Survey Results Show Overall Job Satisfaction High at George Mason

Posted: June 22, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

More than two-thirds of employees at George Mason express “satisfaction” or “extreme satisfaction” with their jobs, according to the results of the 2003 Quality of Work Life (QWL) survey. Employees in all job categories expressed substantial satisfaction with their ability to work independently, the opportunity to use a variety of skills, and access to cultural events. More than 79 percent reported satisfaction with their relationships with supervisors and other employees.

Surveys were distributed to a random sample of 760 employees across six job categories—adjunct faculty, contract faculty, administrative faculty, classified staff, tenure-line faculty, and wage staff—on all three campuses. A total of 259 surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 35 percent. “This response rate does not compare favorably with the previous QWL [in 2000] and may be reflective of the sobering undercurrent of the state budget circumstances constraining the sense of control over organizational interventions,” wrote Louis Buffardi, associate professor of psychology; and Kathryn Baughman and Kate Morse, research assistants, who analyzed the survey results.

Indeed, according to the survey, employees attributed their highest source of stress to “university budget concerns.” Other sources of stress included salary, benefits, and personal and family issues. Many employees had individual comments identifying areas of concern in their work life, including workload, institutional procedures, and lack of promotion. Personal finances got a high ranking as a source of stress for adjunct faculty, wage employees, and classified employees; tenure-line faculty indicated that “committee work” was a source of stress in their jobs.

Across the board, most employees indicated they felt fairly safe and secure on campus. Parking problems also seem to have improved in the past three years. Whereas in 2000, 42 percent of employees felt that parking availability was a source of stress, only 34 percent felt it was a source of stress in 2003. The price of parking was also not seen as a significant problem for most employees.

Results of the 2003 Quality of Work Life survey will be posted online in the future.

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