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Continuous improvement in universities’ well-being at work since 2010

18.2.2016

According to a recent survey, universities' well-being at work is at a good level. University employees are particularly pleased with supervisory work and the content of their work and their expertise. Well-being has increased systematically since 2010.

The results of a 2015 well-being at work survey conducted at universities show that well-being at work has improved in all areas compared to earlier surveys.

There are no great differences between the various universities with regards to personnel satisfaction. The highest average on a scale of 1–5 was 3.7 and the lowest 3.4. Based on the survey, well-being at work in universities is, all in all, at a good level.

The results reveal that university employees are most satisfied with the work of immediate supervisors and the content of their work and their expertise. The area requiring the greatest improvement is strategic leadership.

Survey serves as tool for improving well-being at work

Universities have been looking into the well-being of their personnel through a tailored survey since 2010. The universities have built their well-being at work survey together with Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Surveypal. The contents of the survey have been developed over the years together with the University of Tampere and experts in working life.

"The survey supports the development of universities' well-being at work improvement activities and thus indirectly the productivity of the universities. It is a good development tool for management and supervisors and people working in HR," says Varma's Account Manager Tero Virtanen.

The well-being at work survey includes 38 questions concerning various areas: community, the content of work and expertise, working conditions, working with immediate supervisors, strategic leadership at the university level and strategic leadership at the faculty level.

The results of the well-being at work survey are not directly comparable to the results for earlier years because different universities have taken part each year. What is positive is that the results have improved year-on-year.

"Supporting well-being at work among university personnel will become increasingly important in the near future as the financial position of universities weakens," says Virtanen.

In 2015, 13 of Finland's 14 universities took part in the well-being at work survey and the number of responses received came to altogether 16,913. The next survey will be carried out in 2017.

Average results of the well-being at work survey for universities for 2010–2015

For more information, please contact:
Tero Virtanen, Account Manager, tel. +358 10 244 4982
Hanna Kankainen, Workability Management Director, tel. +358 10 244 3211
Mikko Kuivalainen, Department Manager, Communications, tel. +358 10 244 3186

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company is the most solvent earnings-related pension company and largest private investor in Finland. The company is responsible for the statutory earnings-related pension cover of some 860,000 people in the private sector. Premiums written totalled EUR 4.6 billion in 2015 and pension payments stood at EUR 5.2 billion. Varma's investment portfolio amounted to EUR 41.3 billion at the end of 2015.

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