Great leadership will have a positive impact on the levels of engagement for all colleagues.

Leadership development has been highlighted in the new Education, Research and Impact, and Global Strategies, as key to the success of the University.  The 2018 Employee Engagement Survey highlights several areas where it is necessary to emphasise the role and status of leadership across the University; as a result Leadership Development is one of the four key University Positive Working Environment actions.  Key areas include, leading and supporting people through change, performance development, managing wellbeing and stress and inclusive leadership.  Leadership expertise runs throughout our role profiles as set out in The Exeter Academic, and is a key skill upon which promotion decisions are based. In addition our team of senior leaders, VCEG, have discussed the feedback about their group and are increasing department visits and meetings, holding termly Provost & Registrar joint talks for all colleagues, and monthly VCEG drop-in Question Time sessions. 

  • Gives the Heads of Departments (HoDs) a regular opportunity to meet with the Provost and share the latest information from VCEG and the external environment. 
  • Focuses on a particular leadership topic via a keynote specialist leadership speaker
  • Builds and develops the HoD network, encouraging peer learning and collaboration through active learning sets.
  • Provides an opportunity to consult HoDs on wider issues that may be pertinent such as Positive Working Environment, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity or communications.
  • Builds the academic leadership ‘community’, signposts support and development opportunities.

This development opportunity is aimed at current academic leaders (Assistant Directors, Directors and HoDs as well as aspiring leaders and deputies. 15 colleagues are taking part, with representatives from each College. A detailed personal leadership profile will be created from 360 feedback to identify each participant’s particular strengths and areas for development. There is an intensive one day leadership skills development workshop and access to the complete range of development opportunities, including all Leadership Landscape activities.

The complete set of all leadership development opportunities have been bought together in one interactive leadership development map.  Opportunities are set out across eight levels from ‘aspiring’ to ‘senior leader’, linking to external accreditation.  The Leadership Landscape enables easier access to relevant information, and a sense of how this can support career development.

The Landscape include programmes accredited by the ILM and CMI. The CMI programmes are long-term and feature Degree and Postgraduate level qualifications including our Exeter MBA. 35 colleagues have taken part so far. 

We are seeking ways to develop managers to improve their coaching skills.  We believe that developing a coaching style of communication will play an important role in developing people and support employees to be the best they can be.  We have partnered with Notion Business Coaching to deliver their STAR® Coach programme and offer 10 places, each year, to individuals across colleges and professional services.

We are looking to develop a 45-minute online training toolkit for leadership and management that includes values, leadership attributes, EDI, Stress management, Exeter specific support services. It would be compulsory for anyone with people management responsibility. This would link to bespoke pages within the leadership landscape. 

The Exeter Leader: Building on our current Leadership Landscape we will further develop a comprehensive leadership development offer:  a ‘one stop shop’ of all leadership development activity, support and information for leaders across the University.  This will be complemented by the creation of The Exeter Professional which will capture and curate all development for Professional Services.

We’re working to outline and summarise Leadership Attributes/Behaviours: these will map to our development programmes and provide a resource for use in (for example) job descriptions, recruitment and needs analyses.

Colleagues who are steering this action include:

  • Prof IlkeInceoglu, Professor of HR and Organisational Behaviour. 
  • Lorna Barnes, Research and Impact Strategy Manager 
  • Prof Sue Prince, Professor of Law 
  • Prof Richard Smith, Deputy Dean, College of Medicine and Health 
  • Dr Clive Betts, Head of People Development  
  • Holly Hellier, Senior HR Business Partner 
  • Christian Carter, Head of Organisational Development  
  • Shades Chaudhary, Communications and Engagement Officer 
  • Holly Ricketts, Business Manager to Director of Human Resources
  • Abigail Dixon, Communications Manager 

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