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Human Resources

Employee Engagement Survey Results

Central Washington University recognizes the important contribution our employees make to our missions: the education and development of students. CWU takes pride in its positive spirit and understands that engaged, supported, and encouraged employees are better equipped to achieve individual and collaborative excellence.

Human Resources conducted an employee engagement survey in 2016 and again in 2019 to measure progress and identify areas for improvement. Over 730 faculty and staff responded in 2019 and more than 650 responded in 2016.

The survey covered topics such as job satisfaction, learning and advancement opportunities, culture, and work/life balance. The 48 questions were broken into the categories of Work Engagement, Relationship Management, Work Environment, Compensation and Performance Management, Communication, Impact, Professional Development, and Rewards and Recognition.

Work Engagement
Work Engagement explored employee satisfaction with the extent to which they are able to utilize their strengths in a meaningful way in the work they do each day.

In 2019, an average of 73% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements gauging the level of commitment they have to their positions and work groups. In 2016, slightly less respondents, an average of 70%, agreed or strongly agreed with the same statements. The 2019 responses were all slightly higher than 2016 except “CWU is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion,” which was rated the same, with 62% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing.

Relationship Management
This section, Relationship Management focuses on the relationships employees have built throughout their department, with peers and supervisors.

In 2019, an average of 71% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with questions asked pertaining to the relationships they have built at work. In 2016 respondents answered with an average of 70.5% which is slightly lower than in 2019. This section presented itself with more positive answers in 2019, than 2016. There was one question that dealt with supervisor relationships that did not change from 2016-2019 with 77% of respondents being positive.

Work Environment
The Work Environment section of the survey is primarily about how safe employees feel in the workplace and their perceptions about job security.

In 2019, there was an average of 68.3% of respondents answered agree or strongly agree. This number is not much different from the 2016 results which averaged with 68.6% answering with agree or strongly agree. The results have slightly gone down within the last three years.

Compensation and Performance Management
Compensation and Performance Management seeks to document the level of satisfaction employees have with their pay and receiving feedback.

In 2019, the average number of agrees and strongly agrees was 61.6%. This number has gone up from the previous 2016 survey that only averaged a 59.5% in positive answers. There was one question that asked if employee are satisfied with their overall compensation. The average of 37% answering positively was the same for both years.

The communication block of the survey focuses on communication with supervisors and fellow employees throughout the university.

In 2019, the communication questions presented an average of 50.6% of respondents answering either with agree or strongly agree. However, in 2016 the average was 51.3%, so we saw a bit of a decline in this section of the survey.

The Impact questions were designed to measure the degree to which employees feel their work impacts the goals and success of the university.

In 2019, 87.75% of respondents responded positively for the question in this section. In 2016 an average of 85.5% answered positively. We have seen an increase in the impact CWU employees feel they are making at CWU.

Professional Development
Professional Development focuses on the degree to which employees are satisfied with growth opportunities within the workplace.

This section, along with Rewards and Recognition, was rated lower compared to almost all other sections, when it came to positive responses; although, both areas are up from the 2016 survey. In 2019, an average of 44.25% of respondents answered with positivity. However, in 2016, only 39.75% of respondents responded positively.

Rewards and Recognition
Rewards and Recognition focuses on the awards or recognition that employees receive and measures the degree of satisfaction they feel about recognition.

In 2019, an average of 44.5% of the answers received were either agree or strongly agree. This number is slightly up from our 2016 results where respondents answered with 41.5% positivity.


Overall the Employee Engagement survey conducted in 2016, and again in 2019, provides some interesting results. Human Resources is happy to report that most of the survey results in 2019 were more positive than in 2016. The goal is to continue this growth and use this feedback from employees to improve not only the attributes for employees, but their perceptions of those attributes in the workplace at CWU.

Click HERE  to view results and comparison between the 2019 and 2016 surveys.

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