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Creating a Caring Environment

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The results of January’s Pulse Survey are in; what happens next? 

Almost 2,200 colleagues took part in January’s Pulse Survey on the theme of Creating a Caring Environment. 

The survey featured 18 statements about our working environment, taking forward the first of the three themes identified from the 2021 Staff Survey. The other themes are Leading by Example & Building Trust, and Being Fair & Equitable.

Members of staff at the Making a Difference event in September 2022
Members of staff at the Making a Difference event in September 2022

The results, released last month, show a comparison between feedback on the statements that were included in the 2021 Staff Survey, plus one new statement. 

Ten of the 17 statements in the Pulse Survey showed improvement since the 2021 survey, suggesting progress is being made in many areas.

The feedback provided by staff informs activity at a local and institutional level. Significant work is already happening, such as the Workload Project and the Health & Wellbeing Strategy Action Plan. You can also be sure that there will be new actions thanks to your feedback.

Follow-up Actions  

Following the positive reception for last year’s Making a Difference event, further Learning Conversations took place at the end of March.  

The conversations provided opportunities for colleagues to expand on their Pulse Survey responses and further explore the Creating a Caring Environment theme. 

Two sessions ran to accommodate colleagues on differing schedules, with the following UEC members leading the conversation: 

As in September, the conversations were open and addressed key concerns of staff from across the institution.  

  • Sian Broadhurst (Director of the Strategy Delivery Unit)
  • Professor Cathy Cassell (Executive Dean of Durham University Business School)
  • Jeremy Cook (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Colleges and Student Experience).

Members of staff at the Making a Difference event in September 2022
Members of staff at the Making a Difference event in September 2022

What next? 

  • Local activity 

We will be sharing news on local strategic plans and progress in the next weeks and months. This could be how the Working Principles are being implemented in local teams, for example. Keep an eye on our Employee Engagement SharePoint site for updates on ‘how we make a difference’. 

  • Making a Difference 2023

On 14 September, there will be a second Making a Difference at Durham event – now an annual fixture in our calendars. Taking on colleagues’ feedback regarding the inaugural event, we have kept the aspects that worked best, such as having an 8am-9am session for colleagues whose day starts early, holding Learning Conversations with UEC members, and offering an exhibition for browsing and networking. We have also adjusted the programme, creating Inspire and Engage Week – a week-long schedule of information sessions to broaden engagement opportunities – as well as ensuring there is plenty of time on the day to explore the exhibition. Look out for info on how to book your place a little closer to the time.  

  • A second Pulse Survey

Pulse Survey (2) Leading by Example & Building Trust, following up on the next theme from the 2021 Staff Survey, will be open for two weeks from 11 May. You’ll receive an email invitation from Great Places to Work allowing you to take part – it only takes a few minutes and your feedback is valued and utilised.  

Find out more 



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