April 6, 2001

Employee survey enters the final stages of review; distribution expected in May

In his Director’s column in the Jan. 12 issue of Newsline, Director Bruce Tarter announced several workforce challenges on which he would focus in 2001. An important element is a comprehensive employee survey to help define the Lab’s path forward to meet these challenges.

International Survey Research (ISR) and the steering committee formed to oversee the survey have developed a draft of the survey questionnaire. Today the survey will be reviewed by members of the focus groups who were interviewed in February to identify key issues to be addressed in the survey. They will review the survey and identify if any major issues have been overlooked before the survey is finalized.

The survey is then expected to undergo a "pretest" the week of April 18, when other members of the focus groups will be asked to take the survey. Additional fine-tuning of the survey will be done following these reviews, after which ISR will do the final preparations of the survey and the processes for conducting the survey.
"We want to accomplish a number of objectives with the extensive reviews of the survey," said Deputy Director Jeff Wadsworth, head of the steering committee. "We want to make sure as many interests as possible are addressed." (Bruce Tarter asked Wadsworth to assume responsibility for managing the survey following Bob Kuckuck’s recent retirement.)

The survey will address myriad workforce challenges, among them recruitment and retention, work environment and diversity.

"In order for us to make positive impacts, we must know what you think about your work environment and quality of life at the Lab," Tarter said in the January Director’s Office column.

"We need to maintain our highly skilled workforce as we prepare for the future," Tarter said when announcing the survey.

The survey is expected to go to all Lab employees by late May. It is being developed by ISR, the same firm that conducted the Lab’s employee survey in 1995. The survey will be offered online as well as in paper form, and will take about 30 minutes to complete. The survey will collect data that will permit trend analyses, benchmark comparisons with other laboratories and companies, and clarification and prioritization of Lab-specific issues.
"We would like all Lab employees to give us their opinions by responding to this survey," Wadsworth said. "This is a prime opportunity to understand employee views of the work environment, with a goal of enhancing the Lab’s desirability as a place of employment."

It is critical that all Lab employees take the survey in order for programs to be developed to enhance work/life issues at the Laboratory. "Change cannot be effectively made without the input of all employees," said Tarter.
Additional information about the employee survey and its process will appear in upcoming issues of Newsline.