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Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Vanderbilt doing the survey?

  • We care about our staff and want to continually improve Vanderbilt, making it an even better place to work. The survey is a confidential way to collect feedback so we can recognize where we are doing well and where we need to make improvements

Who is eligible to take the survey?

  • Part-time and full-time active staff as of October 4th, 2013, who work at the university and medical center

Why aren't faculty taking the survey this year?

  • Faculty should expect a separate survey at a later date that is more relevant to their academic, scholarly and clinical endeavors

I didn't get an email from HR Solutions. Can I still take the survey?

  • New employees (hired after October 4th, 2013) will not have the opportunity to take this survey, but will have opportunities going forward to provide their input
  • Faculty members will not receive the email because they will take a different survey
  • Recent inter-departmental transfers might not have received an email. They are eligible to take the survey and should contact OETat 322-8230.

I deleted the HR Solutions e-mail. Can I still take the survey?

How do I take the survey?

  • Staff members will receive instructions in an e-mail from  (our survey vendor) on November 4th and November 11th. The subject line will include Vanderbilt Staff Community Survey
  • Each staff member’s e-mail will include a survey code that is unique to that staff member. If a staff member shares their code with another staff member, their results will not be counted. Each code can only be used once. No one at Vanderbilt will have access to the code list, so the results remain confidential
  • The survey is online and paper versions will not be available. We will offer computer labs for employees who do not have computer access

Many of the survey questions ask about the person I report to. How do I know who this person is?

  • Respond based on the person who does your performance review and who regularly assigns and oversees your work

I work in a very small department. Will my supervisor be able to figure out how I responded?

  • If you are in a small department, your answers will be combined with other responses to ensure confidentiality. Leaders will not receive results if fewer than 5 people in their work area responded

Why is demographic information requested, and won’t that information identify me to my manager?

  • Demographic information is only used on an organizational level to help determine if there are any categories of employees who experience unique concerns that need to be addressed. Results are not provided to Vanderbilt on any grouping with fewer than 5 respondents

What happens after the survey concludes?

  • We will compare Vanderbilt’s results to other organizations that are the best in the nation
  • Based on the survey results, we will create action plans to address areas of concern, such as: culture, relationships with supervisors, training and education opportunities, pay and benefits, communication, work environment and overall satisfaction
  • There will also be opportunities to provide more feedback through Focus Groups facilitated by our third-party vendor

How will leaders and managers use the survey results?

  • Leaders who supervise staff will receive results so they can identify areas for improvement. Leaders and team members will then work together to create action plans
  • If a leader doesn’t receive results, they can use results from their larger unit to open the door for meaningful discussions about issues that matter to the team

What have been the results of previous surveys?

Numerous action steps were completed as a result of the last survey, including:

  • Looking at staffing patterns to find a more efficient way to handle workloads
  • Ordering essential equipment that had been in short supply
  • Increasing training and development opportunities
  • More rounding by senior leaders
  • Communication enhancements including bulletin boards, emails, newsletters etc.