The Values Project
This departmental wide project looked at the culture of how we work and behave. Part of the premise for the project is that the values we hold influence what we do, and that getting clarity about our values will help us be clearer about what we expect of ourselves and each other in this Department.
To help us discover and define our values, we worked with Rachel Holmes, an organisational development consultant. Everyone in the department was invited to contribute to defining our values and it is everyone's responsibility to embrace and enact our values in the department. The actions below came out of the workshops and will keep us accountable to embedding our values.
The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences is focussed on excellence and relevance, in our work, our people and the public we serve and being a sustainable and transparent organisation.
We will do this by being:
Individual: Involve people from different disciplines, groups and grades to ensure diversity of views and working styles. Challenge oneself to look beyond those you would usually turn to.
Line managers: Facilitate participation in department activities, include in job description.
Senior Academic Committee: Seek out and facilitate opportunities to hold cross-departmental events/collaborations
People and Culture: Reward outreach and collaboration, provide training for line managers and include expectation in PDRs and progression pathways.
Individual: Set high goals and reflect on these regularly through formats such as Personal Development Reviews.
Line Managers: Recognise that success means different things to different people.
Senior Academic Committee: Share a clear departmental vision and statement of mission / purpose, with appropriate metrics. Report regularly on delivery.
People and Culture: Reward recognises different types of contribution and success. Open conversations held to discuss what constitutes success and effective contribution and communicate proposed changes to strategy, policies and procedures.
Individual: Everyone regardless of seniority is encouraged to share their ideas and new ways of doing things
Line Managers: Cultivate trust in teams to encourage ideas, challenges and contributions
Senior Academic Committee: Cross-departmental events held which allow space for collaboration through creative facilitation to explore current hot topics
Respectful & Kind
Individuals: Choose kindness in your interactions and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Line Managers: Support conversations about unacceptable behaviour, develop individual coaching techniques, and awareness of different working styles.
Senior Academic Committee: Regularly discuss behavioural expectations. Highlight examples of good practice
People and Culture: Appropriate behaviour to be part of the criteria for promotion, at all levels. This will be seen in processes, policies, reward and training
Individuals: Challenge ourselves to ensure that work allocation is fair and reasonable, that there is equality of access to opportunities and explain rationale for our decisions at the time they are announced
Senior Academic Committee: regularly review the value of fairness relation to practice and policies to ensure that there isn’t one rule for them and another for the rest of staff - report back!
People and Culture: Make fairness explicit in policies; Recognise volunteered time given by many staff, by including this formally within job descriptions; Recognise the (often hidden) contribution made by Professional Service staff to research achievements
Trusting & Accountable
Individuals: Follow through on promises and actions. Own our mistakes and say sorry when something goes wrong, and explain what is happening to put it right; Create a sense of shared ownership of projects.
Line managers: Be seen to hold to policies, procedures and promises; Offer opportunities to come forward with concerns and act promptly on these.
Senior Academic Committee: Senior leaders are transparent in their decision-making and held accountable. They address concerns raised and ensure there are consequences when the values are not adhered to.
The champions workshop on values
The workshops and surveys generated two sets of data. The first was the list of values (typically single words) that participants identified as important. We refer to this set as the values data and is available for everyone to review here. The second was a more nuanced set of responses to questions about what the department was known for, what people liked about working here, and the converse, what were the features they disliked, and what did not work well. We refer to this as ‘working here’ data.
The champions met in late June 2022 and reviewed the values data. To read more about the methodology and champions outputs, click here.
The ‘working here’ data
During the Values Workshops a number of questions were asked to help guide discussions on department values. These gathered information about what is working well and less well in the department, and what changes could be made to improve departmental culture. As well as using these responses to reach and describe the values, we have also used them as feedback. A summary of issues raised as well as action that has and will be taken in response can be viewed here.