Survey shows high levels of employee satisfaction at the University of Bern

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On the whole, employees at the University of Bern are very satisfied or mostly satisfied with their work and, in general, have a high level of commitment. This is according to the results of the 2019 staff survey. One aspect which staff particularly enjoy is the diverse nature of their work. An up-to-date analysis of wage equality also yielded positive results: at the University of Bern, men and woman earn the same amount for work which is of equal value.

In spring 2019, a sample-based staff survey was carried out at the University of Bern. This meant that roughly every seventh university employee received a letter from the company empiricon inviting them to take part. Out of 1,000 randomly-selected employees, 532 took part in the 2019 staff survey. This amounts to a response rate of 53.8%. Compared to the last survey in 2015, this represents a significant increase in responses (2015 response rate: 49.0% when asking for participation of the entire personnel).

Commitment to the Uni is high

Commitment (the extent to which employees experience a sense of belonging to the University of Bern) is made up of three elements: identification, loyalty towards the employer (turnover tendency) and willingness to perform. These three elements were rated very highly by the employees − at 81 points (out of 100), identification with the University of Bern was one factor which stood out in particular. Loyalty towards the employer was rated just as highly as identification, with 81 points. At 84 points, employees also displayed a high willingness to perform. With 82 points overall, employees at the University of Bern were shown to have high levels of commitment. In 2015, employee commitment was rated at 81 points.

Varied work

Work content was already seen in a very positive light during the 2015 survey, and is one aspect which continued to be rated highly this time around. As in 2015, this year’s average amounted to 83 points. At the same time, elements such as professional development and the rich variety in work particularly stood out.

When it came to statements concerning working hours/the work-life balance, these were actually evaluated more positively in 2019 than in 2015. Here, the regulation of working hours was the aspect that got the highest rating (average: 82; +2 points). In general, the opportunities which the University of Bern offers with regard to flexible working (e.g. working time models, part-time work, job sharing, home office) were also rated positively (average: 81; +4 points). With regard to the issue of whether employees’ work situations enabled them to have a good work-life balance, the results of the 2019 survey showed considerable improvement when compared with those from 2015 (average: 74; +7 points).

Room for improvement within the salary system

Though − taking the general terms of employment into consideration − employees generally reported being satisfied with their salaries, the “salary system” topic area came out worst in the survey (average: 44; +4). This is largely due to the fact that the majority of employees believe that they would receive a larger salary were they to take on a similar position outside the university. The consideration made for performance within the existing salary system was rated as being to a normal extent (average: 54; +5).

Satisfaction with regard to superiors and colleagues

The “team” topic area received a more positive evaluation in 2019 than it did in 2015 (average: 77; +3). The fact that mutual support (average: 82; +3 points) and the open exchange of information and knowledge within teams (average: 81; +4 points) were so highly rated was particularly encouraging news.

Overall, direct superiors were evaluated positively (average: 76; +2 points). Within this topic area, employees evaluated elements such as their superiors’ readiness to take issues seriously (average: 83; +4 points) and the manner in which they exemplify respect and loyalty (average: 81; +3 points) most positively.

Once again, gender equality at the University of Bern received very positive ratings, as did the equal treatment of all employees (average: 87; +1 point and average: 82; no change, respectively). This result is further confirmed through our current wage equality study.

Wage equality between men and women

At the University of Bern, men and women earn the same amount for work which is of equal value. This is the result of a statistical analysis which was carried out in collaboration with the cantonal administration. The investigation took place using the equal pay test tool “Logib” by the federal administration.

The standardized review demonstrated that, with regard to all employees at the University of Bern and, all other things being equal, women earn 0.3% more than men. “All other things being equal” means: the same scope of training, the same work experience, the same level of seniority, the same level of occupational competence with regard to the role being carried out, and the same hierarchical position of the role being carried out. This value of 0.3% is considerably lower than the 5% tolerance level which has been applied to procurement systems by the federal administration and is not statistically significant.

The Executive Board of the University of Bern is more than satisfied with the above results.