You said...we did...

Responses following the 2016 staff survey

At University level

Understanding the bigger picture

You said: "I would like to better understand the University’s vision, be able to find information about important decisions and receive open and honest communications from leadership."

We did: "We’ve improved communications from senior leaders about areas of strategic importance."

  • Improved web pages for the University Executive Board (UEB) with people profiles, contact details and meeting agendas.
  • Members of UEB have held a number of open-door sessions, open to all staff and on any topic.
  • You can now find key University strategies in one central place on our Strategy and Executive Leadership web page.
  • Dedicated panels for core business and for celebrating achievement on the staff home page.
  • The latest information about strategic priorities direct from our senior leaders via the new staff update.

screen shot of staff update

sustainble campus graphic

Your voice heard

You said: "I would like University leadership to be aware of the major issues we face in my department."

We did: "Professor Gill Valentine, Acting President and Vice-Chancellor, has over the past year visited every faculty forum to discuss key University activities."

You said: "I want more opportunities to contribute to the direction of the University and to see leadership listening and responding to my views."

We did: "We’ve run sessions on a variety of topics where you have given your feedback and shared your views, and are continuing to involve you in new projects."

  • 290 people attended the faculty reflection sessions to share their thoughts on the contribution of the faculties to research, teaching and learning. A number of follow up projects are now in place, including a new budget allocation process and a review of research institutes and centres. 
  • Thanks to the involvement of many staff and students, we have launched our very first sustainability strategy. Over the next year there will be even more opportunities to get involved.

Reasons to feel proud

You said: "I am proud to work for the University."

We did: "We continue to share and celebrate your achievements."

  • A Part of Sheffield, sharing and celebrating the stories of non-UK EU staff who have made a life and a home in Sheffield.
  • Wall of BAME, working with the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network and Students' Union to share stories of staff, students and alumni from BAME backgrounds, and to celebrate their achievements.
  • Talent Showcase, celebrating the hidden talents of colleagues to raise funds for Sheffield Scanner.
  • The rainbow lanyard campaign this summer was shortlisted for a prestigious Guardian university award. You shared your stories across social media about why you are proud to wear the lanyard and support LGBT+ staff and students. We arranged for rainbow visuals to appear across campus on posters, flags and coffee cups to share the message that our University is committed to working towards LGBT+ inclusion.

rainbow lanyard

In faculties and departments

There has been a lot of activity in faculties and departments as a result of your staff survey feedback. Thank you for sharing what’s been happening. We received lots of great examples. We can’t include them all here, but here are just some of the activities that you shared with us.

Examples accurate at time of submission. If you want to change or share anything from your area, email:

At the AMRC you established monthly senior leadership team meetings to consider recruitment and training and development cases.

In Archaeology you have separated staff research support meetings from discussion of impact case studies, allowing better focus on individual research support.

In Automatic Control and Systems Engineering you held focus groups to understand why 35 per cent of research staff said that they did not feel their SRDS was useful to them. The SRDS process now includes more tailored training for research staff and reviewers.

In the Academic Unit of Medical Education business meetings for the whole department have been revamped to allow each area to update others on their current workload, research and events.

In Human Communication Sciences you have continued to build on a positive culture of reward and recognition and since 2016 several academics have successfully led on their own teaching initiatives, winning competitive bids to fund further innovations to taught programmes in development.

In Science a faculty newsletter, an improved intranet linked to MUSE and a streamlined information flow using Google Drive are making it easier for you to access information and be better informed about faculty and strategic updates.

In East Asian Studies you have invested in a staff social space and devised a set of expectations in relation to email etiquette, agreed by both staff and the student body through the student-staff committee.

In Economics you were involved in writing new strategies for learning and teaching and research at a staff away day. People suggested aims and actions and the final action plans were based on all staff input.

In Geography you started a Future's Forum to give people an opportunity to discuss changes in the department as well as potential solutions and new initiatives.

In Urban Studies and Planning your head of department started meeting with all-staff to discuss workload in advance of allocations being made, providing colleagues with an opportunity to influence their own workloads and raise any concerns.

In Global Engagement you set out to improve the SRDS process and significant improvements have been seen in relation to ownership of objectives.

In Estates & Facilities Management you started a development programme to identify and develop talent amongst first line managers and people who aspire to be managers or supervisors.