Employee ‘grades’ UT a 7.4, despite increased workload

| Rense Kuipers

The UT receives a 7.4 as a 'report grade' from its employees, but almost half of them are struggling with high or far too high work pressure. The well-being survey for employees was set up differently this year, but the results are in line with those of previous years.


A total of 1709 UT employees completed the well-being survey last November, drawn up by the HR department and researchers of the Human Resources Management group. The set-up was different this year. 'The reason for this was to get results that would give us more guidance for improvement from a human resources perspective. Moreover, it offers opportunities for faculties and service to learn better from each other based on the results,' explains HR director Hans Oeloff.


This new set-up means that many outcomes cannot be compared one-to-one with the well-being surveys of recent years. What does come back is an overall satisfaction score. On average, the UT scores 7.39 (out of 10), with General Affairs with an 8.5 as a positive outlier and the BMS faculty with a 6.83 as a negative outlier. 'Rounded up, we have a score of 7.4 – a tenth lower than last year', says Oeloff, who is not dissatisfied. 'Despite the fact that there was a lot going on in society and around the financial situation at the UT, this score is very decent.'

In addition, there are other scores in the report. The level of trust in the UT as an employer receives a 7.03 out of 10. And the 'Net Promoter Score' – would an employee recommend the UT as an employer to a friend – gets a 7.39 out of 10. In both, GA employees give the highest score and BMS employees the lowest.

The results are also broken down into function groups, with the relative dissatisfaction among assistant professors striking. On satisfaction, confidence and the 'Net Promotor Score', the assistant professors give the university a score of 6.26, 5.76 and 6.21. 'It can perhaps be partly explained by the positions that the assistant professors have, at the beginning of their careers with perhaps less autonomy. But to fully explain these scores, that would require further investigation,' says Oeloff.


Satisfaction with human resources is rated 3.54 out of 5. Employees are not entirely satisfied with the recognition and rewarding of their achievements and the dialogue about perceived work pressure. That workload has increased compared to last year. Last year, 29 percent of employees thought the workload was too high and 8 percent thought the workload was far too high. This year, that number has increased to 39 and 10 percent. The number of overtime hours remained fairly stable compared to last year; 24 percent of UT employees work at least six hours of overtime per week.

'Numbers like this have our attention', says Oeloff. 'The most important thing – apart from the range of instruments we offer – is to discuss your workload with colleagues and your manager and to make good agreements about it. It may not solve everything, but it's good to at least discuss it.'

Speak-up behaviour

This was also measured in the study, 'Employees' speak-up behaviour', which gets a score of 3.42 out of 5. 'It's about the extent to which someone feels comfortable expressing ideas, concerns or feedback, without fear that this will have negative consequences. People should certainly do that more often. We want to continue to build a culture like that here’, says the HR director.

This has to do with the theme of social safety, about which TU Delft recently came under fire from the Education Inspectorate. 'Of course, we see plenty of points for improvement and leads, but in general the results of this study look good,' says Oeloff. He cannot rule out the possibility that Delft incidents will take place at the UT. 'We have a large organisation with thousands of staff and students. There will always be incidents, but we have organized quite a lot in terms of support structure. I hope that people will make use of that structure in a timely manner.'

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