Workplace surveys

Workplace surveys, sometimes known as climate or engagement surveys, provide valuable insight into employees’ views on aspects of their employment.

NZSTA recommends that boards survey their employees yearly and the results are analysed and used to inform school planning.

The surveys often contain a series of multiple choice questions grouped along one or more dimensions of the school. The types of items included in these surveys may concern areas such as:

  • Well-being and satisfaction
  • Student management
  • Leadership/senior management
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Physical working environment and resources
  • Communication
  • Work/life balance
  • Employment conditions
  • Policies, processes, systems
  • Teamwork
  • Curriculum
  • Professional development

There are various options for surveys, depending on the needs and context of the school.

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) offers a Teacher Workplace Survey which has a roll based cost between $250-$500.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) can be requested to undertake a survey to identify strengths and weaknesses in the industrial environment in secondary and area schools.

Schools can create their own personalised on-line surveys for teaching and non-teaching staff using a service such as Survey Monkey  or Smart Survey. Options vary from free to a monthly or yearly fee.

If designing their own survey, boards need to consider who will receive the results, the confidentiality of responses and how they plan to use the data before setting up the survey. Survey design is also important, to keep questions free from unintentional bias, focused on key areas and limited in number to maximise responses. 

Be aware that if boards survey employees and receive feedback, but then fail to act or respond to that feedback, it could lead to reduced staff morale.

If you would like further advice regarding either designing a survey, or how to consider information received from a survey, please contact our employment advisers in the Advisory and Support Centre.

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