What is the Faculty Experience?


In a 2017 National Education Union survey, 80% of K-12 teachers said they’d considered leaving the profession in the last year. Similarly, a majority of university faculty express dissatisfaction with their leadership. So how can you uncover how faculty at your institution feel, and identify ways to boost engagement and retention?

Faculty experience defined

It’s the sum total of every interaction your faculty have with your school or university, and describes how they feel about the institution. This includes everything from how they feel about their colleagues, to their experiences in the classroom. It’s about taking a more holistic view of your faculty’s experiences within the 4 walls of your school or university, not just focusing on one area.

How to measure faculty experience

It’s important to recognise there’s no silver bullet and the issues around faculty engagement and satisfaction are varied. Many are out of the control of schools and universities. But that shouldn’t discourage you from running satisfaction surveys, because there is a lot you could do to help – however, first you need to know what your faculty think and feel. The most effective way of measuring faculty experience is with more regular pulse surveys. In contract to annual surveys, these are run more frequently – perhaps every term – and ask a consistent set of questions, so it’s easier to measure the impact of changes. It also improves engagement as you’re giving your faculty the chance to share their views more often. Here are a few of the things you should be exploring as part of the overall faculty experience:

Department relationships

Do faculty members feel part of a team, and do they like working with their department colleagues?

Leadership

Do faculty members feel supported and do they feel as though their feedback is acted on by school or university leadership?

Resources

Do faculty members have the resources they need to deliver excellent teaching to their students?

Teaching

Do faculty members feel as though they can focus on their students? Do they feel as though the school or university is student-centred?

Development

Do faculty members feel as though their skills are being utilised in the best way, and do they feel they have opportunities to grow as teachers?

Overall Satisfaction & Likelihood of Staying

In general, are your faculty members happy where they work and how likely are they stay for the coming academic year? Interested in starting a faculty satisfaction survey? See our example questions here