June 8, 2018, by Simon Langley-Evans
Core Values in Biosciences
The School of Biosciences has recently gone through an exercise of generating a Behavioural Charter to be followed by all of our staff and visitors to the School. Although initiating the process of generating the Charter was an idea that came out of our Leadership Team, the document isn’t something that we have written as managers. It is an act of co-creation; a true product of participation which was compiled from comments and suggestions made by all of our staff attending a series of workshops in February 2018.
We didn’t write a behavioural charter because Biosciences is a hot-bed of awful behaviour, intolerance and misdeeds. Although not perfect, as a whole we are a strong, collegiate and supportive community with a clear sense of shared purpose. Part of our vision is to make the School of Biosciences an outstanding place to work, and to achieve that it is necessary to our core values and expectations of how members of the School will interact with each other, with our students and with visitors. We want the School of Biosciences to be a place where all people feel valued, that their opinions are listened to and that they have the chance to develop their careers on their chosen pathway. To deliver this the School has to provide equality of opportunity to all regardless of their role, sex, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, faith or any other characteristic. No-one should be going home at the end of the day having experienced negative behaviours.
Recognising equality and diversity is at the heart of our Charter, which encompasses the core values of our School. The following statements which I have taken from the document demonstrate this:
Value all people whatever their role:We all have a role to play and sometimes those roles are not easy. Treat all team members as individuals and with the same positive value and respect. We may have different roles but we should all have a voice and acknowledge everyone’s contributions.
Equality: We have a wonderfully diverse community and we all need to embrace that. Make an effort to get to know people around you whatever their background. Be interested in people and improve your understanding of them.
Always use respectful language: Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Avoid swearing, shouting at people, blasphemy, colloquialisms (that exclude people who don’t understand them), inappropriate jokes, slang or other words that could cause offense. Avoid being patronising, rude or derogatory.
In producing the Charter, the School is sending out a very clear message about what we want to be and how we want to be perceived. We are empowering everyone to have a voice and creating a positive culture which values every member of our team. The Behavioural Charter is now on display in all of the main buildings that comprise the School of Biosciences at Sutton Bonington Campus. We are using it in our new staff inductions and encouraging people to challenge negativity wherever they encounter it.
Head of School of Biosciences