In May 2018, the IST unit hired Civility Partners to conduct a workplace culture assessment. The assessment was the first step toward developing short and long-range strategic plans to improve the culture. The survey contained 160 questions and was distributed to all 300 IST employees in June, 181 staff completed the survey. In addition, 10 percent of IST employees were randomly selected for in-person interviews. Thank you for your participation.
This project was focused on assessing culture. This assessment is not a formal or informal investigation of any allegations, complaints or grievances; it is not proof that some behavior does or does not exist within IST. It is an assessment of perceptions of culture.
- Positive relationships between staff members and a huge amount of respect for the skills and ability of peers.
- Employees find the work meaningful and enjoy their teams.
- There is a high level of job satisfaction. Eighty-five percent of respondents marked “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” in response to the statement: “Overall, I am ___ with my job.”
- Perceptions of sexual harassment and overt racial harassment are essentially non-existent.
Opportunities for Improvement
- Budget cuts and high workloads have caused much stress and burnout.
- Stronger communication must be established between employees and leaders. Employees feel they are not encouraged to share ideas or concerns, and believe their comments are not heard.
- There were several mentions of an “inner circle” where these members are the only ones chosen for promotions. Employees are unsure how promotions or leadership training selections are determined and they feel their hard work goes unacknowledged.
- A large amount of the workforce perceives the environment to be negative, unfair and not inclusive. Many interviewees stated, for example, that they believe they have witnessed or experienced unfair treatment, bullying, or harassment.
- Women and blacks/African Americans perceive the environment differently than men and Caucasians/Whites. The biggest gaps were in feelings of disregard, ethnic-based harassment, the quality of leadership’s strategies for building relationships with the workforce, and leadership’s commitment to diversity, engagement, and job satisfaction.
Next Steps: An 18-Month Process
- Civility Partners has been working with employees to form an Action Team that will develop next steps. Making change this way allows employees to control the vision and execution for the new culture.
- The Action Team will develop a six-month strategic plan to address the results of the report assessment. Action Team members will be encouraged to recruit co-workers to assist with the execution.
- Following the initial six months, the Action Team will create another six-month strategic plan.
- One year after the initial assessment, a second identical survey will be conducted to measure progress, and a third and final strategic plan will be created to guide IST in addressing issues raised.
- Throughout these 18 months Civility Partners also will work closely with all members of the IST leadership team to develop their own action steps as well and provide coaching around culture change.
Summary prepared by IST and largely drawn from Civility Partners’ executive summary of its UC Berkeley IST Department Assessment of Culture report of May-June 2018.