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Respect, integrity, curiosity and community… 

Thursday 19 November 2020 2:36pm

Staff Values image
Human Resources Director Kevin Seales and Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne.

These four words are the cornerstone of the Otago Staff Values, which were launched by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne, during the Otago Professional Staff Awards yesterday.

The words, and the associated behaviours, came from the Shaping our culture, together – he waka kotuia project, which began in 2019 to review the organisational culture of the University of Otago.

Professor Hayne yesterday said the project aimed to design ways to ensure that the University is a welcoming and supportive place for all members of our community, and to create a culture of inclusiveness, tolerance and acceptance at Otago.

“The values are more than just words. We are embedding them in every facet of our workplace, from policies and processes to recruitment and awards like those being presented tonight.

“How we treat each other at work reflects on us and contributes to the quality of what we achieve in our teaching, research and support services. Over the next few years, we intend to embed these values in the DNA of Otago through a variety of means, from projects to events like tonight.”

Director of Human Resources, Kevin Seales, said a new webpage has been created to bring together all the information and resources available on the values.

Shaping our Culture-WEB GRAPHIC WHITE (002)
Respect, integrity, curiosity and community are the cornerstone of the Otago Staff Values.

“Staff will be able to learn about the values and download the behaviours framework, which outlines the values in more depth and makes clear what behaviour we want to see at work, and the kinds of behaviour we won’t support.

“The webpage also has copies of the poster and guides to dealing with poor behaviour. Over the next year the Otago Staff Values Project Group will be creating and adding resources, training and information to help existing and new staff.”

Alongside the project group, two groups of staff and students have been working in the latter half of this year to propose a series of proactive projects using feedback from the 2019 staff engagement survey.

These projects will aim to build on positive feedback about things the University does well, and to improve the areas feedback has shown we can do better.

The ideas from the groups are being further developed and will be considered by senior University leadership for implementation in 2021.

The staff engagement survey, which was conducted last year, will be repeated in 2021.

“2020 has been a disruptive year in many ways, but it has also created some positive changes and brought many in the University community together. So, while the work on the Staff Values has been delayed due to COVID-19, there may be a change in the way staff see our culture, which the survey would show.”