UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Staff Survey Action group update

UCL carried out a Staff Survey in April 2022 and the results were published in May 2022. Each Faculty were provided with a report identifying keys areas for improvement.

In response to this, a Faculty Staff Survey Action Group - consisting of inclusion Leads from each department, EDI members, Heads of Departments, HR Business partners, Senior PS staff and the Vice Deans of Wellbeing and EDI was set up. The purpose of the group was to look at our areas to celebrate as well as our areas requiring review to ensure that appropriate action was taken – be it noting Best Practice or work to be done. Findings from the T&F Group were then escalated to the wider UCL Staff Survey Oversight Committee.

Key figures from Arts &Humanities:

  • A&H responses – 280 responses received
  • 43% of our staff responded to the survey
  • Of those, the proportion of positive responses was 63%

Top areas to celebrate and review:

Our top areas to celebrate were:

  • Support - I feel that my manager is supportive of me and encourages me to succeed in my role
  • Role Fit - My skills and talents fit well with my role and I feel able to get the job done
  • Empowerment - When faced with a difficult situation at work, I feel trusted to exercise my judgement and make appropriate decisions.

Our areas for review were:

  • Leadership - Leaders in UCL are connected to the daily reality of our business and respond appropriately
  • Purpose and Values - UCL sets goals that are important, meaningful and help keep me motivated
  • Collaboration - UCL is an effective team that works well together and we help each other when needed.

Survey Comments received:

The report also provided us with 1600 free text comments which the senior leadership team read and categorised into themes. The key themes noted for us were:

  • Workload
  • Stress


At our group meetings we discussed what we could do to tackle these issues and as a result the following actions were taken:

  • We enabled all Heads of Departments, DMs and Vice Deans to attend Leadership Away Days in 22/23, with this work ongoing in 23/24
  • The VD Wellbeing and Georgina Bolton conducted a Faculty survey of personal tutoring practices, and provided a report on this.  The VD Wellbeing was invited to be part of the UCL Personal Tutoring project, headed by the Pro Vice Provost for Student Academic Engagement, and has been engaging with the discussions via the regular meetings held to shape new guidance, training, and support for staff and students around the personal tutoring role
  • Our Vice Dean, Wellbeing was invited to serve on the Learning and Talent management Future Governance Group, which has been meeting to discuss new systems for supporting and recording appraisals (with the first focus on professorial appraisals), training, and promotions. The first outcome of this, the new PAR system, will be launched in the Spring Term
  • Wellbeing Champion scheme involvement. A&H took part in the Wellbeing Champions Pilot scheme between March and May 2023. Report attached
  • We facilitated a Workplace Wellbeing session: Managing Stress at work on Wednesday 18 January 2023 and 8 senior managers attended the session
  • We clarified the Health and Safety roles of HoDs and DMs
  • We ran Desk Yoga sessions to support staff wellbeing.

Going forward

It should be noted that, as part of the UCL review of the 2022 Staff Survey, the University Management Committee (UMC) concluded that an alternative provider/system be found for future Staff Surveys.  As this is not yet available, we have temporarily paused the work of our Faculty Staff Survey Action Group. Once this new system is in place, work on the outcomes from the next survey will commence and the Group will reconvene.  

Finally ..

A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who participated as a member of our Staff Survey Action Group. Thank you for your time, effort, and actions in taking forward our plans.  As a Faculty, our work will continue, as our Vice Dean, Wellbeing, Sam Rayner will continue to work in many of these areas and especial thanks go to both Sam and Georgina Bolton for this work.