'We're listening'

- April 22, 2009

TV’s most famous radio psychiatrist encouraged his anonymous callers to share whatever was on their minds.

“Hello Seattle, this is Dr. Frasier Crane and we’re listening.”

Popular ‘radio psychiatrists’ aside, an offer to listen is a compelling call to connect.

By now, you should have got an offer to connect with your employer. An online survey designed to listen to employees talk about their work experiences has been circulated by Corporate Research Associates (CRA). Responses are requested to be forwarded directly to CRA by May 4.

“Good employers want to know how they’re doing—and are not afraid to ask for feedback,” says Katherine Sheehan, assistant vice-president (human resources). “So, this is an opportunity to give voice to any concerns and to tell us what is working well and what we should be doing more.”

Human Resources will facilitate this survey and the senior administration is keenly interested in hearing what employees are thinking about our workplace.

“We want to understand the perspectives on what contributes to making Dalhousie a great place to work and what does not,” says Ms. Sheehan.

Halifax-based CRA was selected because of their track record and the importance of having an outside organization handle the data in a confidential manner. Participants will be asked to provide some demographic information for analysis purposes. The feedback will be reviewed at CRA to identify major themes for further consideration.

“They will not share any information with the university that will identify anybody,” says Ms. Sheehan.

It isn’t likely that there will be a quick fix but there is a strong commitment to follow up on the major themes identified, to share results with participants, and to organize focus groups to set priorities and brainstorm solutions. The focus groups with employees will be organized on a timely basis, starting as early as this summer and continuing into the fall. Faculty and staff will be invited to set priorities and to design solutions.

“There is an ongoing commitment to survey our faculty and staff. We hope to build trust and acceptance through this process and to set a benchmark for future surveying,” she says.

So, give it some thought … do you recommend Dalhousie as a good employer?

 “We hope people will participate and contribute to making this a place that we’re all invested in—my sense is that people care about Dalhousie as an employer and as a great university,” says Ms. Sheehan.


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus