About the Employee Engagement Survey

Confidential employee engagement surveys are an effective way to gain insight into key drivers of employee sentiment and how to maximize the overall employee experience. They provide a strategic roadmap for improving the work environment, and ultimately workplace culture. By hearing candidly from the people who comprise the University of Denver, we are gaining a greater understanding of how we all work together in service to our shared mission.

Over two weeks in May 2018, 1,650 employees — 54 percent — of faculty, staff and administration completed the University’s first comprehensive employee engagement survey. This level of participation is comparable to pilot-year surveys across higher education, and ensures a healthy baseline for the data. In the years to come, we will seek to improve both the scores and the participation rate — until we excel in every category and every voice is heard.

Working with our survey partner ModernThink, LLC, the survey included 60 statements across 17 specific "dimensions" of employment at the University.

Many of the questions were standardized, to enable comparison with other institutions of higher education. Others were unique to DU, to allow us to address specific standards we have set. An additional set of 28 questions assessed satisfaction with the benefits DU offers to employees.

Survey Dimensions

Job Satisfaction / Support
Comp., Benefits & Work/Life Balance
Resources &
Supervisors / Dept Chairs
Faculty, Admin & Staff Relations
Respect &

Scoring the Survey

Respondents chose from six options on a five-point agreement scale:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Sometimes Agree/Sometimes Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Not Applicable

To calculate a score for each dimension, responses of Strongly Agree and Agree were combined and counted as positive. Strongly Disagree and Disagree were combined and counted as negative.

There also were four open-ended writing prompts to allow for comments, and eight demographic questions. Before being shared, all responses were anonymized.

Our Survey Partner

ModernThink, LLC.

ModernThink, LLC is an organizational development and management consulting firm dedicated to helping colleges and universities become better places to work and learn. Since its founding in 2004, ModernThink has partnered with a wide range of organizations, ranging from small companies to large multi-state hospital systems. In 2008 they partnered with The Chronicle of Higher Education to establish the Great Colleges to Work For program, which every year surveys the staff and faculty of more than 1,000 colleges and universities.

ModernThink also partners with several higher ed consortiums and associations including:

  • Network for Change and Continuous Improvement (NCCI)
  • National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE)
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
  • College and University Professional Association of HR (CUPA-HR)