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More than 70 per cent of KTH’s employees are satisfied or very satisfied with their work situation, according to the latest employee survey. (Illustration: Ida Björs)

Greater satisfaction among employees

Published Feb 06, 2012

“I look forward to going to work.” 75 per cent of the respondents of the 2011 KTH employee survey agree with this statement. Work motivation is at its peak, despite the fact that the workload is high and KTH as a workplace receives, all in all, improved ratings compared to 2009.

Annica Fröberg, HR Manager.

“Everything has become a little better and some things much better. It is extremely positive”, says HR Manager Annica Fröberg.

In 2009 a survey was carried out for the first time whereby all employees at KTH were given the same questions to respond to about their work situation, health and job satisfaction. During the autumn of 2011, a second round of the survey was carried out.

Now the employees have improved the results in all areas compared to the results from 2009. This is reflected particularly in the index which summarizes how satisfied or dissatisfied employees are with their work situation, the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI). KTH has climbed five steps to the value 64 on a scale from 1 to 100.

“Nearly 71 per cent have responded by indicating that at in overall assessment of their work situation they are satisfied or very satisfied,” says Annica Fröberg.

One area where there has been a significant improvement is the performance appraisals. Considerably more, 71 per cent compared to 63 per cent in the previous survey, indicate they have been offered performance appraisals during the past 12 months, and 15 per cent more, i.e. 63 per cent also think that the appraisals are meaningful.

“We have made a substantial investment in the appraisals with workshops and lectures for both managers and other employees. So it’s great to see that it has also paid off,” says Annica Fröberg.

6 out of 10 have a heavy work tempo

In the 2009 survey, two of the results stood out, one positive and one negative. Work motivation was very high – but so was the workload.

The survey of 2011 shows that workload is still perceived as high, over 60 per cent indicate, just like in 2009, that they have a heavy work tempo. Nevertheless, KTH employees are still equally, or even a little more, motivated by their work. As much as 91 per cent of the respondents have explained that they are “willing to make an extra effort if necessary.”

No matter how positive it is that motivation is so high, Annica Fröberg points out that there is also a risk of people becoming burned out.

“The connection heavy workload and high motivation should be further examined. 70 per cent of KTH’s employees have unregulated working hours and with today’s technology, with for example smart phones, you also risk being constantly connected,” she says.

When asked about their general state of health, the vast majority respond however that they feel good or very good. All in all it seems as if even the workload has eased off somewhat, at least for certain groups of employees.

On the issues of discrimination, 98 persons, 4.5 per cent of the respondents indicate, that they have been subject to discrimination or harassment during the past two years because of gender. 108 people, 4.9 per cent, say that they have been discriminated because of age.

“We will also implement an in-depth salary survey in order to clarify whether there are wage differences due to gender. But we must also look closely at age discrimination,” says Annica Fröberg.

Preventing discrimination

In addition, nearly 30 per cent of the respondents say that no work aimed at preventing discrimination is being carried out at their workplace. Even more, 37 per cent believe that the workplace is lacking clear procedures for reporting discrimination.

“We work intensively with discrimination issues, but there is still more to do. Partly it is also an information issue. There are for example very clear procedures for reporting on discrimination, but obviously a lot of people do not know about them,” she says.

Among the action plans there is also a major effort being made to prevent discrimination due to ethnicity. 59 people, 2.7 per cent of the respondents, indicate that they were discriminated against or harassed due to ethnic origin.

“We are looking into various activities to raise awareness and disseminate intercultural knowledge. I think that one person’s unconscious actions, a lot of the time, become offensive to someone else,” Annica Fröberg explains.

When it comes to discrimination, the results of the survey cannot be compared with the results from 2009. The survey has been completely redesigned in this area since the questions asked were not sufficiently precise in 2009. Among other things, there was no limit as to how far back in time the discrimination experiences could be in order to be relevant to the survey.

A whole new section has also been added to the latest survey. These are questions that are restricted to employees with personnel responsibilities.

The survey was distributed to 3,535 employees at KTH and 62 per cent, 2,197 persons responded.

Text: Ursula Stigzelius

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