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Survey Ambassador Job Description


Talking Points: Survey Ambassadors


Responding to the Survey


Q. How will I receive information about responding to the survey?

A.  Prior to October 11, 2012, you will receive emails promoting the survey.

On October 11, 2012, you will receive an email (subject line: WORKING AT IOWA – Survey 2012) with a link customized to you for recording your response.  The “From” line will show: Working at IOWA <no>.  We have advised ITS to not read the Qualtrics From line as SPAM.

Once you have submitted your response, that link will close and your response will be considered complete. If you are not able to complete the survey when you first open it, you will be able to return to it until you click “submit.” Once you have submitted it, you will not be able to re-enter the survey

The survey has 20 items and probably will take less than 5 minutes to complete. You will have until midnight on October 30, 2012 to submit your response. However, there are incentives to complete the survey sooner.

After you complete the survey and submit it, your survey responses will be forwarded electronically to Qualtrics, the online survey product licensed by The University of Iowa. The results will be stored by Qualtrics on their off-campus servers. After the completion date of the survey, the data will be sent to the College of Public Health for report processing and compilation. Your individual survey is never seen by University Human Resources or any University administrator.

The survey can be completed on work time, or outside of work if you prefer. 

If you do not have ready access to a computer or would prefer a paper copy of the survey, contact or call 335-2085.


Q. How does the 2012 survey differ from the 2008 survey?

A.  The number of survey questions has been reduced from 45 to 20. Seventeen of these questions were taken from the previous surveys. The three new questions include:

My supervisor treats me with respect.

Individuals in my unit are civil and respectful to each other.

My unit provides a supportive environment to retain individuals from diverse backgrounds.


Q. Who do I contact if I have questions?

A.  If you have questions, please feel free to email the WAI staff at



Incentives and Confidentiality


Q. I am worried that my survey responses will not be kept confidential. How do I know that my supervisor will not see my responses?

A. There are two things I can tell you:

1.  In both WAI 2006 and 2008, survey responses were kept confidential. And, only summary data was shared.

2.  The survey reports for 2012 will be in aggregate format only. Confidentiality will be maintained by not reporting on any survey item that does not have at least 15 responses.



Q. If this survey is confidential, how can there be drawings for a $100 gift certificate?

A. The idea to have a random drawing (incentive) was suggested and used in 2008 as a way to encourage people to respond to the survey. Qualtrics allows us to know knows who submitted a survey and is eligible for the drawing without sharing individual responses. It’s like in an election; we know who voted but not how they voted.


The WAI team will randomly select five people who have submitted their survey responses by October 15 and another 5 randomly selected survey respondents on October 19 to receive a $100 gift certificate. The sooner you respond, the better your chances of winning. The winners of the drawings will be notified by University Human Resources.



Reporting Working at IOWA results

The survey results are compiled in a University-wide report and a report for each Division/College. Departments may also request a report through their Senior HR Leadership Representative. However, no item will be reported that has fewer than 15 respondents.


Q. How many respondents must there be to get a report?

A. When the survey process was determined, confidentiality was of uppermost importance.


For survey results on any item, there must be at least 15 respondents from that Division/College or larger department. For example, a Division/College or department will only receive results on an item if there are at least 15 respondents. If no item has 15 or more respondents, departmental responses for that item would not exist.


The results will be broken down according to how faculty and staff rated each statement --


Strongly Disagree


Somewhat Disagree

Somewhat Agree


Strongly Agree


For a Division/College and larger department to know the number of faculty, professional and scientific or merit respondents, there must be 15 respondents in any category to get a breakdown. 


Q. Who receives a report?

A. The University-wide summary report will be provided to the President, Vice-Presidents and Deans, and will be available to the University community on the Working at Iowa website.


The Vice-President or Dean of each Division/College will receive the reports for that Division/College. The Vice-President or Dean of the Division/College will determine the most effective method to disseminate the information to the faculty and staff within their organization. They also will be responsible for developing plans to address areas needing improvement in the respective Division/College.


Q. Why is it important to the University?


A. Research has established that the most successful organizations tend to have employees that are more engaged in their work. By increasing the engagement of University faculty and staff, we can support achievement of the University’s Strategic Goals and Initiatives. Increasing engagement may include promoting our strengths as well as finding ways to improve practices that foster engagement with work.



Water Cooler/Network Printer Conversations


Q. What is engagement in relation to my work?


A.  Being engaged means caring about your work and wanting to do the very best you can. It is a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization that results in greater discretionary effort on the part of the employee for his or her work.


Research shows that engagement grows when there is the following --


Trust and integrity in supervision – how well managers communicate and 'walk the talk'.

Employee understanding of how their work contributes to the organization’s performance

There are future opportunities for growth

Coworkers/team members – can significantly influence one's level of engagement

Employee development – Is the organization making an effort to develop the employee's skills?

Relationship with one's manager – Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager?




Q. I have completed surveys like this so many times and nothing seems to happen; I do not see changes.


A. In 2006, we did the first Working at Iowa survey. We repeated it in 2008. Let me share with you some of the things (on a University level) we learned and some of the things we did.


These are things we learned from you that we do well and are proud of –


We want to be effective in our work and look for ways to be effective.

We know how to do our job and that we make a difference in the success of the University.

We believe in excellent customer service.


Through your responses, we also learned what we need to improve –


Do a better job of managing poor performance.

Deal with work-related conflicts better.

Develop more effective ways of communicating between leaders and employees.



To celebrate our strengths and address those areas that need improvement, University Human Resources has made the following changes:


Tracking performance reviews to ensure they are being done.

Training supervisors to have better conversations with staff who need to improve their work performance.

Partnering with the Office of the UI Ombudsperson to offer conflict management resources and training.

Working with and training supervisors to be more effective in their jobs through just-in-time resources.



Individual Colleges and Divisions also have used their results to make improvements as well. Examples of actions by individual Colleges/Divisions include:


Provided workshops through UI Learning and Development and the Office of the Ombudsperson on supervisory effectiveness, communication, managing poor performance and conflict.

Led focused discussions with faculty and staff on budget issues and processes.

Developed communication channels and ways to seek and receive input on decisions.

Reviewed and included staff career development goals in performance reviews.

Held focus groups to revise the local performance appraisal tool. 

Developed cross-training to address uneven workload concerns. 

Developed or revised a staff recognition program.




Page last updated September 2012