The Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences aims to be an effective, efficient, collaborative and pleasant working environment. This is underpinned by the expectations set out below.
As an Institute, we expect that:
- Individuals are treated fairly and with respect, and with consideration to personal circumstance.
- Everyone will respect the strengths and weaknesses of colleagues, sharing knowledge and experience to encourage improvement.
- Colleagues will engage in all activities to which they are reasonably invited.
- Communication between colleagues is respectful, constructive, and timely.
- Requests are realistic, have reasonable deadlines and are considerate of colleagues’ responsibilities and constraints. Responses should be prompt and accurate and ideally within the timeline given.
- Decisions are made in a transparent and collegiate fashion and are communicated in a timely manner.
- All colleagues should have an awareness of wider issues which go beyond their own interests. As such, collective decisions will be respected and implemented despite individual feelings.
- Good practice is acknowledged, and poor behaviour is challenged.
It is the responsibility of every member of the Institute to adhere to these expectations, to act in a collegiate manner, and to challenge habitual poor practice.
- Individuals are treated fairly and with respect, and with consideration to varying circumstance;
- We can embrace differences and see that alternative viewpoints can be considered as strengths.
- Diversity drives creativity, problem solving and innovation.
- Value others’ opinions as equally valid as your own.
- Everyone should be aware of EDI policies and training opportunities and how to implement them.
2. Everyone will respect the strengths and weaknesses of colleagues, sharing knowledge and experience to encourage improvement;
- We can learn most from those that are successful in a diverse variety of situations.
- Be prepared to give your time and expertise to support, mentor and assist colleagues. We should encourage those that are struggling and we should recognise achievement.
- Support the professional development and career progression of those around you, or signpost colleagues to useful resources.
- In research, knowledge sharing could be helping with grant- or paper-writing, responding to reviewers’ comments, preparing for an interview panel…
- In teaching, knowledge sharing could be helping set good exam questions, developing a course, sharing useful learning resources…
3. Colleagues will engage in all activities to which they are reasonably invited;
- Make yourself available for meetings and teaching duties. The Institute functions best when everyone devotes a fraction of their time to tasks for the collective good.
- On occasion, you may not be able to take up an activity due to workload or other time commitments, but this should not be the default answer.
4. Communication between colleagues is constructive, respectful and timely.
- Speak to others as you would wish to be spoken to.
- Carefully consider difficult conversations beforehand, and question how you are coming across. (If you’re angry or upset about something, by all means consider a response; however, reflect upon your language and delay giving it, and then provide a more measured response).
- Re-read communications to make sure they are clear and not easily misinterpreted. Bear in mind the variety of cultural and language differences.
- Consider the most appropriate form of communication. Would a face-to-face conversation be better than an email?
- CCing colleagues into emails should be for information only, where the recipient is not expected to respond.
5. Requests are realistic, have reasonable deadlines and are considerate of colleagues’ responsibilities and constraints. Responses should be prompt and accurate and ideally within the timeline given;
- Give people as much warning as possible for requests/tasks. Be aware of colleagues’ busy periods, e.g. start of term or assessment periods, major grant deadlines etc.
- Also bear in mind others’ personal circumstances and working arrangements e.g. Don’t email at 6.30 pm, expecting a response at 8 am the next morning.
- Short deadlines are sometimes unavoidable, so do your best to accommodate these requests when possible. If you cannot meet a deadline, reply to that effect.
- If you are requesting information or action, please make it as easy as possible for the person to respond (e.g. providing relevant attachments, links or email conversations)
- Aim to respond to emails within 72 hrs, even if this is to request more time to respond. Use automated out of office replies when you are unavailable.
6. Decisions are made in a transparent and collegiate fashion and are communicated in a timely manner;
- Meetings should be organised with a focused agenda, leading to clear action plans and decisions. Minutes should include such plans, with assigned responsibilities and expected timescales.
- Contribute to meetings when you can. Voice your opinion and consider the contributions of others. Do not be silent in meetings and then criticise afterwards.
- Meeting chairs should aim to schedule meetings within core working hours and be proactive in ensuring everyone has the opportunity to engage and voice their opinion.
- Opportunities to join the ICGS Executive or other committees will be openly advertised for expressions of interest to all members of the Institute, and every application considered.
7. All colleagues should have an awareness of wider issues which go beyond their own interests. As such, collective decisions will be respected and implemented despite individual feelings;
- Be aware that members of ICGS may have different priorities and/or capacities that may not be apparent (eg support staff vs academic staff, teaching-focused vs research active staff, different Sections, part-time vs full-time).
- Changes in Institute operations or strategy, teaching curriculum, etc will be discussed by consultation, but then must be accepted and adopted after a collective decision has been made.
8. Good practice is acknowledged, and poor behaviour is challenged.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to be a good colleague, and to encourage each other to be a good colleague.
- Being a good colleague will frequently mean you will give your time for someone else. You should do this because it will help that individual and, collectively, the Institute. However, you need to be realistic about how much time this can take.
- We can all sometimes fall short of being a good colleague. It is habitual poor collegiality that should be challenged.
- Failing to complete an unreasonable request is not poor collegiality; it makes the person expecting this uncollegiate. However, ignoring this request is not acceptable.
- It is the responsibility of colleagues, mentors, section heads, the senior leadership team and line managers to challenge habitual poor collegiality.
- Reporting poor collegiality should not be a matter of naming and shaming. Bring it to the attention of that colleague first. If it persists and they are unwilling to change, you can bring it up with others.