Let your voice be heard with ImproveND

Author: Marissa Gebhard

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In January, the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (OSPIR) will administer the ImproveND survey to regular faculty and staff members. It’s an opportunity for employees to share their thoughts about the services offered at Notre Dame by teams like Campus Dining, General Counsel, Facilities Design and Operations, Finance, Marketing Communications, Internal Communications, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Human Resources, the Morris Inn, the Notre Dame Police Department, the Office of Information Technologies, RecSports, St. Michael's Laundry, Transportation Services, the Wellness Center and VenueND. The survey typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

“For the past three years, we have seen a steady increase in faculty and staff response rates,” says Andrea Swanagan, director of institutional research in OSPIR. “We have simplified the survey as much as possible, and hope to see increased participation rates this year as well, as faculty and staff understand the impact of their feedback.”  

Users may select the services relevant to them, and offer feedback on just those services, which means it takes less time to take the survey. It is valuable to the University for employees to explain, in the comments, what makes the service good or unsatisfactory. For instance, an employee can give a team a ‘shout-out’ for providing good service that assist him/her with being able to do his/her job well. 

Vice presidents, directors and leaders across the University use the information to identify areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement.

“The feedback  from Improve ND influenced the dining offerings at the Morris Inn,” says Joe Kurth, senior director of the Morris Inn and Notre Dame Conference Center.

“Faculty and staff told us they wanted sections for small groups and that service speed and noise mitigation were important. We’re addressing all of those points with the expanded new design of Rohr’s that will have a focus on service, increased seating for small groups and an elevated focus on food and beverage offerings,” he says. 

Faculty and staff comments in the last ImproveND data also influenced the dining options in other restaurants on campus. 

Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining says the feedback influenced the inclusion of a diversity of vegetarian and vegan options on menus across campus and the opening of the healthy Mediterranean restaurant, Garbanzo, last year. “The addition of mobile ordering options was partially in response to Improve ND.”

All survey results are read and utilized. High satisfaction and favorable comments confirm areas of strength, and low levels of satisfaction combined with other data often point to areas that need improvement.

“The feedback we received from ImproveND was very useful,” says Denise Murphy, director of benefits and compensation. “It helped us understand the value of the Wellness Center to our faculty and staff.” 

Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan will invite faculty and staff, via email, to participate in the survey. The ImproveND survey, which is conducted every other year, will be open from Jan. 13 to Jan. 31. It will be available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Bosnian.