In 2018 the Staff Survey was used primarily to gather the information we needed to submit Athena SWAN applications, but we also heard from a wide section of our community about how we feel about working at Heriot-Watt.

Since that time we have been working across the university to address the points raised in the survey and to better understand why we got the result we did. In addition to the ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions the Principal has been holding, we have conducted a communications audit, held several focus groups, and Schools and Directorates have had local feedback meetings. In addition, we have set up working groups on specific topics and a new ‘Staff Voice’ working group to coordinate how and when we formally ask our colleagues for their views. All of these activities have been about listening to colleagues and working together to develop our university.

To keep you up to date with actions in train as a result of the survey, we will be hosting events and posting a series of articles in the Staff newsletter and myHWU Staff Portal in the coming weeks. These include meetings in Schools and Directorates, information on changes to academic promotions to increase the transparency of the process, revised maternity leave options, updates from the Working Group on Academic Workload led by Professor Scott Arthur and the Working Group on Day to Day Management, which is also reviewing PDR, led by Richard Claughton, Global Director of HR. We will be launching the Strategy 2025 Flourishing Communities Implementation plan, Values Workshops to help embed our revised values, and Professional Services Career Development Workshops, as well as the annual Academic Promotions roadshow around the Schools and campuses.  

One of the marks of a Flourishing Community is how we support and value each other. We had a tremendous response to the values champions nominations and we will be asking you to continue to nominate your colleagues who are living our values for awards and holding more Values Champions Celebration events in all our campuses before the end of the year.

There’s a lot happening as a result of the findings from Survey 2018 and we have now appointed an external contractor, BMG Research, to run the Staff Survey 2019 in November. This will become an annual fixture in the calendar with formal staff surveys running every year followed by actions plans to address issues and share good practice.

We all want our university to be a great place to study and work, we will do this by shaping our university together.

Professor Gillian Hogg
Deputy Principal (Staff Development and Engagement)