What is a PWE?
PWE stands for Positive Working Environment, a process with the aim of making working life at the University of Bristol productive, rewarding, enjoyable and healthy for all colleagues.
During the summer of 2003, the University commissioned The Work Foundation to carry out a staff survey - perhaps the most thorough one ever undertaken here. This highlighted many areas where the University was doing well as an employer. It also showed that we needed to get better at:
- Developing co-operation and support across different teams
- Developing systems to ensure that managers are aware of issues on the ground
- Explaining how University-wide resources are distributed
- Fostering a stronger sense of the wider organisation
- Developing a pleasant physical working environment
- Addressing levels of stress, workload and work-life balance among some staff groups
- Aligning training and development with team and University goals
- Highlighting career development opportunities
- Developing the skills of managers and the consistent application of good management practice
- Developing and raising awareness of University-wide systems available to support staff, together with policies around diversity
- Addressing issues of bullying and harassment
- Developing further our job evaluation and promotions systems
- Encouraging a different view about flexible working opportunities
The result was the Positive Working Environment (PWE) agenda. It is worth emphasising that this is not so much a project or initiative as a process that describes the things we believe are important as an employer and a series of actions to help us deliver them. The PWE agenda can be steered and monitored from the centre, but everyone has a role in taking it forward. It should be an aspect of 'the way we do things around here', with all staff playing their part.
A Positive Working Environment at the University of Bristol will demonstrate
- A high degree of trust and respect between all levels of staff
- A warm and friendly climate in which colleagues feel valued, and have a strong sense of loyalty to the organisation
- High quality leadership and management
- Open discussion that leads to resolution of conflict
- A measure of self-determination over how work is undertaken
- A culture where diversity is respected and valued
- A lack of exclusive clubs and cliques
- Opportunities for personal development and career progression
- A high level of creativity and job satisfaction, arising from teamwork and co-operation.
Action is steered and monitored by the PWE Steering Group, chaired by Professor Len Hall, Pro Vice Chancellor, other members of the group are:
- Professor Len Hall, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
- Fiona Ford, Deputy Personnel Director
- Barry Taylor, Communications and Marketing Director
- Professor Bob Fowler, Dean of Arts
- Liz Lynch, Site Services Manager
- Professor Anthony Hollander, Professor of Rheumatology & Tissue Engineering
- Tracy Brunnock-Cook, Equality and Diversity Manager
- Bob Reeves, Director of Sport, Exercise and Health
- Christian Carter, Personnel Manager (secretary and project manager)
Action is outlined through a series of five 'Commitments' to staff. Evaluation of impact will take place each year and communicated through a PWE Steering Group Annual Report.