Involvement in decision making

We want to increase the opportunity for all colleagues to contribute to decision making.

Actions underway

1. Close the feedback loop

There is an aim among live consultation projects to ensure this is done.  The Professional Services Improvements project includes the publishing of an extensive tracker of feedback gained through the project and what’s happening: read it on the PS improvements webpages

We are keen that the Positive Working Environment process is also transparent.  After the engagement survey, in order to help draw up our action plans, 8 focus groups were held on three campuses engaging more than 125 colleagues in March 2019. To close the feedback loop after these all focus group participants were invited back for a catch up meeting and listening session in October 2019.  

2. Develop a set of Consultation and Communication Principles

We’re aiming to learn lessons from a range of examples of consultation that have been carried out at the University.  We’re producing summaries that look at background and timescales of consultation, number of colleagues involved, what went well or not and recommendations.  We’ll use these to draw up some recommendations for future good practice.

3. How can you feed into University Decision Making?

We’ve produced a preliminary Voice Map, setting out the key decision making points in the university. Given this complexities of our organisation this has yielded a complicated document that we are working on to make it as user-friendly as possible. 

The HR Policy Consultation Group has been set up.  This is a forum of senior academic and Professional Services managers to input to the development of new and revised HR policies, procedures and guidance, ensuring that these support our sovereign strategies and university values.

4. Quick web surveys

We’ll be bringing back brief web based Pulse Checks in terms two and three 2019-20.  We’re currently finalising topics.  We’ll use them to see how colleagues feel about those areas that the survey said are most important to our engagement, and also to test awareness about new initiatives. 

5. College Executive Groups

We’re aiming to improve communication to and from CEG meetings with academic staff.

After discussion with colleagues, we offer the following simple recommendations to encourage the clear communication to departments of the business and decisions of College Executive Groups and the Senior Management Group (SMG):

  • HoDs should provide in-person briefings to Department Strategy Groups [DSGs] and Departmental Meetings and, where necessary, brief email bulletins to all colleagues. This facilitates a greater awareness and understanding of decisions pertaining to all areas of local activity in education and research.
  • When HoDs summarise key CEG and SMG business for Department Strategy Groups it helps departmental colleagues keep up-to-date via DSG minutes, should they so wish.
  • HoDs might also consider ‘surgery’ hours to field questions from colleagues.


The steering group includes:

  • Dr Matt Owens Solari, Lecturer in Psychology 
  • Prof Adam Watt, Head of Modern Languages 
  • Imelda Rogers, Director of People Services 
  • Shades Chaudhary, Communications and Engagement Officer 
  • Holly Ricketts, Business Manager to Director of People Services 
  • Dr Sharon Strawbridge, UCU Representative 
  • Lynn Stoyle, HR Business Partner 
  • Kirsty Golden, Associate HR Business Partner 
  • Sophie Cowie, Workload Planning Administrator, PPBI 
  • Abigail Dixon, Communications Manager 
  • Professor Jonathan Barry, College of Humanities 

Christian Carter, Head of Organisational Development, is the lead contact for Positive Working Environment.