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HR surveys: a rich year for feedback, time for action!

Our two surveys – of CERN fellows and of CERN staff – received a high response rate. Recordings of the presentation of the results are available

In 2019, various surveys were addressed to members of the CERN personnel in a bid to gather feedback and input on a variety of topics. CERN’s HR department carried out two key surveys of fellows and staff to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, and at the same time gather input for HR’s priorities and the forthcoming five-yearly review. On 2 and 3 December, I presented an overview of the main results of those surveys, following an introduction on the status of key HR projects.

The input from the surveys was rich and interesting, with tangible topics to address. The fellows survey saw a response rate of 74.8% and the results were presented in September. The top five priorities emerging from this questionnaire were: more support for the next career move, enabling fellows to take more control over their time at CERN, increased attention to diversity and inclusion, more support for supervisors, and timely communications on contractual decisions. A number of concrete actions have already been taken to address these, including new dedicated training for supervisors, dedicated monthly induction sessions and CV clinics for fellows.

The Staff survey saw a response rate of 66.6%. The generosity in sharing views, experiences and suggestions was remarkable and warmly welcomed. Some 5000 comments were gathered across all themes! These serve to complement the percentage scores with tangible and useful feedback, to guide and orient HR and Management in how to follow up and what to prioritise.  

Overall, both fellows and staff are highly engaged in the work they do and would recommend CERN to friends and family as a place to work. This can be measured with very high eNPS scores (employee Net Promoter Score) of +54.6 for fellows and +30 for staff, the European benchmark being -8. Among the main reasons for satisfaction with work at CERN are the fact that we are all collaborating and contributing towards a noble mission, we are proud of the work we do and the working environment is appreciated. There is much that can be improved and addressed though, with the contract policy, MERIT, Internal Mobility and promotion criteria being key themes identified as requiring action.

Your voices have been heard, and a third of staff members believe real changes can be made as a result of this survey. Listening to you is not enough. Our aim is to convince the other two-thirds that real changes will happen and make a difference, based on your priorities and extensive feedback.

Together, we make CERN a great place to work. We will keep fellows and staff informed on a regular basis of the progress of the action points identified. In the meantime, you can revisit the results in the presentation on Indico.

James Purvis
Head of the Human Resources Department