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The WPA reports are available – local follow-up will begin

The results of the 2019 WPA confirm that in general, the university’s employees are satisfied with their jobs. The individual units will now begin holding dialogue meetings to interpret the results and discuss what concrete actions might be necessary to take at the local level.

Aarhus University recently had a survey of the university’s psychological work environment carried out. The reports presenting the results of the survey are now available on the WPA website. Employees’ responses reveal general satisfaction with working at the university.

“The survey shows clearly that Aarhus University is a workplace where overall satisfaction is high, and where employees feel that they receive help and support from their units. Employees are thriving at work, and they have high levels of engagement and motivation. In addition, many find that their work is meaningful, and that they have the necessary competencies to perform their work well. This is good news,” Rector Bech Nielsen states.

At the same time, he stresses, there are areas that need improvement. The follow-up process will now take place locally in order to focus efforts where they are needed. Examples of issues that may need work are communication, stress and management.

Video: Listen to Rector Brian Bech Nielsen speak about his reactions to WPA 2019 

Read the WPA reports here

Additional work needed in some areas

The response rate was 71 per cent, and the results provide an accurate representation of how employees view their work environment. The WPA is a good tool for revealing what aspects of the work environment are well-functioning and what concrete problems need to be addressed.

“Let me start with how we communicate with each other. The WPA reveals that some of our colleagues are still experiencing bullying or verbal abuse – this is unacceptable, and as managers, we have a responsibility to address these problems. It’s important that we have a culture at the university that’s healthy for all of us and where we treat each other with respect,” Rector Bech Nielsen says.

The WPA also reveals that there are still a significant number of employees who experience unacceptable levels of stress.

“I know that a lot of work has been done at the local level to reduce stress levels. But we still have a big job in front of us in terms of preventing and reducing stress,” the rector says, adding that we also need to focus on improving day-to-day management.

“The WPA indicates that it would be a good idea to work on supporting and strengthening day-to-day management, for example in connection with communicating overall strategies, goals and frameworks.”

Follow-up through local dialogue meetings and concrete initiatives

On the background of the WPA reports, the follow-up process will now begin – for the physical as well as the psychological work environment.

“It’s important that we find concrete solutions to the local problems people are experiencing. And the dialogue meetings that will be held in the various units are one of the ways in which this will take place. At these meetings, employees and managers can discuss the results and together make proposals for improving the local work environment, as well as for maintaining what does work well,” the rector says, and stresses that this process is ongoing:

“We perform a WPA every three years, but the work of creating a good, healthy work environment is something that’s taking place all the time, and something we all contribute to.”


  • The survey was performed by Rambøll Management Consulting.
  • The purpose of WPA 2019 was to measure employee well-being at AU.
  • The report contains results related to both the physical and the psychological work environment, and is a tool for identifying potential areas in which cross-university or local action is necessary in order to improve and/or maintain a good work environment.
  • 5,836 employees responded to the survey, which corresponds to a response rate of 71 per cent.

Additional information