Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Employees believe that their work delivers an impact to IRRI’s mission and goals

This year’s Staff Survey was conducted in May by the Human Resource Services. All 1363 employees from HQ and country offices were invited to take part in the survey. A total of 493 employees across different organization units completed either a web-based or paper-based survey, giving a sound overall response rate of 36.1%.

The survey was conducted in order to better understand its employees and their perceptions of the IRRI working environment. The survey also provided an opportunity to collect information about the work experiences and to find out changes or improvements in employee perspectives due to initiatives taken in the last three years since the previous survey.
Since the 2010 survey, a number of actions and initiatives have been undertaken by the Human Resource Services to maintain or improve the quality of employment within IRRI.  Some of these include:
  • New pay scale  for NRS
  • NRS Career Paths and transition to standard job profiles 
  • Modernized approach to Associate appointments 
  • Roll out of the Code of Conduct and Guidelines on IRRI’s Disciplinary Procedures
  • Introduction of the Semi-Annual Team and Manager’s Discretionary Award Programs 
  • New HRS web presence
  • Increased scope of HRS that includes Occupational Health
  • Increased range of employee learning and development programs
  • A range of materials have been developed around Recruitment and C&B Guidelines for country offices
  • Greater emphasis on employee communications through information sessions, staff survey, post activity surveys, focused group discussions, activity-based brochures and posters
  • Strengthening  of the IRRI workplace through health and wellness and social programs
A total of 21 questions including general inquiries were distributed online through the Survey Monkey and was fully accessible from 01 May to 30 June 2014. All were notified of the survey in advance by email from the Human Resource Services. The anonymity of responses was assured in order to encourage higher participation rates and more honest feedback.  Results are provided at an aggregate level and comments to open-ended questions were also taken verbatimly. While there were some new items for the 2014 survey, much of the content remained the same as the 2010 survey, allowing a direct comparison across most items. Therefore it was possible to see what changes have occurred in three years.  The survey questions assessed the following areas: Jobs at IRRI, Workplace, Leadership and Supervision.

An Overall Survey Score is calculated for each group by averaging the responses across all survey items. Each respondent had to rate each item on a 5-point scale, assigned as follows: 5 strongly agree, 4 agree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 2 is disagree and 1 is strongly disagree. 72.62% of employees reported overall satisfaction with their current job, with 46.25% of employees indicating they were satisfied and 26.37% strongly satisfied. Overall Agreement Score as shown in the graph below is 4.08. This indicates a fairly satisfied workforce, with responses across all survey questions around a strongly agree and agree rating.


Many strengths were identified, including:
  • The highest scoring concepts were that the Institute is meeting its mission and that employee’s work delivers an impact to IRRI’s missions and goals with 91% agreement rating. 
  • Other concept that scored highly was employees would likely refer a friend to work at IRRI with 88% agreement rating.
  • There was also a clear agreement among employees that they are committed to a long term employment at IRRI with 85% agreement rating.
  • Another statement that received strong support was employees have the resources to do their job well with 84% agreement rating.
  • Employees also obtained accomplishment in doing their job and believe that IRRI values diversity with 83% agreement rating. 

The main improvements compared to the 2010 survey were:
  • The concept of fair wage for work showed quite a marked improvement compared to the 2010 survey; there was an increase of 15% in the percentage of employees who indicated that they are being paid a fair wage for their work. 
  • The concept of commitment to a long term employment was another area that showed a notable increase of 12% compared to the 2010 survey.  
  • There was also stronger agreement amongst employees regarding their view that their work delivers an impact to IRRI’s mission and goals with 10% increase in score compared to 2010 survey. 
  • Staff also reported increased confidence that IRRI values diversity with 8% increase in score compared to the 2010 survey. 
  • There was a marked increase in the percentage of employees who reported having adequate opportunities for professional growth and development, the Institute attracts high quality employees as well as fosters teamwork across organizational units, with 7% increase in score compared to the 2010 survey. 


While there have been improvements in a number of areas, the results indicate that there are opportunities in the following areas:
  • Teamwork and cooperation in the department. The results indicated 15% decrease in percentage score compared to the 2010 survey.  This was one of the lower scoring areas in the survey, where improvement is necessary. 
  • IRRI leadership.  The agreement rating has dropped slightly by 4% regarding the extent to which leaders are setting the research agenda and making it happen. Results also indicated  that employees believe that there could be improvement in leaders serving as role models. 
  • Treatment with respect and fairness. There was also a slightly higher concern about employees perceiving that they are treated with respect and fairness, with 2% decrease in percentage score compared to the 2010 survey.


Some additional analyses were conducted for the 2014 survey based on extra items that were included. These related to the experience or observation of harassment or discrimination in the workplace for the last 2 years. A clear majority of 66% employees have not observed or experienced discrimination or harassment in the last 2 years.  However, there are some concerning aspects of the survey wherein, 19.07% employees reported having experienced/observed   workplace bullying or intimidation, 7.30% racial discrimination and 3.25% said that they have witnessed or were victims of gender discrimination.


Results from the 2014 survey will be used to develop new policies and programs for employees as well as track changes and improvements through comparisons with the 2010 results. It is recognized that IRRI is constantly looking to improve procedures, guidelines, processes and systems. Future bulletin articles will share the work which has been undertaken in 2014 to address other employee concerns.

IRRI continues to welcome any staff feedback and ideas on how the Institute can deliver quality research while ensuring that the needs of the employees are addressed accordingly. For inquiries on IRRI Staff Survey, please contact Human Resource Services – Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS) at HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2014-124

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