Making your voice heard
Three new University-wide communications channels have been launched:
- Weekly Bulletin is sent to all colleagues and associates every Monday afternoon, with specific editions for Exeter and Cornwall produced.
- Rumourbuster lets colleagues anonymously find out the truth behind rumours; more than 350 have been busted, with findings shared online and through Weekly Bulletin.
- Team Brief aims to create a culture of two-way communication, engaging teams in conversations about issues that affect everybody at the University. Key information from VCEG is sent by email to all with encouragement to discuss it in teams and feedback comments and questions. Half-hour drop-in sessions on Streatham, St Luke’s and Penryn campuses let people hear senior management’s view on the brief and comment and question.
Team meetings, both informal and more structured, have increased since the last survey, for example in the Executive Suite in Northcote House, Grounds, Catering, Planning Policy and Business Intelligence and Human Resources. In Education and Student Experience the Director holds open door sessions at varying campus locations to talk with the team directly. The Medical School uses more open forums and drop-in sessions.
In the College of Life and Environmental Sciences in Penryn, a new approach to meetings, introduced as part of Athena SWAN accreditation, ensures all attendees have a voice with comments made through the Chair and all encouraged to speak rather than be talked over. The Business School has introduced a listening slot on some agendas in response to feedback that some meetings were run in 'transmission mode'.
Academic Services (before transformation) used interactive two-hour Padlet sessions so colleagues could anonymously discuss key issues without leaving their desks. Questions and issues were answered in real time by a senior manager, and a summary of key issues taken to the senior management team meetings for further discussion. After transformation the Education and Student Experience team still use Padlet at all staff meetings so people can anonymously ask questions.
Around 200 colleagues have received Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) training from Exeter IT to improve communication between colleagues across teams and campuses as well as external contacts. There are around 1,000 active users a month at present.
The Business School records all staff briefings and makes them available on the intranet.
Senior staff in Colleges and Services have been attending local meetings to hear directly from colleagues and have frank discussions.
In the College of Humanities, Andrew Thorpe attended departmental meetings within 8 months of being made Pro Vice Chancellor.
Phil Atwell in Campus Services has been shadowing colleagues in all areas.
Members of the Executive Team in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies are attending more discipline meetings.
In Penryn, the College of Life and Environmental Sciences have an Early Career Researcher on their executive team to boost the voice of those colleagues, and the Cornwall Campus Senior Management meeting is praised for its honesty and information sharing.