Some great work has taken place across the University since the 2017-18 Pulse survey. Action-planning is continuing and responding to staff feedback is an ongoing process.
Scroll down to find out more about departmental projects and their impacts.
School of Life Sciences
“A theme highlighted within the Pulse action plan for the School of Life Sciences was the need to improve Performance Development Reviews.
To do this, the School have put in place a revised monitoring and reporting process is now in place related to PDR completion. The learning and development aspects are being collated into a departmental learning plan for discussion with the Head of School and Senior Managers.
We now review staff use of support such as coaching, mentoring, and learning and development opportunities through our Exit Interview process to understand how staff have been supported in their development and apply any lessons learnt. The department management team is updated accordingly."
"Staff wellbeing was also identified as an area of improvement for SLS. We have began tackling this by promoting the new central Employee Assistance Programme service within departmental newsletters, the website and via direct HR interactions with staff. We've also promoted support via HR with specific initiatives to promote dignity and respect e.g. establishing team values, provision of bespoke training through the OD team and direct HR support to address and report concerns.
The SLS and WMS Athena SWAN committees held a free beacon event on 13 June 2019 on ‘Raising Awareness on Bullying and Harassment’. Participants shared their views and discussed ways of changing behaviours. Approximately 50 staff and students attended from different departments across the university and from outside. The feedback included: 'Very interesting and thought-provoking' and 'It was excellent with the balanced mix of academia and the organisations that provide the practical help'. Event details can be found here."
Warwick Arts Centre
“One of the Pulse action plan themes selected by the Arts Centre relates to a feeling of belonging, staff security and confidence in management changes.
In order to keep our staff up to date with developments across the University we have continued with our regular newsletter - we also update internally as and when information comes through regarding Learning & Development courses, all-staff meetings, and campus developments.
We've also introduced a new format to our Arts Centre staff meeting, where we spend time discussing departmental updates and actions and then break into small groups discussing how to resolve a particular challenge, before feeding back to the rest of the team. Staff members said they enjoyed this new meeting set-up, as it was 'interesting to understand more about new projects' and 'gave all levels of staff the opportunity to share and contribute to ideas.'"
"We value the input and feedback we receive from the WMG community, so following the 2017-18 Pulse survey we felt that staff should have the opportunity to have their say more often. In February 2019 we trialled a portable feedback console in four of our main buildings and also introduced an online feedback form. We asked staff to make suggestions to improve life at WMG, report a concern or tell us something else. All suggestions and comments were considered by our Welfare and Communications Group, with staff receiving timely responses and updates on progress made. The online feedback tool has been a great success and will continue to be used going forward.
Respect is one of the core values we wish to promote across WMG. While the results of the last Pulse survey indicated that the vast majority of WMG staff have not experienced any issues around dignity and respect, there was a small but significant minority for whom this was not the case. As a result we launched an internal communications campaign which encouraged staff to think about their own behaviours and speak out if they had concerns. We also identified a WMG contact who can be approached informally to discuss any dignity issues, and signposted staff to university support available."
"The 2017-18 Pulse survey showed that Library staff wanted greater support for line managers - as a result, we have introduced a new line manager support network and training programme. The training programme is due to run two to three times a year, with the first cohort in June.
We are encouraging job shadowing, using the Library staff bulletin to spread the word about this. The bulletin is used as our core communication channel, so we have plans to expand its range of content and ensure we're covering as many useful topics as possible. We have also set up a new 'ideas tracker' webpage, which gives our teams chance to suggest any changes they'd like to see implemented. Other colleagues can then vote on the suggestions that they may wish to see taken forward."
Warwick Business School
"In the Pulse staff 2017-18 survey work culture and the social environment within Warwick Business School was identified as an area of focus for improvement.
As a result we have introduced, and built on, a number of wellbeing activities (e.g. meditation, yoga, walking/jogging group, staff teams in local events). Linked to this are a number of Athena SWAN events to raise well-being awareness (e.g. Menopause advice for staff and managers, improving KIT days).
We have also improved and refurbished a number of spaces including the WBS Staff Lounge and a Collegiality Policy is being developed in collaboration with academic and professional support colleagues, launching in January 2020."
"The 2017-18 Pulse survey also signalled that colleagues wanted greater interface between academic and professional services staff. We are encouraging this through our CORE Development Programme aimed at professional support staff, featuring collaboration with academic colleagues. Two cohorts have successfully completed the programme so far and a third are starting in November 2019. Almost 40% of staff who have participated so far have been promoted permanently or by secondment. Achievements are recognised at a summer award ceremony.
Building on this success the new CORE Leadership Programme is set to run for the first time in January 2020, aimed at senior academic and professional support staff."
Warwick Conferences (Sales)
"Warwick Conferences (Sales) sends a weekly 'Friday Focus' email, which includes news, training, interesting information, ED&I information etc. This was created as part of our Pulse action plan to help our staff to feel 'a sense of belonging to the University'. Our weekly newsletter, which is sent to staff throughout our business, also details articles, links and useful news from campus.
We are keen to ensure that all of our staff get to know about university events and updates. Some of our teams don't have regular access to a computer, for example - it's important to us that everyone feels part of the wider Warwick community and is kept informed in a way that works for them."
"Pulse 2017-18 also highlighted that Warwick Conferences (Sales) colleagues were not feeling best supported in their development. We have worked on improving this by: establishing a mentor network; generating a Personal Development training plan, highlighting training opportunities for the Sales team from a review of PDR discussions; and advertising vacancies within the business on our webpage and our weekly newsletter."
"We want to create a real sense of belonging across our teams, as well as an improved level of communication - as a result, we have developed a monthly newsletter, 'Warwick Sport Snapshot', with each team having the opportunity to update on key actions and any new staff. These have been well received by our teams so far and are building a wider understanding of the differing work across Warwick Sport. We have also had a staff vote on a new internal rewards and recognition scheme, which we aim to implement once we are settled in the new hub."
Human Resources (HR)
"HR Wishes was created as a result of the Pulse survey – Human Resources (HR) and Organisational Development (OD) colleagues explained that they’d like to see a focus on social activities, communication, and creating an environment where all ideas were viewed as equal and important. A brand new staff engagement group was launched.
Here are some of what HR Wishes has achieved:
- World Cup sweepstake and predictor competition (and a giant football cake!).
- People Group wellbeing away day in July – BBQ, mindfulness and relaxation tips, outdoor yoga, Warwick Sport classes. View our summary of the day.
- HR Welly Walk to celebrate #OneBigThing and get active on campus.
- Harvest buffet and food donation drive – thanks to our team, we took seven large boxes of donations to our local food bank.
- Christmas craft fair and lunch, with a focus on thanking our team and celebrating our talents and hard work.
- Chinese New Year celebration.
- Comic Relief cake sale, sweepstake and dress-down day.
- Ongoing: Answers and solutions to suggestions on a range of topics, from HR’s office environment to staff mental health training; weekly in-person 'HR Huddle'.
If you’d like to find out more about any of the events we’ve hosted, please get in touch."
Strategic Planning and Analytics
"Through the Pulse Staff Survey 2017-2018, the colleagues in Strategic Planning and Analytics conveyed how that wanted the team to develop clear objectives and identify interesting and challenging roles for all to contribute to.
To implement this the team capture team deliverables/objectives within a yearly Team Workplan, with progress against these monitored throughout the year. These are discussed using the SWOT framework at monthly team meetings and new work opportunities are identified. Individuals within the team now also develop personal objectives for the year and these are discussed with line managers in PDRs."
"In the 2017-18 Pulse survey, our staff told us that they still face issues around collegiality and respect. One of the ways we have tried to tackle this is to emphasise collegiality as a core value in the department - we have introduced a new 'collegiality' component to all of our job advertisements, job specifications and interviews for staff at all levels and in all roles in order to send the message both externally and internally that collegiality and teamwork is a requirement for our department.
We have included this component in several appointments thus far, and we will evaluate other ways in which we can continue to foster a more friendly, respectful and cooperative working environment.”
Wellbeing Support Services (WSS)
"In the 2017-18 Pulse survey our staff told us they wanted to see a focus on improved internal communication. The new Director for Wellbeing and Safeguarding, Dr Hannah Friend, made it a priority in her first few weeks to meet with everyone in the team. Hannah has continued to encourage two-way communication with the team with an ‘open door policy’.
Aside from this, we now produce a monthly newsletter to the team, updating on information such as recruitment, staff projects, etc. We have also started using one of our office spaces as a place for the team to eat their lunch - this has helped encourage more socialising.
We have moved to Senate House this which we hope will help improve our communication even more as we will be co-located."
Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL)
"The Pulse 2017-18 staff survey highlighted that the IATL team wanted greater training opportunities and the ability to progress within their career.
As a result, the ITAL department has worked with members of the team to encourage the successful acquisition and advance of skills by encouraging attendance at training sessions in regular meetings with line managers. The ITAL department has also worked with team members to explore career progression opportunities in PDR conversations.
This has led to a number of staff members achieving additional qualifications, upgrades and secondment opportunities.
IATL is a small team with full-time members of staff, 7 part-time members of staff and currently 2 temporary members of staff.
Since the last Pulse Survey, members of the team have undertaking the following training and career progression activities.
- 3 members of the team have received PRINCE2 Foundation level training and are proceeding to Practitioner Level training.
- 2 members of the team received 2 days of intensive social media training from an external expert.
- 1 member of the team is due to attend a week’s course in London on developing further Office Management skills.
- Many members of the team have taken the opportunity to undertake IT Training and attend WIHEA workshops.
- 5 members of the team are WIHEA Fellows.
- 1 member of the team was encouraged to do the AUA PG Cert in Higher Education Administration and successfully gained a promotion within the University.
- 2 members of the team have been promoted to Senior Teaching Fellows. 1 member of the team was promoted to Professor.
- 2 members of the team have been seconded (one internally and one externally), one of whom gained a new position and a promotion.
- The senior management team of the department have worked hard to ensure that career progression opportunities are discussed with part-time members of staff."
"In the 2017-18 Pulse survey, staff within our team told us that they wanted the chance to explore further development options to support them with their personal growth or career path. As a result, each team member can now dedicate one hour a month to these key areas. If finding a whole hour is difficult to achieve, this could be split into separate 15-minute sessions each week. We also have a dedicated 15-minute discussion once a month between staff and their line manager to ensure they are supported as necessary."
"As Administrative Assistants we all have busy schedules and large workloads, so it is all too easy to neglect our personal development. By protecting an hour a month and adding on 15 minutes to each of our monthly catch-up meetings, we have the chance to dedicate some time to our PDRs - thus focusing on something other than our day-to-day tasks. For me personally, it has given me the chance to consider how I can incorporate my interest in mental health into my role."
"The Pulse 2017-18 survey highlighted that, for the Mathematics Department, colleagues did not feel that the PDR process assists with longer term career development.
Consequently, we have provided departmental feedback on the wider PDR process to aid improvement. We have also encouraged increased engagement with the PDR process. Furthermore, training and mentoring opportunities have been promoted and participation has been encouraged."
"2017-18 featured a number of significant changes to senior leadership and approaches in the Engagement Group. This was reflected in the 2017-18 Pulse survey results, with colleagues affected by changes expressing anxiety and uncertainty. Before the Pulse survey was launched, the department had already created a framework of internal characteristics as well as identifying our key strengths and how they bring teams in our department together. Tying the Pulse actions and the characteristics framework together will enable us to articulate strategy and support departmental and team planning, sharing updates more regularly and widely across the department. We have set up a monthly coffee morning where the department comes together for a network over a cuppa and a biscuit, followed by presentations and discussions around key strategy development and changes or celebration of successes.
Our group is made up of professionals with specialist knowledge in various areas and we are often working as a collaborative; to link individual goals to our strategy and characteristic framework, we will pilot strategic PDR goals to support our staff with their development which we hope will also encourage staff to take a refreshed approach to the PDR and regard this as a useful career development tool."
Warwick Conference Centres - Radcliffe, Scarman and Arden
"You fed back to us through the Pulse Staff Survey 2017-18 that you wanted to feel a greater sense of belonging to the University. We listened and as a result we now hold Director's Briefings each year and share the University Strategy with the team. We also have Open Staff Meetings and Drop-In Sessions to enable staff to ask questions of Senior Managers. We also encourage team members ot use the intranet more and for those that do not have regular access to a PC as part of their job we have created a noticeboard. This is populated with Inbox Insite updates, ED&I information and general activities going on around campus like Market Day."
"The Warwick Conferences Team at Radcliffe, Scarman and Arden also emphasised within the Pulse Survey 2017-18 that they wanted greater career development and porgression opportunities. As a result PDR/Job chats are now held and we have created a learning and development plan for the team, which has been shared with Organisational Development. Bespoke training sessions have been organised and training hours are monitored monthly and publicised to the team."