Employee Engagement Survey action plan published

Details of the University’s institutional-level action plan in response to the Employee Engagement Survey have been published.

Employee Engagement Survey action plan published. December 2023

When we launched our Employee Engagement Survey earlier this year, we encouraged you to tell us what matters most to you, what’s working and what’s not. 

Colleagues across the University responded in record numbers to the survey, sharing their views and experiences on working at Leeds across themes such as health, safety and wellbeing; ways of working; leadership; equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and more.

The survey results, which we shared in May, showed us the areas we can be proud of as a community, as well as offering clear insights about where we need to make improvements. The University has now published an institutional-level action plan to address the issues raised by colleagues in the survey. The plan places a clear focus on establishing more constructive interaction across our staff community. 

The insights and feedback we have received, along with a detailed analysis of more than 30,000 comments provided by colleagues in response to the survey, have been instrumental in the creation of our institutional action plan. This plan sits alongside the action plans developed within schools and services in response to specific feedback for those areas.

Through discussion with Heads of Schools and Heads of Professional Services, staff networks, focus groups and trade unions, a set of institution-wide actions have been developed to respond to the lowest-scoring survey themes for issues of increasing executive leadership visibility, expanding opportunities for colleagues to connect with the University Executive Group (UEG), empowering senior leadership, and listening and acting.

Within the survey and the free text comments, colleagues spoke confidently about a strong sense of belonging within individual teams, but more than 15% of comments referenced that our current University structures don’t provide the basis for our leaders to be visible or nurture a culture that encourages colleagues to feel valued and empowered. And 10% emphasised a need to establish new and better ways of engaging in meaningful dialogue that brings about positive change for all staff through two-way communication.  

Our institutional action plan therefore focuses on the following four themes:

  • Increasing executive leadership visibility – Work will take place throughout 2024 to increase the visibility of the Vice-Chancellor and members of UEG, as well as creating opportunities to listen to colleagues and invite feedback. A new series of VC/UEG staff fora will be held for every faculty and professional service area, where colleagues can ask questions and raise issues with senior leaders. 
  • Expanding opportunities for colleagues to connect with UEG – Senior leaders will spend more time in different parts of the University, shadowing colleagues or performing frontline roles, to gain fresh perspectives from our community and discuss how we should jointly deliver the University’s vision and strategy.
  • Empowering senior leadership – Groups such as the Leadership Forum, the new Academic Consultation Forum and fora involving Deans of Faculty, Heads of School, Pro-Deans, academic Deans, Heads of Professional Services and research group leads are being improved to provide more two-way dialogue and enhanced leadership distribution across the organisation.
  • Listening and acting – We will continue to explore and develop new ways to ensure we’re able to listen to feedback from our community. We will measure, monitor and share progress.

Other institutional-level actions have been integrated into the University’s Research Culture strategy, our EDI Implementation Plan and our forthcoming Health and Wellbeing strategy.

Next steps

As well as progressing the prioritised University actions above, all of our faculties, schools and professional services directorates across the University have now formulated plans for each of their areas, which capture two or three specific, measurable priorities to address local issues highlighted in the survey. Work to progress actions is already underway in more than half of the local areas, with the remaining in plan for January 2024. We hope to share each of these action plans on our Employee Engagement Survey hub before the festive break.

Please contact StaffEngagement@leeds.ac.uk for further information about the Employee Engagement Survey and the University’s response.

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