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Our Culture Conversations

Our Culture Conversations

Our people are at our core, and in line with Strategy 2030 and our University Values, we want to support all colleagues to thrive, be fulfilled, and reach their potential.

Our Culture Conversations are regular short surveys that ask you to provide feedback on a range of topics, including how you feel about working at the University and your experiences in your role. This is part of an on-going listening exercise across all campuses so that our senior leaders and managers keep informed about your shared experiences and can use this feedback to shape actions plans for enhancing wellbeing, inclusion and culture across our community.

Our conversations are a significant change from the previous colleague survey which took place every two years. These conversations are shorter surveys which take place more frequently (every term) to gain views on a wide range of topics. This format will help us to understand your views right now and will be more effective in improving our policy development and decision-making.

Our last conversation took place in May 2024 and questions within this survey focussed on those asked in May 2023 to allow an annual comparison.

The results from this survey will be shared in the coming weeks and will be reviewed by our Faculty and Professional Services Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committees (WICCs). Areas of focus will then be considered alongside priority actions from previous conversations and progress in these areas will be reported to our University Executive Board and University WICC.

‌View a summary of the University-level results and actions taken from May 2023 below:

Our Culture Conversations - actions from May 2023

The surveys to support Our Culture Conversations use a technology platform that converts your confidential feedback from surveys into insightful information that leaders can put to work, to create more responsive, fulfilling, and productive places to work. It enables you to instantly and confidentially share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas with our leaders and managers.

Colleagues will receive an email three times a year from the Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committee with a survey link from an external company, Peakon, who run these surveys (our culture conversations) on our behalf to ensure complete confidentiality.

For Term One and Two, our conversations will be shorter and questions will focus on areas of colleague experience and key current themes. For Term Three, our conversation will repeat a fixed set of approximately 20 questions grouped into four areas: engagement, equality, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing, and change and transformation. The results from this more in-depth conversation will allow an annual comparison of the results.

The results from each survey will generate key areas for heads of departments, and Faculty and PS WICCs to work on to create maximum impact for your colleagues. Action plans can then be reviewed in light of these new results to reaffirm or change priorities.

Your participation in these conversations will provide us with an insight into what it’s like to work here, so we can understand where we need to make improvements to enhance your experience.

The results from these surveys are collated in real-time and are available for heads of department to review. Colleagues can view their own scores via their personal dashboard, including how these compare to their team and the University results. You can access your dashboard by entering your University login details on the Peakon website

In order to protect anonymity, reports are only produced for teams of seven or more. Heads of department, assistant directors and senior leaders will be able to view University-level results as well as their own faculty, division and department results.

Recommended actions from these results will be presented to the Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committees at a University, faculty and professional service level. These groups will review the results and will work with leaders and managers across the institution to facilitate conversations and develop action plans that respond to the key feedback received.

These results will help us to measure, understand and improve the way we work and make investments that matter. These regular surveys will also inform how we prioritise and deliver our wellbeing, inclusion and culture activities.

Here's a few quick tips for managers to help focus your results actions:

  • Set aside 30 uninterrupted minutes. That's all it will take to develop a working knowledge. Alternatively, you can email the WICC team for further support. 
  • Try not to interrogate the methodology too much. The tool has been developed by experts with a thorough understanding of what motivates people in the workplace.
  • Focus on just one or two actions. Whilst the analysis is very interesting, if time is short, concentrate on just one or two key actions first that resonate with you, your team, and the challanges you face right now.
  • Let the tool do the work. The tool will highlight the key areas you could work to achieve maximum impact for your team. The great thing is you don’t need to spend time searching for how to address these. The tool will directly offer you a range a practical tips to put into place now, linked to team feedback, that will make a real difference.
  • Don’t over burden yourself. Pick one or two actions, implement them and then you can revisit the data to ascertain change as part of our next conversation. The same overarching areas of importance will be tracked via the question set so you can see if your interventions may have made a difference.
  • Keep a record. Use the action planning tool to record and set dates to review your plans; it's super quick to use.
  • Let your teams know what you are proposing to concentrate on as a result of their feedback (not least so they know you take their views seriously). Again, the tool has a feature to be able to simply communicate your priorities and plans direct to your team.