Students Staff
University of Essex

November 11, 2015

See things differently at Essex


The way we work matters. That’s why we’ve consulted with you to create a set of behaviours that best describe our attitude to working at the University of Essex.

Introducing the Essex Professional framework

Every successful team is underpinned by the strengths, talents and behaviours of its members, and a shared understanding of what it wants to achieve. Everyone has something to offer.

Whatever your role or level of responsibility, as an employee of the University of Essex within Professional Services we want to encourage and equip you to play a full part in the organisation’s  future success.

That means everyone demonstrating attitudes and behaviours at work to make the University of Essex an inspiring, positive and collaborative place to work. We’re promoting this through a framework called the Essex Professional. This defines a set of core, positive behaviours which frame how we approach our work, complementing what we do.

What we mean by behaviour

Behaviours demonstrate the attitudes and approach we have to our work – such as:

  •  how we do things
  •  how we treat others
  •  what we say and how we say it
  •  how we expect to be treated

The Essex Professional framework will help us to celebrate achievements, talk about our aspirations and express how we would like to develop.

Focusing on our values

Central to the Essex Professional is the University’s mission and core values, as set out in our Strategic Plan, to achieve excellence in education and excellence in research. Underpinning our mission is the idea that all members of our community contribute to these values through their behaviours and activities, the Essex Professional framework sets out three key behaviours required of all employees, and these support the delivery of our Strategic Plan:

1. Imagination

Imagination and creativity are valuable qualities: the abilities to generate ideas, find solutions and have the confidence to express them are sound bases for success. At Essex we believe everyone is creative, that ideas and innovation are valued, and that the contribution of every employee should be respected. So it’s important that everyone considers how they can build on our talents and achievements by asking:

  • Do I challenge conventional thinking to help achieve successful outcomes?
  • Do I embrace change?
  • Can I think ahead and identify potential problems?
2. Integrity

Everything starts with an idea, and it is the contribution of others that brings ideas to life and allows them to gain momentum. Within Professional Services, achieving success means balancing our professional judgement with a belief in the strength of others. Regardless of our level of responsibility, it takes a special blend of confidence, expertise and judgment to make ideas happen. Keeping colleagues informed, starting open conversations, and inviting others to use their strengths is central. So it’s important to consider:

  • Am I aware of my behaviour and how does it affect others?
  • Do I take responsibility for my professional judgement?
  • Do I inspire confidence and trust?
3. Influence

We all make an impact on others through our varied roles: we impact our teams, the University, and external stakeholders. By knowing how to recognise and plan for the impact we make, we can enhance our opportunities for personal and professional success, and the future success of the University.  Tracking the impact of ideas and initiatives increases the visibility of individual contributions as well as shared success. So it’s important to consider:

  • Am I aware of my own strengths? Do I seek opportunities to develop them further?
  • Do I offer fair, balanced and objective feedback which suggests a way forward?
  • Do I adopt a mindset of continuous improvement?

How the Essex Professional works in practice

In support of the delivery of the People Supporting Strategy, the Essex Professional framework will be further developed by the following activities, which will be refreshed in 2016:

  • Staff recruitment
  • Induction events
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Performance management processes
  • Policies
  • Annual review processes
  • Staff mentoring programme

Further information

If you have any questions about the Essex Professional framework please talk to your Head of Section or Faculty Manager. If you have ideas for developing the initiative please email Amy Lowe, Organisational Development.

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