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How you can help to create a better workplace

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Our people are our greatest asset, and your voice matters. Your feedback from the 2021 Staff Survey has led to important and impactful changes to the way we work.

As we look ahead to our 2024 Staff Survey, in this Dialogue article we reflect on actions we have taken over the last three years – across the University and within faculties, departments and colleges.  

We share good examples of where these actions are making a difference.

Our next Staff Survey launches in February 2024. Your participation is essential so we can hear from you what's working - and where we might do even better still.

2023 Making a Difference Event - group discussion
2023 Making a Difference Event - group discussion

Core areas of action

Following the results of our 2021 Staff Survey, we have been focusing on three core areas of action. These are:

  • Creating a Caring Environment
  • Being Fair and Equitable
  • Leading by Example and Building Trust

Our faculties, departments and colleges have also been working on their own activities, focusing on key areas to take forward.

2023 Making a Difference Event
2023 Making a Difference Event

How we have responded

We have been responding to your feedback in several ways. A brief overview can be found below and the full details can be found on the Staff Survey SharePoint page.

Creating a Caring Environment

  • Developing our health and wellbeing support for staff.
  • Addressing workload concerns and establishing the workload project.

Being Fair and Equitable

  • Engaging our staff and students in the creation of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategic Framework.
  • Earning the prestigious Race Equality Charter Bronze Award.
  • Introducing a workplace passport and a comprehensive resource hub.

Leading by Example and Building Trust

  • Refreshing the University Strategy 2017-2027 and developing a new Purpose and Core Lived Values through consultation with staff.
  • Continually engaging with staff to ensure we provide a positive working environment, including the launch of an annual staff conference - the Making a Difference at Durham event.
  • Developing the DU Professional, a range of opportunities to support the development of Professional Service (PS) colleagues, which is set to launch this month.
  • Launching the annual Professional Services Awards.
  • Introducing the Durham Centre for Academic Development's (DCAD) new Teaching and Learning Awards (a collaboration between DCAD and Durham Students' Union).

2023 Making a Difference Event - group session
2023 Making a Difference Event - group session

Making a difference locally

Teams and departments across the Durham community are making a difference locally too. Examples include:

  • How CIS is Making a Difference – James Crooks CIS.
  • How Arts and Humanities are addressing duplication of work and effort to support staff workload and work/life balance.
  • The Estates and Facilities department address the need for better work/life balance.
  • Van Mildert College sets out three important aims to support staff in delivering better quality services.
  • HR-OD have made simple changes to scheduling to provide breathing space between meetings.

Find out more on our SharePoint site

So, what’s next?

Our latest Staff Survey will be launching in February 2024. Working with external provider, People Insight, we would welcome your views and encourage you to complete the survey. Your feedback is essential in shaping our workplace, and we are committed to listening to your thoughts and concerns to help make our workplace a better environment for all.

There will be further communication about the survey over the coming weeks. Please do look out for it and ‘Have your say: make a difference.’ For further information visit Staff Survey.



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