Our Staff, Our Culture

UCC community members together with pride in front of Pride banner in President's Garden UCC

Our Staff, Our Culture

Goal Owner

  • Chief People and Culture Officer

4.1 Create and implement a People and Culture Plan to attract, develop and retain global talent.

  1. Deliver an enhanced approach to the recruitment of global talent, the nurturing of existing talent and the development of leadership with key positions, such as Head of School.
  2. Work with government to address the issue of soft-funded2 contracts, especially as it relates to the sustainability of research at UCC.
  3. Work with strategic partners to support the development of flexible employment arrangements.

2Soft-funded contracts of employment are only supported by short-term external research funding which does not provide progression for research staff. This contributes to unnecessarily high levels of staff turnover and a staff environment that is at odds with the research ambitions of the University.

4.2 Embed a culture of equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging in UCC, embracing our differences as a key institutional strength.

  1. Develop and implement UCC’s first Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Framework (2023–2028) including targeting a silver institutional Athena SWAN award, and other equality frameworks, including the Public Sector Duty.
  2. Undertake a UCC Values and Culture/EDIB consultation process every two years to measure progress, ensure accountability, share feedback with the UCC community and to inform action under an agreed governance and accountability framework.

4.3 Implement a Future of Work model, which is driven by a culture of high-performance, professional development, excellence and effective communications.

  1. Implement a hybrid and agile way of working in a new Future of Work model with appropriate working and space utilisation practices that take account of the changing nature of work and learning in an increasingly digital and hybrid world.
  2. Implement an improved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) model, and offerings, to ensure staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a hybrid and digital university.
  3. Implement initiatives to embed HR excellence in research and achieve a third renewal of our HR Excellence in Research award.
  4. Review and improve the staff support model for safety, health and wellbeing by seeking feedback from, and engaging with, staff on improved and more streamlined approaches.

4.4 Establish career development frameworks and structured programmes to support all categories of staff on their career journey.

  1. Develop and implement a dedicated programme to support staff in their transition in, through and out of the University.
  2. Informed by benchmarking with comparator universities, review and implement improvements to staff promotion processes including a consideration of the frequency of staff promotion calls.

4.5 Develop university leaders and deliver enhanced and effective performance management that recognises, promotes and rewards strong performance, and that can address gaps.

  1. Develop communities of practice and enhance staff recognition initiatives.
  2. Implement improved performance development and management systems and mechanisms to acknowledge and reward strong performance and address gaps in performance.
  3. Introduce an intentional approach to succession planning and talent retention, where staff are supported to reach their maximum potential. Nurture and develop future leaders.

About Goal Four: Our Staff, Our Culture

Implement a progressive and inclusive People and Culture Plan to attract, develop and retain our talent.

Through our People and Culture Plan, we will create an environment of respect and compassion, where all staff feel valued and feel a sense of belonging to the university community. Our staff will see the potential to grow and have opportunities to work flexibly in a way that recognises the importance of wellbeing and work–life balance. From a people and culture perspective, the key challenges remain the ability to attract, develop and retain quality staff. The collective response to the  challenges posed in recent years shows what the University is capable of achieving in extraordinary and difficult circumstances. In the coming years, we have the opportunity to transform UCC and deliver meaningful societal changes in line with the shared purpose elaborated in this strategic plan. This will be enabled through a collective and coordinated effort, where we evolve practices and policies, embracing strategic change based on agile and lean methodologies. We will develop a Future of Work model, which will define how our work, our staff and our workplaces will evolve in the years to come. The model will leverage the latest digital technologies to offer flexible and sustainable work practices to support the health and wellbeing of staff. Transparent communication and change management processes will align our efforts for positive impact from our collective and interconnected actions. 

In our approach to staff recruitment and retention, we are conscious of the demand for talent globally. Actions arising from the people and culture plan will work to enhance UCC’s career progression, development, leadership and overall staff experience. We will continue to foster an environment in UCC which is fair, inclusive and diverse, creating a positive workplace and a culture of belonging. We will support staff to grow in their professional and personal lives. We will recognise and reward the contribution and efforts of all staff by implementing professional development and enhanced performance management frameworks across all stages of the career journey. 

We will focus on incorporating the Athena SWAN values into our everyday practice and have this recognised by achieving a Silver Institutional award, and five additional awards at unit/departmental level by 2028. We will develop UCC’s first Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Framework (2023–2028) to further embed EDIB across all functions within the University.

Our measures of success will include having 75% of academic staff with formal teaching and learning qualifications, recorded on our human resources information system. We will commit to growing professional development for all staff led by UCC leaders and people managers as role models, towards embedding a strong culture of CPD.

President's Office

Oifig an Uachtaráin

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, Western Road , Cork T12 K8AF