A note from our Provost

"Our values both underpin and reflect our behaviour and are therefore critical in defining and shaping our working environment. We want to ensure that we use our College Values to help us create an Imperial that is a vibrant community where everyone can really give of their best and feel valued and supported in doing so." ‌Image of Provost

Developing College values

Through multiple channels, including the Staff Survey, you have told us that people’s experience of College can vary across campuses, faculties and teams – and not all have a consistently positive experience, or work in an environment which supports the delivery of your best work.

The College has committed both in Strategy and under the leadership of Provost’s Board to seek to improve our working culture and help build a positive and enabling environment for all. In support of this goal, our Provost has sponsored the development of a suite of core College values and behaviours that will guide our behaviour as a community.

By defining and embedding College values we can both explain what is expected of us all, be that colleague, manager or leader, and recognize and reward these behaviours but also have a framework to actively address poor behaviour.

Imperial Expectations

How will values fit with Imperial Expectations?

The values and behaviours build on Imperial Expectations and integrates them with the behaviour descriptions. The specific values and behaviours for both leaders and colleagues are important to creating a positive working environment and culture at Imperial.

Aligning with the Working Together Task Group

The Working Together Task Group (WTTG) will identify barriers and practical solutions to an improved working environment through a listening exercise across our community. It will draw on feedback already received as part of the College values work and will input into the draft College values and behaviours framework. 

Find out more about the values project...

What we hope to achieve

  • Create clarity and consistency about what is expected of us all
  • Raise awareness of what it means to be a positive member of the College community
  • Set priorities for those leadership behaviours that are important to and valued by our staff
  • Grow a culture where positive behaviours are recognised and rewarded and poor behaviours are addressed
  • Provide a platform from which to continuously improve our working practices and culture

What’s happened so far?

  • Autumn 2018 - February 2019 President's and Provost's Board work together at Senior Leadership Away Days looking at Inclusive Leadership and agree high level action plan
  • March 2019 Staff Survey results reviewed and key themes identified
  • Summer 2019 formation of a values workstream reporting to the Provost
  • November 2019 Provost’s Board agrees detailed approach for developing values via cross-College staff engagement and engagement sessions begin with Faculty Boards
  • February – August 2020 over 350 staff participated in workshops and detailed conversations which helped to identify the values most important to them.
  • Summer 2020 College Strategy cites importance of values to delivering College Mission
  • September 2020 Workshops and conversation data results analysis leads to identification of 5 core value themes
  • December 2020 Provosts Board receives value themes and recommends additional input from those in leadership roles
  • February 2021 Test and build behavioural definitions, bringing the values to life, working with a cross-section of College staff

Our emerging values

Respect, Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence and Integrity

From our many conversations it is clear that people are proud to work at Imperial and are motivated to help shape and improve our working environment and culture. There is much work to done to embed and demonstrate how living the values will be part of everyday life in College. Leadership will be critical to role modelling appropriate behaviours and embedding the final values at work.

As work continues, we will seek to identify how:

  • inclusivity needs to be more explicit
  • the distinctiveness of the language reflects what is important about Imperial
  • we understand 'excellence' in both how we work and what we achieve

What next?

We are at the point of crafting the value behaviours which demonstrate the values, with a group of volunteers from across the College drawing on the inputs from focus groups, survey and data. This work will seek to address the points around inclusivity and language distinctiveness. Relevant findings from the Working Together Task Group will be considered for inclusion into the values and behaviours. The final set of values and behaviours will be agreed with Provost's Board before the embedding phase of work will start.

What's next?

  • Draft and test behaviour definitions for us all, including managers and leaders
  • Receive input from the findings of the Working Together Task Group to capture useful additional information 
  • Present our work with the Working Together Task Group to align with their findings
  • Collaborate with the Student Union to understand how students can best shape the values and behaviours 
  • Plan an embedding programme looking at all aspects of the employee lifecycle
  • Prepare and design support materials that will demonstrate how our values can be applied in the workplace
  • Finalise our approach for embedding with Provost’s Board
  • Launch College values

There is a lot to do and we will need your support to make College values come to life, so why not get involved.

How you can get involved?

The College values project is being coordinated via a team drawn from across the HR Organisational Development and Inclusion department on behalf of the Provost.

If you would like to comment, find out more or participate in this work please contact: Nichola Stallwood (Head of Learning and Organisational Development).

Have a question?

Read our frequently asked questions, to find the answer to your questions!