At Exciton Science, we want the voices of our members to be heard and valued.
In 2019 and 2020, we distributed surveys to provide an opportunity for members to offer insight into their experience of studying or working within the Centre.
There was a substantial increase in engagement in 2020:
Culture, Diversity and Inclusion: Overall, members expressed the belief that Exciton Science is an inclusive and respectful working environment that is flexible and friendly and where their contributions are valued.
Communication and Collaboration: Members are collaborating with each other and communicating effectively within the Centre.
Professional Development and Training: Members agree that they have the opportunity to develop new skills and visit and learn from other institutions.
Communication Channels: Members engage with the Centre’s newsletter and updates.
Highlighted Areas for Improvement
Communication Channels: The Centre’s website and Teams workspace were identified as being less engaged with by members. Some members expressed concern about the current effectiveness of members’ use of Teams.
Professional Development and Training: More than 50% members indicated that they are not regularly attending training courses related to their roles (potentially influenced by COVID restrictions).
Communication and Collaboration: Communication with the leadership teams and understanding how the Centre and Leadership are organised were highlighted as areas for development. Also, recognition of individual contributions to the Centre.
Culture, Diversity and Inclusion: This Area of Feedback had the highest number of ‘agreement’ scores overall, but there was less agreement on knowing ‘how to’ and ‘feeling safe to’ report bullying and abusive behaviours.
The overall experience of members of Exciton Science is very positive: 95% rating this as ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’. In fact, 100% of members rated their experience as either Excellent (54%), Good (41%) or Average (5%). This is a strong statement of the level of engagement of members so far – even where areas have been highlighted for improvement, members enjoy being part of the Centre.
Following the results of the 2020 survey, the Centre undertakes to:
- Introduce an external newsletter for stakeholders and the general public, accessible via a subscribe button on the website;
- Make recommendations to the Executive Committee/Centre leaders regarding the integration and promotion of EDI activities into internal communications and events;
- Research and seek to implement a virtual whiteboard for Centre-wide collaboration via the Members Portal;
- Make recommendations to Centre leadership figures, committees and operations staff regarding the use of Microsoft Teams for internal communication;
- Offer members the opportunity to contribute to content creation through article writing and blogging about topics within the broad field of exciton science.
How did we do last year? Following the 2019 survey, we said:
- Specific Platforms will be featured on a rotating basis at monthly seminars, with updates from Platform leaders and dedicated meeting time allocated to relevant Platform members. Implemented and ongoing.
- Seminar speakers to be aligned with featured Platforms. Implemented where possible.
- Updates from seminar Platform meetings to be delivered in subsequent newsletter. Not implemented.
- Regular updates regarding Executive Committee and Science Committee decisions will be distributed. Not implemented due to confidentiality risks.
- Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy (EDI) has been developed into a comprehensive policy aimed at not only ensuring every one of our members feels safe and respected when they come to work, but that their issues and ideas will be listened to and acted upon in a respectful and constructive manner. Implemented and ongoing.
- The Centre has publicised the new policies on the Centre’s website, and will ensure there is a strong message communicated across all members, as the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee continues its work to ensure the Centre is an inclusive, affirming and supportive workplace for all members. Implemented and ongoing.
- The Centre will initiate new training and mentoring programs in 2020 and support our ECR and Postgraduate Student Committees to hold ‘research retreats’, careers workshops, and social events. Implemented and ongoing.
- A new mentoring program will be launched in 2020, and each of our postgraduate students will be connected to a more senior Exciton Science member from another node to provide advice, support and new networks. Implemented and ongoing.