Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Employee Engagement Survey?

  • The Employee Engagement Survey is a survey on workplace satisfaction that is sponsored by the UNC System as part of the system’s strategic plan.
  • The survey is administered to all permanent, full-time faculty and staff at all 17 UNC System institutions.
  • The survey is being administered through an outside vendor named ModernThink.

Why are we conducting this survey?

  • NC State wants to measure workplace engagement because studies have shown that the more engaged an employee is at their workplace, the more satisfied the employee is and the more productive their work unit is.
  • The survey’s results will help the university identify areas of strength as well as areas that need improvement.
  • Some UNC institutions have done similar surveys in the past, but this is the only survey to be conducted systemwide. Its results provide a common dataset for the entire UNC System.

Who is participating in this survey? Do I have to participate?

  • The survey is being sent to all permanent full-time (75% time or more) faculty and staff employed as of Jan. 31, 2024. The survey is available online.
  • Participation is voluntary. You should not feel pressured to participate, but because this is a great chance for faculty and staff voices to be heard, we encourage your participation.
  • It is important for the university to hear from as many faculty and staff as we can. In the first survey, in 2018, our survey response rate was 54%. In the 2020 survey, the response rate was 57%. In 2022, as NC State was still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the response rate was 45%. We are aiming for at least a 50% response rate.

When is this happening, and how long will it take?

  • The survey will launch on March 25 and runs through April 12. 
  • The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, but you can complete it in more than one sitting if needed.
  • ModernThink will email you a survey invitation. Your invitation will contain a login link that is unique to you. Do not share your survey login with anyone else; once the link is used and the survey is submitted, that link cannot be used again, and you will not receive another one.
  • Employees can take the survey either on work time, taking up to 30 minutes to complete it, or on their personal time. If you decide to complete the survey outside your regular work schedule, you will not be paid for that time.

What’s on the survey?

  • The survey will mostly consist of 42 questions about your work environment. 
  • There are also two open-ended questions for write-in responses, as well as a series of demographics questions for reporting purposes.

What happened as a result of previous surveys, and what should we expect to happen in the future?

  • Systemwide top-line data are shared with the UNC Board of Governors and posted publicly on the UNC System website.
  • NC State’s Institutional Strategy and Analysis office is responsible for analyzing the aggregate survey results provided by ModernThink and preparing reports based on those analyses. Reports on results of the 2022 Employee Engagement Survey are available online.
  • The UNC System has used the results to support efforts to implement essential policy and program changes, such as paid parental leave.
  • Institutions also use these data to support changes and improvements at the campus level, such as improved communications, additional collaboration opportunities or new recognition programs.
  • Most progress resulting from this program will be incremental and will not occur all at once. It also may not be visible to all employees as it happens. Thus, it may take time for faculty and staff to see the positive effects of any actions taken.
  • Some faculty and staff concerns may be outside the control of your direct supervisor, NC State or the UNC System.

What about confidentiality?

  • Only the survey administrator, ModernThink, will have access to individual responses or raw survey data. Once the survey is complete, the university will only receive summary reports presenting the results. 
  • The UNC System will supply certain initial information to ModernThink for survey distribution and reporting purposes, including each employee’s email address, organizational unit, employee type (e.g., EHRA/SHRA) and job category. 
  • Reporting will be available only if there are at least five responses in a defined demographic group. In addition, we only provide results broken out by a single group characteristic, such as for all faculty or for all females. Results are not provided for combinations of groups, such as for female faculty.
  • Note: The full narrative comments you submit in the survey’s two open-ended questions will be shared with management. Thus, you may wish to phrase your responses so that you do not self-identify in your remarks.

Where can I get more information?

  • Additional information on the survey is available from the UNC System online. In addition, ModernThink provides a help line (888.684.4658) for participants to call if they have questions about confidentiality or about how to complete the survey.