Executive Summary

The 2022 University of Alabama (UA) Workplace Experience Survey, called Chime In 2022, was administered by ModernThink as part of the Chronicle Great Colleges to Work For 2022 survey effort. This was the second employee-wide administration of the Chime In survey at UA. The first was in 2018. Findings from the 2018 survey are available. The 2022 survey contained 62 statements which participants could respond to using a 5-point Likert scale of ‘strongly agree’ (5) to ‘strongly disagree’ (1). ModernThink sums the findings from the 62 statements into 12 thematic category (Themes) scores. In addition, ModernThink provided aggregate findings for a peer group of 36 Carnegie Research Universities that participated in the 2022 survey. Peer comparisons are provided for 11 themes and 60 individual statements. One theme consists of two UA specific statements, so a peer comparison is not available for this theme.

The survey had six Likert scale questions that directly addressed work-life balance. In general, the responses to all six were positive (i.e., agree or strongly agree) with low negatives (i.e., disagree or strongly disagree). The two questions addressing the employee-supervisor relationship associated with work-life balance received the highest positive responses.

The Chime In 2022 UA findings by survey theme compared to the Carnegie Research peers is available. The information in this report is primarily used for the following discussion. A second report displaying the percent of positive findings (agree and strongly agree responses) per survey statement is also available. There is no peer comparison for this information, but the report does provide UA information by employee job category.

The response to the question that considered the employee/co-worker relationship and work-life balance was also strongly positive.

The Chime In 2022 survey had a 43% response rate which was down from the 47% rate for the 2018 survey. This is lower than the University would have preferred but much better than the normal 20 to 30 percent range for this type of survey at the University.

This discussion of survey findings will focus on the percentages of positive responses (agree and strongly agree responses) compared to the percentage of negative responses (disagree and strongly disagree responses). The overall survey findings show that on average 62.2% of UA employees had positive responses to the survey statements. This is slightly lower than the 65.6% for the Carnegie Research peers but within a +/- 4 percentage point range for estimating closeness. The comparison for the negative responses was even closer with UA at 15.1% compared to 14.4% for the peers. In general, this suggests UA is comparable to the Carnegie Research peers overall.

UA had strong positive scores of 70% or greater for 2 themes, good scores in the upper 60% range for 3 others, and one other theme in the low 60’s range, see Table 1. UA had low percentages of negative responses to the statements for these 6 themes with less than 15% of employees disagreeing. The UA scores compare well with the averages for Carnegie Research peers with all comparisons being within a +/- 4 percentage point range.

Table 1 UA Peer Delta
Theme %Pos %Neg %Pos %Neg %Pos %Neg
Mission and Pride 72.9 8.7 73.7 9.1 -0.8 -0.4
Faculty and Staff Wellbeing 70.9 12.0 74.7 10.8 -3.8 1.2
Job Satisfaction and Support 69.9 12.7 69.6 13.7 0.3 -1.0
Supervisor/Department Chair Effectiveness 69.3 11.7 73.2 10.8 -3.9 0.9
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging 68.0 11.0 70.0 10.7 -2.0 0.3
Professional Development 63.4 14.0 63.5 15.2 -0.1 -1.2

The UA employee responses for the remaining 5 themes were weaker than the peer comparisons, see Table 2. Slightly more than 50% of the University employees responded positively to the statements in 3 of the themes with the other 2 falling below the 50% mark. The differences between the UA and peer percentage of positive responses for all 5 themes are greater than -4 percentage points suggesting a significant difference from the peers. This is especially true for the faculty only statement theme where UA had a double-digit difference from the positive responses of the Carnegie Research peers. This is also the only thematic group where the UA percentage of employees disagreeing with the statements significantly differed from the peers, scoring 8% more disagreement.

Table 2 UA Peer Delta
Theme %Pos %Neg %Pos %Neg %Pos %Neg
Communication 52.8 20.4 59.9 16.9 -7.1 3.5
Collaboration 51.5 18.8 58.8 16.4 -7.3 2.4
Confidence in Senior Leadership 51.5 18.4 57.1 18.3 -5.6 0.1
Performance Management 48.0 24.7 52.6 23.0 -4.6 1.7
Faculty Only Statements 45.0 27.9 58.2 19.7 -13.2 8.2

The employee responses to the two UA custom questions were encouraging with strong percentages of agreement and lower percentages of disagreement.

  • My efforts to balance my work and personal life are accepted and respected by colleagues in my department. (72.1 % agreement and 9.2% disagreement)
  • I am able to maintain a healthy balance between my personal life and professional life. (62.5% agreement and 14.5% disagreement)

The results for these two custom questions and the strong responses to the ‘Faculty & Staff Well-being’ theme suggest the University is successful at promoting a beneficial work-life balance for employees.

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