SHW suggestions, comments and questions box

You said we did: archive of previous years' suggestions and responses

Photo of a noticeboard of post it notes

2019 

Sept 2019 You said 
Could both the format and allocation of people to Lilybank Seminars please be changed. I have now twice swapped with people, only for the session I have swapped to being cancelled. It might be more sustainable if there were only three presentations per seminar. With 4 seminars per session, people may be having to cut presentations short and does  not allow much time for questions or feedback. The should be a chair for each sessions and attendance should be mandatory, with apologies given if people are unable to attend. 
We did
Seminar organisers are happy to move to having 3 presenters per session (15 minutes for speaking, 5 for questions and discussion. All sessions are chaired. Attendance is already mandatory.
Jul 2019 You said
I would like to say it is wonderful to have a HEHTA office which keeps all the HEHTA business together in one place and questions can be resolved in an instant. My suggestion would be to get rid of the oppressive board when you enter the room. 
We did
The board has been adjusted to make office more open/welcoming.
Jul 2019 You said
The funding situation at the MRC unit means that there are going to be an unusually high number of people at risk of redundancy shortly. This will not only have implications for those directly involved, but have wider spill over effects on the Institute. An usually high percentage of people may be signing on to the job seekers register and competing for any posts. Making it more challenging for potential applicants, and increasing the work load of people recruiting. Could the institute please clarify what steps it is taking to address these problems?
We did 
Informal recruitment process put in place. Additional workload involved in recruitment is inevitable.
Jul 2019 You said
Now that we have a dogs at work policy, how about a children at work policy. The dog at work policy mentions difficulty to make arrangements for animals; parents can often face the same difficulty for school in-service days and do not have enough annual leave to cover all days schools are closed. Childcare is a huge financial burden for parents, and recent reports show that cost of childcare has increased by 30% in the past few years, yet salary increases do not match this.
We did
The IHW AS mat, pat and carer group has investigated, including speaking to central HR and Health, Safety and Wellbeing. There is currently no UofG policy and no plan to create one. There are a range of potential difficulties with children in the workplace including: disruption to parents and other colleagues; additional responsibilities for first aiders and fire-wardens; and potential safeguarding issues if children are left unattended. A benefits analysis or benchmarking exercise would be necessary before taking the matter any further.
Jul 2019 You said
Lobby for a food waste recycling service to be put in place. At the moment, the only option we have is to take our food waste home with us, and dispose of through our domestic recycling service – that's OK, but most probably wouldn't, and there is so much waste after events etc.
We did
We contacted Estates and Buildings, and they advised that they are going to be appointing a waste and recycling coordinator in the coming weeks and can consider this as part of a wider consideration of recycling. There is a significant cost in arranging food waste uplifts and in the main to date has focused on food producing locations. That does not mean we can’t review and consider. We can add this request into a schedule for considerations for the waste coordinator.
Jun 2019 You said
Ensure that MPH in Public Health includes and promotes an option to study social determinants of health. Not only is it a core part of the IHW's research themes, and an area in which the IHW has historically excelled, it is also an important focus of Scottish government policy.
We did
Social Determinants of Health (MED5522) – a semester two optional module for MPH students – has been running since 2019, co-convened by David Blane (GPPC) and Sharon Greenwood (MVLS). 
May 2019  You said
Maybe the department should buy some fresh fruit for staff and have a fruit table?
We did
Cakes and biscuits available in public areas are donated by individual members of staff and there is often some fruit on offer too. Any leftovers from catering orders, including fruit, are usually made available to everyone. Everyone can actively encourage donations of more fruit.  There is a danger of  fruit going off if not taken.
May 2019  You said
The use of avoidable single use plastics is out of date and this building should not be providing any more single use plastic cups for water.  This is one thing the university can do about climate breakdown.
We did
We have checked with the supplier. They do not offer an alternative to plastic cups and there is no other University supplier for this. Plastic cups used can be recycled and there is a recycle box near the water machine. 
May 2019  You said
Can we lobby GU catering to stop using plastic cutlery (single use usually)?
We did
We sent this feedback to Hospitality Services who responded as follows "We're currently reviewing all our plastic wear with a view of moving over to use more environmentally friendly disposables and also reduced our consumption of disposable items.
May 2019  You said
Replenish supply of (free) condoms
We did
Condoms restocked
Feb 2019  You said
Make the MVLS expenses system easier and less time-consuming for people to use.
We did
We will investigate organising training to make it easier for staff to use.

2018 

Oct 2018 You said
Can we lobby GU catering to stop using plastic cutlery (single use usually)?
We did
Feedback sent to Hospitality Services.
Oct 2018 You said
Can you please stop treating the University Staff Survey as a competition. Given that one of the worst things about the direction universities is that competition is being putting ahead of teaching, research, scholarship and people in general, it is just rubbing salt in the wound. 
We did
Apologies to those who feel this way.IHW will still send reminders, but with no stats about other units/RIs or Colleges. We will encourage staff to complete the survey because your views are important.
Sept 2018  You said 
In anticipation of the season of coughs, colds, sickness bugs etc, would it be possible install hands-free sanitiser units outside shared areas such as kitchens, common rooms etc, and give each office a bottle of hand sanitiser? This would help to reduce sickness absence and improve staff health and wellbeing.
We did
IHW would always encourage staff and students to wash hands and use tissues in order to avoid spreading germs, and there are soap dispensers provided at wash hand basins. Should people wish to use hand sanitisers, that is a personal choice for them to provide themselves.
Jul 2018  You said
Will there ever be opportunities for administrative staff to gain promotion? It seems an impossibility (short of leaving and going elsewhere). If the University's mission is indeed "To bring inspiring people together and create a world-class environment for learning and research, empowering staff and students to discover and share knowledge that can change the world" then surely administrative staff should feel empowered to be a part of creating a world-class environment, achieving this (as R&T staff do) via: training (HND, PGcert etc), conference attendance, networking and promotion prospects. Perhaps this is something the Athena Swan administrative group might cover?
We did
Promotion is not currently an option for administrative staff. However, IHW, via its Athena SWAN Professional and Support Staff Working Group, is taking active steps to support career development within this staff group e.g. setting funds aside for leadership and other external training opportunities (for which these is an annual call for applications) and, as of autumn 2018, will be piloting a mentorship scheme for P&S staff.
Jun 2018  You said
Having watched the truth about getting fit this week and seen the benefit of short bursts of HIT would the institute be prepared to help subsidise buying a spin bike for use in the RCB office? Health benefits for everyone that used it - think uptake would be high as it would be so easy to build into your every day routine which is common reason why people don't do things. A healthier happier work force is more productive so would also benefit RCB and the institute.
We did
RCB staff explored the possibility of installing an exercise bike and discussed with UofG's Safety and Environmental Protection Service. SEPS advised that, in order to comply with health and safety regulations, a risk assessment, regular inspection of equipment, and associated record-keeping would be required. On reflection, the team felt that it was impractical to implement this at the present time.
Jun 2018 You said
Ask staff not to use mobiles, tablets etc in meetings in seminars unless their activity is related to the meeting or event itself (e.g. writing notes, taking photos for posting on social media) or an urgent message or email is anticipated. It is disrespectful to other attendees or presenters and, if senior staff do this, sets a bad example.
We did
Discussed at IHW management group meeting. Institute email etiquette edited to include a "use of mobile devices in meeting" guideline, highlighted in HAWKEYE in July 2018, and added to the "Information for staff and students" page of the IHW website. 
Jun 2018 You said
More teaspoons in the downstars kitchen (plastic ones are NOT environmentally friendly). Making tea with knives and forks! Please???!!!`
We did 
Metal teaspoons purchased
Mar 2018 You said
Brilliant that some units allow staff to bring their dogs to work with them - lots of evidence now that animals in the workplace have a positive impact (boosting morale, reducing stress, improving interpersonal relationships, helping with work/life balance). Would be good if this could be permitted in all units, perhaps with some guidelines put in place to ensure that health and safety isn't compromised (e.g. kept on leads in public areas).
We did
Currently being investigated by IHW admin. [Update: IHW now has a dogs at work guideline]
Mar 2018 You said
Bike shelter is sometimes made difficult to access by parked cars not leaving enough room on one side for a bike to be rolled passed.  A reminder to be aware of bike parking in the next 'house keeping reminder' may be all that is needed.
We did
Reminder sent. 
Jan 2018 You said
Could the institute please ensure that only things that are essential are included in "Essential" criteria for job applications. It is well established that women in particular are less likely to apply for jobs if they don't meet all the criteria so this could be considered discriminatory. It also risks reputational harm as a poor job specification is a signifier of poor management. Similarly, try not to exclude things from essential and desirable criteria on which final decisions are made.
We did
Most line managers use an HR template for job descriptions for each grade. There are certain essentials (eg qualifications) which are essential for that grade. The line manager has to have final say because they know what is required in the post. IHW will put a request to HR to ask for training in job description writing. 
Jan 2018 You said
Toaster for the kitchen
We did 
Toaster purchased

2017

Dec 2017 You said
People were disappointed by the absence of senior academics at the Public Health and HEHTA Christmas party and many people remarked that it was not as good as previous years because of this.
We did
We believe it was just an unfortunate blip this particular year. Most years there are a good number of senior academics from both groups joining the party. However, as an institute that welcomes and supports diversity, we acknowledge that some staff (both senior and junior), for a variety of reasons, may be unable to attend social events. While we hope that many of our staff appreciate and enjoy these occasions, there is no pressure or requirement to attend. 
Sep 2017 You said
Where did the first aid box go?
We did
Email sent to staff advising them of location of first aid box.
Aug 2017 You said
The Bike shelter is sometimes made difficult to access by parked cars not leaving enough room on one side for a bike to be rolled passed. A reminder to be aware of bike parking in the next 'house keeping reminder' may be all that is needed.
We did
Email reminder sent and added to housekeeping reminder which is periodically sent to all staff.
Aug 2017 You said
I just wanted to raise a concern related to the 'checklist' that gets returned with the PDRs. I notice that the top box is for 'research and teaching' staff only and it includes the criteria of discussing promotion with the employee. The same criteria is missing from the 'all staff' box. Is this perhaps an oversight, as it must also be important to discuss career progression with staff who are not on  the research and teaching scale.
We did
Promotion is a term used only for R&T staff. Career progression is the term used for P&S staff and has been added to the All Staff section for P&SS.
Aug 2017 You said
I seem unable to view and download the 'full' PDR I submitted last year. This would be helpful when preparing my PDR for this year. The system only allows us to view parts of the PDR (e.g. objectives) but not the written text. Is there a way we can access and download as a PDF the entire submission from last year please.
We did
All suggestions/queries about HRCore and PDR were re-directed to hr-ppr@glasgow.ac.uk
Jun 2017  You said
Would the institute be prepared to help subsidise a spin bike for use in the RCB office? A healthier, happier workforce is more productive.
We did
SPHSU asked if they would lend their under-utilised spin bike to RCB. Staff who wish to gain fitness encouraged to use the resources already around them – walking to the park, using the stairs to the 11th floor etc.
Mar 2017 You said
The mixed recycling box in the kitchen is different from every other one – it does not take cardboard; others do
We did
Email sent to staff advising them all recycling boxes are the same.
Mar 2017 You said
Encourage people to always turn lights off when a room is not in use (display stickers next to light switches).
We did
Administrators advised to put stickers next to lights
Jan 2017  You said 
Toaster for the kitchen in Public Health
We did
A toaster has been bought for Public Health
Jan 2017  You said
More teaspoons in Public Health kitchen (plastic ones are not environmentally friendly). 
We did
Provision of wooden spoons is being investigated. 

2016 

Nov 2016 You said
Invite small groups of people to work together on a research project for 2-3 days in the Olympia building in the East End the building is currently underutilised.
We did
According to the booking rules provided to Local Space Managers of the Olympia Building, only staff at College of Social Sciences and staff that are based at the Olympia Building (we had the list of staff specified to us by SS EAST END INITIATIVE department) could request/book a room at the Olympia Building.
Jul 2016 You said
Visiting therapists (e.g. massage, sports massage, indian head massage) to contribute to healthy working environment. Perhaps quarterly by appointment
We did
This is something that each site can organise if they wish. Unfortunately IHW has no budget for this.Yoga - guided by a professional. Some units already have yoga sessions, if you have space you can organise. Once in new building this will be available to all.
Jul 2016  You said
Emails being sent weekends and evenings can be a cause of stress to staff.
We did
Email etiquette put in HAWKEYE and on web. NB Staff have the choice not to look at emails out of hours.   
Jul 2016  You said
Study leave for researchers. Currently the system is unfair.
We did
Our UofG code of practice for management of researchers sets out a target for 5 days a year. Be proactive in identifying career development opportunities and attending and recording relevant training (within the university or external).Review own training needs and consider how skills and knowledge acquired during this role will support future career goals. It is expected that researchers will normally undertake at least five days a year of training in skills for personal, professional and career development (e.g. relating to teaching, enterprise, knowledge exchange, employability or public engagement) 
Jun 2016  You said
Can the Institute confirm that all professional and support staff are university employees, including those who are funded by research projects, and should therefore contribute to general unit administration?
We did
All staff are university employees, including staff paid on short term contracts from research funds. All staff are required to take on Institute general admin duties.   
May 2016  You said
Staff with mental health problems, social anxiety or on the autistic spectrum, can sometimes struggle with purely social events like Christmas ceilidh. While many enjoy these events and appreciate the encouragement reminders to sign up, when these arrive in email it can be stressful and worrying for those who would find it difficult to attend, and there may be a fear that they will be perceived as unfriendly or unsociable if they opt out. Would it be possible to add something to any circulars about this kind of event to clarify that these are entirely optional?
We did
Ensure wording in invitations make it clear that it is optional for staff to attend IHW social events. 
Apr 2016  You said
Estates and buildings matters, eg beautification, coat hook, painting railings, replacement clock, kettle, doorstops, painting, microwaves, fridges. Small items are purchased or attended to.
We did
With a planned move to a new building in 2020, IHW is mindful about spending a decreasing consumables budget on building works, however bids are put in for College minor works budget for essential maintenance, and requests to Estates & buildings made. 
Mar 2016  You said
Some more social events would be good to boost connectedness within the department. Perhaps a regular staff and student lunch?
We did
Discussed with ECR reps (Jack Melson/Karen Wetherall) regarding implementation. 
Mar 2016 You said
Fewer unit conferences yearly may re-ignite enthusiasm for them
We did
IMG has discussed reducing the number of Maurice Bloch seminars to 10 a year.  We are working on having an Institute wide calendar with view only access to the majority, to check volume of events before booking their own, with a number of admin on each site able to enter events. This will be available prior to end of 2017.
Mar 2016 You said
A more diverse approach needs to be taken to managing intellectual risk.
We did
Quality rather than quantity of projects is now being communicated regularly.
Mar 2016 You said
Template for HEHTA posters
We did
Template will be included in HEHTA marketing materials
Mar 2016 You said
Create guidelines (and provide training?) to improve chairing and participation of meetings to ensure that discussions in meetings are more inclusive, everybody has the opportunity to speak, and those who currently don’t wish to speak gain the confidence to do so. It would be added bonus if the guidelines could help provide skills to speed focus/wind up discussions which drag on because nobody can really comprehend what the actual discussion is about.
We did
Information in April 2017 HAWKEYE re the University Meetings Toolkit providing information and tips that may be helpful when planning and running meetings.
Mar 2016 You said
Why – at least to my knowledge – is the Athena Swan Suggestions box getting so few suggestions?
We did
Reminders in HAWKEYE that there are suggestion boxes on each site. Launching online suggestions box in June 2017 and will inform staff through HAWKEYE that it's available.
Mar 2016 You said
Weekly coffee break for all staff at GPPC, alternate between each house
We did
Too few admin staff to organise, however, researchers can organise this.
Mar 2016 You said
Drinks night at 5ish every week or two
We did
This would be exclusionary for some staff – it can be done informally but we can’t endorse after 4pm events
Mar 2016 You said
Too many professors and not enough researchers
We did
All professors have to bring in research income to be members of the Institute, and their productivity on grant income is monitored. There are 207 academic and research staff in the Institute, of whom 30 are professors, 5 readers, 18 senior lecturers, 37 grade 8, 66 grade 7, and 51 grade 6.
Mar 2016 You said
New kitchen, this one is a public health risk
We did
There will be no major overhauls of accommodation due to the move to a new site in a few years. Cleaners are not employed to wash dishes, clean inside fridges or microwaves, and it's expected that staff should clean up after themselves.
Mar 2016 You said
CCTV cameras in the kitchen to catch the thieves!
We did
Notices have been put up in kitchens asking people not to take any food/drink they did not purchase.
Mar 2016 You said
People making mess in the kitchen
We did
Notices have been put up requesting people tidy up after themselves. Cleaners are not employed to wash your dishes, clean inside fridges or microwaves.
Mar 2016 You said
The redeployment process needs to be more transparent and clear. Knowledge of upcoming posts was entirely provided informally and thus increasing the possibility that the process could be discriminatory.' unemployment and redundancy.'At other institutions ... the redundancy process has involved a formal discussion and possibly several meetings with somebody at a senior level about forthcoming prospects fo employment (or not). One institution even offered to provide training that would improve the prospects of emplyment. One of the most unpleasant distractions is having to frequently decline meetings or tasks because they occur after contracts. Being reminded of impending redundancy is not a great way of staying focused. It also needs to be recognised that completing project work and finding future employment represents more than fulltime workload.
We did
IHW will remind all PIs/Line Managers of their duty to discuss future employment with staff at the statutory times when HR issue the notification of redundancy letters, as well as at all P&DRs. Further information is avalable on the HR website. The university emails staff facing the end of their contract, offering the opportunity to join the job seekers register. Additionally, staff can register for email job alerts. Unfortunately IHW has no facility to offer bridging funds.
Mar 2016 You said
The number for estates and buildings could be made public so that we could log things easily. (GRH specific)
We did
Notices in kitchens/on notice boards informing of process to notify NHS E&B of problems.
Jan 2016 You said
Sanitary products to be made available in the ladies toilets. (GRH specific) NHS facilities
We did
Mgr checking options. 
Jan 2016 You said
Common space for lunch and time away from desk
We did
There are accommodation constraints in our buildings, but there is a common space in each one.  
Jan 2016 You said
Recycling facilities (GRH specific)
We did
NHS general waste contractor sorts and recycles at depot so although we don't necessarily sort on site the contractor does.
Jan 2016 You said
No fish in microwave.
We did
A sign has been put up in the kitchen and information has been added to the induction pack on office etiquette which includes being mindful of cooking strong smelling food.
Jan 2016 You said
Given that policies at University, IHW and MRC unit levels are in place to reduce unnecessary emails, a once monthly newsletter would be acceptable but currently it is really annoying. I can’t filter them using junk mail option and the annoyance is having a negative impact on my work. All seminars are open to all staff, this is University policy. Providing info on seminars etc to HAWKEYE, the Institute newsletter, is one way to reduce emails within the Institute.
We did
IHW does not have much control across the rest of College, and individuals cannot be removed from automatically generated email lists. However, if there is a particular source, we can ask them to reduce. There is an IHW email etiquette policy which was published in HAWKEYE.
Jan 2016 You said
Fruit bowl good idea
We did
Fruitbowl placed in kitchen
Jan 2016 You said
Recycling bin please
We did
Request to estates to provide