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Universitywide Engagement and Leader Survey Results 2021

To view our results for 2021, click here to learn more.

Universitywide Engagement and Leader Guide: Taking Strategic Action on Your Survey Results 2021

As we strive to be an employer of choice, leaders are encouraged to share both their engagement and leader results with their teams, get feedback and engage in goal setting. To help you through this process, this guide can help you share your results and set one engagement and leader goal.

University Engagement, Leader and Self-Identification Survey

What is the universitywide engagement, leader and self-identification survey?  

This is MSU Denver’s official employee engagement survey. It is designed as an opportunity for employees to share their feedback about their work experience and about what matters most to them at MSU Denver. Your survey responses will also provide your leaders/supervisors, teams and branch with feedback to help us identify our successes and where we need to grow and improve as an organization.  

When can i take the survey? 

The survey will be open from jan 18–29 at 11: 59 p.m. 

How do i take the survey? 

On jan. 18 you will receive an email from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., that includes a secure qualtrics link to the survey. Click on the link to begin your confidential survey on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Your survey link is unique, so do not forward the survey email to others. In addition, once you complete the survey it will be closed. The survey will take up to 15 minutes to complete. If you have issues, please contact Sean Petranovich, Ph.D., Director of Data and Analytics, at 

Why should i participate? 

Your opinions and ideas are valuable and important. The universitywide engagement, leader and self-identification survey is a powerful tool you can use to help shape the future of your team, branch and university. This is your opportunity to share your feedback – to let the university know what’s going well and how we can continue to improve. The thoughts and ideas you provide is important in helping your department, branch and leaders grow and develop. It also helps identify where we are succeeding and where we need to improve the culture within your department, branch and university as a whole.  

Why are we using a new survey? 

In the past, MSU Denver used a third-party survey tool. This year, Human Resources, in collaboration with many constituencies, internally developed a survey tool that is more tailored to the University and focused on engagement and culture. throughout the development of the survey, Human Resources sought and received feedback from key constituencies to ensure the survey touches on key employee pulse points and will help gather relevant, high-quality data that is meaningful on an organizational level but is also team specific. This year, the survey is organized by department engagement, leadership and branch as well as senior leadership. 

Are my responses confidential? 

This is a confidential surveyonly accessible via secure link. In order to better understand employee engagement and experience, two business intelligence analysts will access and analyze the data. These analysts will treat the data with absolute confidentiality. No one beyond the analysts will have access to individual-level data. Participation reports will be provided while the survey is still open to encourage all to respond but will not identify who has or has not taken the survey. 

How will my responses be shared? 

All information you provide is confidential. Supervisors will not receive individual employee responses. Only supervisors with five or more supervisee responses will receive a report that will group all employee feedback into an aggregate format, which means they will not be able to identify how you personally responded to any question. 

Where teams are smaller than five, your feedback will be rolled up into a next-level report. for instance, for a team of four within Human Resources, its data will roll up into the larger hr report as well as a university-level report. 

Leaders with five or more responses will be able to see a summary of the open-ended comments. As a reminder, the comments will not be tied to any individual person, so please use the open-ended comment space to provide information about successes as well as constructive feedback. 

What are the university branches? 

The university branches include: 

  • Academic Affairs 
  • Student Affairs 
  • Administration Strategy
  • Marketing and Communications 
  • Office of the President 
  • Department of Athletics 
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Legal 
  • Advancement 

What does “department/team” mean in the context of this survey?  

As you are asked questions about your department/team, these are the team members with whom you work most closely on a daily basis.  

What and who am i able to provide feedback for? 

All employees who receive a survey link will have the opportunity to provide feedback on how their branch and their department is doing. Employees will also be able to share feedback regarding their leadership/supervisor as well as the university leadership team. for example: 

Department team members will be asked to answer a few questions about their specific department/team. For these questions, please provide feedback about your team that you work most closely with daily. Please watch for an email from your leadership. You will also be able to share feedback on your direct leader/supervisor of your department/team.  

What about the annual dean and chair evaluation surveys? 

The universitywide engagement, leader and self-identification survey replaces the chair evaluation surveys. Information and feedback gathered from the survey will be used as a tool for growth, development and performance evaluation.  

The survey also provides an opportunity for chairs and others who report directly to the deans to provide feedback. Only the deans’ direct reports will be providing feedback on their respective dean. However, please consider the 2021 engagement, leader and self-identification survey as a pilot for the future dean leader and evaluation survey. Human Resources will spend this pilot year validating the survey and will help inform the standard method of evaluation for deans beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. 

Do all employees have to participate? 

All employees who receive an emailed link to the survey are strongly encouraged to participate, as the university is aiming for a 100% completion rate. The only employee category not included in the survey is Affiliate Faculty. This includes any active affiliates who taught a course during the fall 2020 semester.

When will results be available? 

Results will be made available in mid-march. Leaders/supervisors will receive a guide that helps them review and share results with their teams. Please stay tuned to the early bird for future updates as well. 

What will the university do with the results? 

Members of the senior leadership team will use the engagement and leader results to set an employee engagement goal for the university at large. 

Then, engagement and leader results will be shared with supervisors, who are encouraged to share those results with their teams. Supervisors will also set goals around engagement and personal growth as a leader. 

For the purposes of this survey, how is “leader” defined? 

The term “leader” can mean many things at msu denver, as our value of inclusive leadership is intended to empower employees to lead at all levels. For the purposes of this survey, the term refers to the person by whom you are supervised or evaluated. 

How will my demographic data be used? 

As MSU Denver continues to engage in anti-racist work, it is important that the institution reflects our diverse student body and prepares all students to be engaged citizens. Understanding how we serve and support our workforce is key to supporting this work. Gathering accurate demographic information about our employee community will help the university to set better and more tailored goals around the needs of all employees, especially regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. Please note that self-identification is optional and will remain confidential. 

What follow up communications can I expect? 

To be respectful of employees and to avoid spamming, once you complete the survey you will no longer receive completion reminders, but you will still receive general communications about the survey. 

What if I had a leadership/supervisor change over the last calendar year? to which supervisor should my feedback apply? 

If your supervisor changed between oct. 30, 2020, to jan. 18, 2021, please provide feedback on the supervisor you reported to on oct. 29, 2020. 

I was hired after oct. 30, 2020, and I have not received the survey link. What do I do? 

In order to give the university and your supervisor meaningful feedback, as a best practice we suggest that you have spent at least 90 days in your role with your supervisor before providing feedback. We look forward to your participation next year.  

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