UK@Work Survey Results: Next Steps
The UK@Work Work-Life Survey results serve as a baseline and current assessment of the University of Kentucky as an employer of choice with a work-life supportive culture. The results can be used to compare with additional data collection in the future.
The results reveal many strengths that bolster UK's reputation as an employer of choice. Areas of opportunity provide the foundation for developing a university-wide, long-term strategy to enhance UK's work-life supportive culture.
The UK Work-Life Advisory Council has played an important role in implementing work-life initiatives. The council is charged with developing a UK Work-Life vision that is supportive of the Top 20 and employer-of-choice initiative and will use the study findings along with input from other groups to develop a university-wide, long-term work-life strategy to achieve the vision.
In addition, many survey findings can be incorporated with on-going strategic planning efforts under the leadership of Provost Kumble Subbaswamy and the University Committee on Academic Planning and Priorities (UCAPP).
The survey findings were used for a child care feasibility study conducted earlier this summer, which resulted in a three-part recommendation, including the appointment of a UK Work-Life Committee to oversee an RFP for childcare centers; a child care specialist in the UK Work-Life office to provide support, resource, and referral and resources; and emergency/backup care for children when regular care is unavailable.
The survey results provide confirmation of on-going efforts, and those efforts – such as the Shared Leave Pool proposed by the Staff Senate, the work of the Task Force on Racial Diversity and Equality – will continue.
The UK Work-Life office is charged with specific actions, including the clarification and communication of policies and guidelines for flexible work arrangements; the development of work-life training for managers, department chairs and supervisors; and the development and distribution of work-life toolkits, materials and packets to managers and employees. The UK Work-Life staff is available for consultation with faculty and staff, those in leadership/management positions, and departments.
Several issues resulting from the survey need further understanding. Thus, survey findings will be distributed to appropriate groups for their review to develop recommendations and actions.
Additional work-life committees are appointed to further examine and develop recommendations for specific initiatives, including a tuition benefit for children and/or spouses, a comprehensive employee assistance program, inclusion of domestic partners in university benefits, and career advancement and professional development. Also, a university committee is appointed to develop recommendations for the use of the $5 million set aside for staff benefits in 2007-08, taking into consideration the recommendations from the appointed work-life committees.
An immediate action to the survey results is the offering of several brown-bag discussions and activities on topics that faculty and staff indicated are important, in celebration of National Work and Family Month during the month of October.
To conclude, UK is uniquely positioned to continue to create one great place to work as an employer of choice with a work-life supportive culture in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and to reach the Top 20 vision.
– Laura Koppes