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Managers Guidance notes

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Guidance Notes for Managers / Academic Leaders  

This document contains useful information to help you support your team when completing the staff engagement survey. It is important that we encourage the highest response rates possible. Good response rates will mean you get valuable feedback about your Faculty / Division / Department. There is additional information in the main Frequently Asked Questions document on the website so please refer to these in conjunction with this document.

The importance of high response rates
UCL’s staff engagement survey will only be a success if we ensure the response rates are high enough to allow us to obtain representative data that enables us to action plan with confidence for the future.

As a manager or academic leader, you have the most day to day contact with the people completing the survey. It will be really helpful if you can actively encourage all your direct reports to complete the survey. Whether what they have to say about UCL is positive or negative, we do want to hear it.

Please ensure that people are aware that they can complete the survey during their working day. In some circumstances it may be helpful to set up an area for employees to do this away from the distractions of their day job. However it is achieved, it is important for people to be aware that they are not expected to use their own personal time to complete this survey.

To encourage a high response rate UCL will donate £10 for every completed survey submitted to our student hardship fund.

Who is running the survey?
We have appointed an independent survey provider, ORC International, to ensure the confidentiality of everyone’s opinions.

How confidential is the survey?
ORC International belongs to the Market Research Society and is bound by their strict Code of Conduct . This means that:

  • The personal details in the questionnaire will not be used to identify how individuals have responded to the survey but to understand any differences across staff groups within the University.
  • No-one within the University will ever see an individual’s completed questionnaire.
  • Results will not be produced for groups of fewer than 10 respondents.

These rules mean that ORC International cannot share raw data or individual responses with the University. They will only provide the University with anonymised reports. Therefore the University will not be able to view the opinions of individuals or know who has responded. 

Will response rates be recorded or measured?
During the survey completion period, weekly reports will be provided by ORC International detailing response rates for each faculty / division / department. The senior management teams at each faculty / division will receive a weekly email detailing the return rates for their area. Please assure staff that this does not breach anonymity about which individuals in an area have responded, only the overall percentage response rate.

Individuals will receive reminder emails from ORC, until they complete the online survey. To avoid unnecessary additional emails, staff should be encouraged to respond promptly!

Should my direct reports have a paper or online version of the survey?
Surveys should primarily be accessed online. We have identified discrete areas where computer access is limited. If you feel that a member of your team has the wrong format of survey, please contact Fiona Daffern, HR Policy and Planning on ext 53970 in the first instance.

Who will take part?
Employees who started work with UCL on or before 1 September have been asked to take part. Only current employees have been invited to take part in the survey, not casual workers, agency workers, Emeritus or other associate persons not directly employed.

What happens about staff who are absent from work due to illness or maternity leave, etc.?
If staff have indicated they are happy to receive contact whilst they are away from UCL please contact such staff to let them know the survey is available for completion. If they cannot access their emails remotely ORC International can send a link to their home email address or a hard copy version can be sent.

What does the survey cover?
We'll be asking for views on a wide range of areas – my job, how are you managed, reward and recognition, career development, managing your workload, equal opportunities, communication, vision and values and overall perceptions. Most questions require a box to be ticked but there will also be the chance at the end to provide extra comments on what staff would like to see improved at UCL. These free text comments will be transcribed verbatim (though not ascribed) so people may wish to be mindful of how they word these, if their written style is readily identifiable.

What help is offered by ORC International's helpdesk?
The ORC International helpdesk is there to answer any queries you may have about the survey from specific questions about how to complete it to general questions about the survey and why and how it is being conducted.  The helpdesk will try to answer telephone queries immediately, but if they need to get back to staff after confirming anything they will get back to you within 24 hours.  On receiving an e-mail or voicemail message (the telephone helpline operates between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. GMT) the helpdesk will respond to staff within the hour.

If you require additional information, please use the following contacts in the first instance:
Staff Survey Faculty Champions


Faculty/ Area


Graham Hart


Fiona Daffern


Pete Hart

Internal Comms

Philip Riebold


Sarah Alleemudder


David Ladd


Cathy Brown

A&H and SHS

Geoff Dunk

Brain Sciences

Steve Bunting

Built Environment

Johanna Novales


Matthew Grigson


Bron Lord

Life Sciences

Oli Usher


Sam Photiades

Medical Sciences

Rikke Osterlund

Population Health Sciences

Christopher Cullen/Judith Hillmore

V-P Education

Julia Şahin

V-P Enterprise

Lisa Balderson

V-P International

Sally MacDonald

V-P Professional Services

Alexandra Iglesias

V-P Research




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