagues across Design and Social Context

The 2015 ‘Your Voice’ survey was completed by 598 of DSC’s academic, teaching and professional staff, representing 62% of the College. Key findings were an increase in staff satisfaction on the majority of items, with the exception of organisational direction which dropped 11% to 63% and work life balance which reduced by 3%.

Of note, only 51% of staff reported that they were aware of the overall strategy senior management has for RMIT. This rating represents a drop of 15% on the previous survey and is on par with RMIT Australia overall (after allowing for the survey’s margin of error of 2.3%). These observations – on direction and strategy – may reflect the continuing debate about the 2016-20 RMIT strategy.

Survey items with the highest satisfaction ratings demonstrate DSC staff engagement and commitment to the part they play in achieving RMIT’s mission.

  • 80% of respondents agreed that they are committed to RMIT with 82% subscribing to RMIT’s mission and values
  • 82% expressed job satisfaction with 90% of respondents agreeing that they like their job
  • 82% agree that they have clarity about their role with 83% reporting that they had completed their 2014 workplan and had received feedback from their manager

In addition to these strong responses, DSC staff contribution to indicates staff interest and enthusiasm in contributing to RMIT’s new strategic plan. DSC is holding an all-staff forum on 19 August to exchange examples of innovations in learning and teaching and research. The forum is also an opportunity for dialogue with Martin Bean about the vision and strategic direction of RMIT.

Items with the lowest rating clustered around processes, cross-unit collaboration and workload:

  • Only 38% of respondents expressed satisfaction with RMIT processes, a drop of 2% and a rating 4% lower than RMIT Australia overall
  • There was increased satisfaction with technology, however, the rating was still only 45% and was 5% lower than RMIT Australia overall
  • Cross-unit collaboration was rated at 24%, a drop of 2% and 6% lower than RMIT Australia overall. Only 21% of respondents agreed that there is good communication across all sections of RMIT and 27% considered that knowledge and information are shared throughout RMIT – in contrast, within work units, DSC staff view teamwork positively, rating this at 83% satisfaction
  • In relation to change and innovation, only 30% of DSC respondents agreed that RMIT is good at learning from its mistakes and successes
  • DSC’s rating of workload at 34% was 10% lower than that for RMIT staff in Australia – only 29% of respondents agreed that there is sufficient time available to work on high priority projects and activities (11% lower than the rating for RMIT as a whole), 40% agreed that they are given enough time to do the job well (a rating on par with the previous survey, yet 13% lower than RMIT as a whole)
  • This was also the case for staff wellbeing with DSC’s satisfaction rate at 45%, 11% lower than the University as a whole

Your voice counts

Clearly, at College level we have some immediate challenges about workloads, how we prioritise and how we appoint new staff. Life-Work balance is also a real issue. I will be talking to my Executive colleagues this week about these specific responses from across the College.

By mid-August, you will each have the opportunity to review survey results with colleagues. You will be invited to respond to the outcomes and to recommend actions which might be taken to address issues, both at school and college-level.

Deans and Heads have copies of the communication and action schedule. I will be following this up with my team and look forward to engaging with many of you.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to our students, our stakeholders and to each other, and to our values as a university and college.

Paul Gough

Pro Vice Chancellor, Design and Social Context

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