Group of people sitting at a table engaging in conversation. A woman in a yellow jacket has a smile on her face, she is the focal point of the photo.

Understanding and enhancing employee engagement

Our commitment to fostering a positive organizational culture and work environment at UCalgary.

As an institution with ambitious goals for 2030, we are committed to fostering a work environment that is conducive to high performance relative to our strategic plan.

We are ready to Start something—a new chapter of listening, learning and creating meaningful change as we work toward the ambitious goals set out in Ahead of Tomorrow.

On January 30, 2024, we launched an employee engagement survey as the first step in a multi-year listening strategy to gather insight into levels of employee commitment and satisfaction across various dimensions. We value the exchange of knowledge not just among disciplines, but also within our community.

The engagement survey was administered by third-party vendor, TalentMap. All responses are anonymous and confidential. Aggregated responses were provided back to us at the end of the survey period.

Group of staff participating in a conversation in the Viewpoint circle for dialogue room in Mathison Hall.

What we heard

2,899 individuals participated in the survey, representing a 43 % response rate, with a combined 18,860 comments. 

We invite you to read our What we heard report and review the invaluable feedback we have received. 


We are committed to using the survey results to inform institutional priorities aligned with Ahead of Tomorrow, and to develop actionable plans. The Employee Engagement Surveys will be repeated at regular intervals for the duration of the Ahead of Tomorrow strategic plan in order to measure our progress.

Survey methodology

Personalized emails with unique survey links are sent to survey participants via TalentMap, a Canadian company that specializes in employee engagement measurement and benchmarking.

  • Quantitative: Questions are grouped into dimensions. All questions are assessed on a five-point Likert response scale which ranges from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree”. With any attitudinal type of survey, there is typically a positive response bias to begin with. For this reason, the negative response is placed first to force the respondent to read through the entire scale and minimize the positive response bias.
  • Qualitative: Open field comment boxes are used to collect open text insights on each dimension.
  • All survey responses are collected by TalentMap and directly transmitted to a secure server located in Canada, where responses are treated as confidential and stored in a secure environment with reasonable protection against such risk as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or destruction.
  • De-identified and aggregate survey results (combined responses) are reported by TalentMap to UCalgary regarding all topics covered in the survey. At no time, during or after the survey, are identifiable responses shared with UCalgary, and TalentMap will not produce any report for a group with fewer than five survey respondents (completed surveys) to ensure that aggregate response are not identifiable.​
  • ​TalentMap is a member of the Insights Association and subscribes to its Code of Standards & Ethics. Responses are treated with the strictest confidence. Contact or view their privacy statement for more information.
  • TalentMap methodology takes into consideration the size of the organization, regression analysis, comparison data and overall performance scores.​
  • Key Drivers are identified through correlation analysis using the Pearson Correlation. ​
  • De-identified responses to open field comment boxes are analyzed by TalentMap using Microsoft Azure Open AI Service, a secure AI text analysis tool. De-identified comments are analyzed to generate a summary of key themes and insights, and suggestions for areas of improvement. De-identified comments are treated by Microsoft as confidential at all times. They are securely retained within the Microsoft Azure environment located in Quebec for a maximum of 30 days and are not made available to any third parties (including OpenAI). No de-identified comments (inputs) or resulting completions (outputs) are used by Microsoft for product or system improvement purposes or to improve the OpenAI model.
  • Key themes and insights generated from TalentMap’s analysis of de-identified comments relate to all sections of the survey that use an open-ended field comment box. These key themes and insights will be reported to UCalgary leadership and the broader community provided that such reporting will contain no verbatim responses or identifiable information of survey respondents.

Key metrics and engagement drivers are shared with UCalgary leadership and the broader community to support action planning and important insights for organizational units. In future years, UCalgary will be able to track and benchmark to previous years’ results. ​


UCalgary wants to encourage a positive work environment that supports excellence as outlined in our Strategic Plan, Ahead of Tomorrow. We want to hear from our employees to understand how engaged and satisfied they are. The survey offered an opportunity for faculty and staff to share their perspectives on their roles, process improvements, professional development, teamwork, innovation, leadership, work-life balance and more.

Employee engagement refers to the connection an employee has with their workplace and colleagues. It reflects how people feel about their jobs, working conditions, management and compensation, and other factors. Measuring and improving employee engagement is essential for organizations aiming to enhance productivity, retain talent, and create a positive and thriving workplace culture. 

The employee engagement survey complements other institutional surveys, but it goes further by looking deeper into what impacts employee engagement. We asked for feedback from faculty and staff on a wide range of topics, including their role, the services and supports they receive, leadership, professional development, organizational culture, EDIA, health and safety, and more. Employees could also share a key message, solution or idea with our Executive Leadership Team to help power positive change.  

Your voice matters. The survey was an important opportunity for faculty and staff to make their perspectives heard. Your feedback is essential to help leadership identify opportunities to improve processes and enhance services, ensuring UCalgary is focusing on the things that matter the most to our employees.  

This survey will act as a starting point to identify where we are now in terms of employee engagement and satisfaction, where we want to be, and how we can get there. Following the survey, we plan to use the collected insights as a baseline to inform the development of strategic action plans and operational enhancements. The aim is to pinpoint areas of strength and identify opportunities for improvement. Your participation contributes directly to this process, shaping the trajectory of UCalgary.

All full-time and part-time employees who have been with the university for six months —  including executive and senior leadership members, academic staff (TUCFA) management and professional staff (MaPS), support staff (AUPE), postdocs, and graduate assistants — received a unique, secure link to participate in the survey. Accessibility support was included.  

All survey responses are directly transmitted to a secure server at TalentMap and will be kept anonymous and confidential. TalentMap will report the combined answers to the university. At no time, during or after the survey, will they share individual responses to UCalgary. Raw survey data will be retained by TalentMap for comparison use in future surveys. If you have any questions about the collection or use of your personal information, please contact

Your survey responses are being collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Alberta). They will be used to gather baseline data on employee engagement that will allow the university to benchmark against other Canadian organizations, including post-secondary institutions, thereby helping to inform the creation and implementation of programs to further enhance employee engagement and retention. Learn more

No. The purpose is to get a better understanding of employee engagement and satisfaction. UCalgary wants to listen to and learn from our employees to create positive, meaningful change. 

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Ahead of Tomorrow

Get to know UCalgary's 2023-2030 Strategic Plan