Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently-Asked-QuestionsThe Engagement Survey

Q. What is the UVA Health System Employee Engagement Survey?

A. It is a brief, annual survey that provides an opportunity for employees to identify UVA Health System’s strengths and weaknesses as a workplace. It is one of the most important ways we have to improve our own work lives and UVA Health System overall.

Q. Why are we taking this survey?

A. One of our priorities is to ensure the School of Medicine and Health System are great places to work. There are a range of ongoing efforts to meet this goal, including the Employee Engagement initiative. We have partnered with Gallup to conduct the Employee Engagement Survey that helps us focus on and understand the most important aspect of engagement: identifying strengths and addressing the areas that need attention to advance our goals.

Even more importantly, this tool enables supervisors and employees to focus on the things they can improve. Gallup’s Q12 process  has a proven record of producing results. By measuring baseline performance against the results from Gallup’s Q12 survey, and ensuring follow-up action year-over-year, we will continue to create a great work environment.

Q. What does the term “engagement” mean? Why does it matter?

A. Engagement refers to the psychological connection employees feel to their jobs. It goes beyond job satisfaction to reflect how invested and connected employees feel in the success of their teams and the organization. We know through research conducted by Gallup that high levels of employee engagement link directly to positive organizational outcomes, including productivity, retention and cost-efficiency. Most importantly, engaged employees get more out of their work. They have opportunities to do what they do best every day.

Q. Why should I be involved?

A. Because your involvement makes all the difference! Sharing your ideas is a vital part of making real change happen. With the Employee Engagement Survey, your opinions will be used to accelerate change that you and your colleagues have identified as important. In other words, everyone needs to be involved to create a better, more engaging workplace.

Q. Is the survey voluntary?

A. Yes. And completing the survey means your opinion is being voiced and, as a result, you are actively participating in creating a great workplace.

Q. Who will receive the survey?

A. The following groups of employees in the School of Medicine will receive the survey: Classified/University Staff (FT, PT, Wage); Faculty (includes Research, Clinical, A&P, Instructional, and Fellows); Research Associates; Research Assistants; Research Scientists; Senior Scientists; and Principal Scientists.

Q. Why do some items have specific or “extreme” wording?

A. Some of the survey items have extreme wording. Some examples include “I have a best friend at work” or “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” Extreme wording (e.g., best, every day, etc.) is used in several of the questions because research proved that this kind of extreme question language sorted between high performing teams and low performing teams on critical outcomes such as productivity, profitability, safety, and retention.

Q. How should I interpret the survey questions?

A. Interpret each question in terms of what it means to you.  What the item means will depend on your specific role in the organization and what is important to you and your role.

Q. What am I supposed to rate with this survey?

A. Rate your current work environment. Whether you have been with the School of Medicine or in your current role for three months or 10 years, you should rate your current work environment.


Survey Confidentiality

Q. Who sees my responses?

A. No member of the School of Medicine, Health System, or University of Virginia has access to information that identifies employees individually. Gallup adheres to specific rules of conduct, which include strict confidentiality rules in survey administration and reporting.

Q. Can my supervisor or my organization see my answers?

A. No. Your responses are included with all the other surveys that are received, and reported at the workgroup, department, and organization-wide levels. No reports have either information about individual employees or information that enables a manager to determine individual responses. The survey results are reported in the aggreagate as individual responses are merged with those of department-level colleagues. To ensure anonymity, results will not be reported for groups with fewer than five respondents.

Q. What if I have changed jobs during this past year? Which job will I be referencing?

A. Rate your current work environment.

Q. What happens to my results?

A. When Gallup receives your completed survey, it is stored in a secured database. The data are processed and a series of reports are compiled for the Health System and School of Medicine overall, specific divisions or departments, and individual workgroups. A report will be made available to each supervisor who has sufficient responses to the survey from his/her group. All supervisors and work teams are responsible for ensuring that issues are discussed and that positive change occurs as a result of the survey.


Survey Administration

Q. When and how do I take the survey?

A. On May 21, you will receive an invitation from Gallup with a website address to participate in the survey. This email will include your unique access code, which you will enter to take the survey. The survey is accessible online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from work or home and you have until June 4 to complete it.

Q. Can I take the survey using a mobile device?

A. Yes! The survey is mobile ready and can be accessed using smart phones, tablets, etc. as well as on a PC or Mac.

Q. How long will it take to complete the survey?

A. It will only take 5-10 minutes to complete the survey.

Q. What do I do if I have not received an Access Code or I have misplaced my invitation?

A. Please contact the Gallup help desk by e-mailing Gallup Client Support at If you do not have e-mail, please contact SOM Organizational Learning & Development (4-1199).

Q. I started to do the survey on the Internet but had to leave it halfway through. How do I finish the survey?

A. Try clicking the “Refresh” button on your toolbar. If you did not “Submit” your survey, please try logging back into the survey using your confidential access code. The survey should let you complete it starting where you left off previously. If this does not work contact the Gallup Client Support (, which will be able to have your access code reset and allow you to start again.

Q. Why do I need an access code to do the survey?

A. All participants are provided with a randomly generated unique access code. Access codes are created and distributed by Gallup—no one within the University of Virginia knows anyone’s access code. This ensures confidentiality of responses. The access code ensures that each employee can participate once (not multiple times) and that Gallup knows how to aggregate the data for each workgroup in the organization.


Reporting & Impact Planning

Q. What happens after the survey?

A. Gallup will collect and process the survey data and prepare a series of reports for the Health System and School of Medicine overall as well as for departments and workgroups. Results sharing sessions will be held in early fall 2014. Then the most important work will begin—conversations about the survey and impact planning that will ensure a positive U.Va. work experience.

Faculty and staff input will be the basis for the actions work units pursue together to address areas that need attention and advance organizational goals. Sharing your ideas is a vital part of making real change happen. Your responses will be used to accelerate change that you have identified as important to the Health System and within your local work unit. Together we can create a stronger, more engaging workplace.

Q. What if our team does not have enough responses to the survey to receive data for our specific workgroup?

A. The report will also show the supervisor’s area, and the next most relevant group. Use this information to begin the discussion about your own workplace as a team.

Q. What if the composition of the team has changed since the survey was taken?

A. The workgroup should participate in the impact planning session with the current composition of the team. The most relevant available results should be used for team feedback and impact planning.

Q. Why are certain reports or data suppressed?

A. The only reason that a report or dataset is suppressed is because of Gallup’s commitment to respondent confidentiality.