Embedding our values


The faculty has made a commitment to explicitly integrate our values and behaviours into all ways of working in our ‘Beyond 2018’ strategic plan. To achieve this, the faculty needs to communicate the University’s values in a way that is meaningful, consistent with the aspirations of the strategic plan, and easily accessible to our staff, students, partners and stakeholders and broader community. Drawing on previous consultations across the faculty and other sources, a high-level statement of values and related framework of behaviours is being developed.


The objective of this project is to put our values front and centre, to inform how we shape our culture to deliver on the ambitions of the strategic plan. The project aims to:

  • Clearly articulate and communicate the behaviours that align with our values in a format that is easily accessible and consistent with the look and feel of the strategic plan
  • Ensure that these values are consistent with and aligned to the University’s stated values
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the values themselves, how these apply in everyday scenarios, and the key role of values in achieving high performance
  • Embed these values in all that we do, including: recruiting to our values, managing performance, reward and recognition, our interactions with others and decision making.

Scope, constraints and dependencies

The project will be undertaken within the context of the University’s stated values (as identified in the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy: https://policy.unimelb.edu.au/MPF1328#section-4.1).

These are not new values, but instead a more succinct extraction of the University’s values. The purpose of this project is to make these values more front of mind for our staff, so that they can be more easily communicated, understood and consistently applied (lived).

The success of the project will be largely dependent on the buy-in from our leaders and consistent application. There are several projects within the people and culture strategic programs of work that refer explicitly to the values. The academic performance framework project has included the requirement to demonstrate values in the templates for academic performance expectations and our values will be reflected and embedded in all leadership development initiatives.


Key deliverables of the project include:

  • Clearly articulated values that are accessible and understood by all staff
  • Examples (vignettes) of how these values can be applied in different scenarios
  • Series of discussions with high profile people on the key role of values in high performing organisations
  • Framework of behaviours to guide difficult decision making in the absence of explicit policy and procedure
  • Framework of behaviours to guide and assist conflict resolution


Benefits of the project include:

  • Shaping the faculty culture and identity required to deliver the strategic plan
  • Building trust (people know what is expected of them and that people will consistently be held to account to the same values)
  • Recruiting the right people whose values are inherently aligned
  • Increased staff engagement and job satisfaction due to alignment of values
  • Improved process for making difficult decisions
  • Mechanism for conflict resolution

Project Team

  • Sponsor: Paul Cohen and Shitij Kapur
  • Responsible officer: Prof Lou Harms and Dr Shawana Andrews
  • Project manager: TBC
  • Project support: Jacqui Olney

Process - key dates and timelines

Project schedule start date: September 2017
Project schedule end date:

Stage 1: Idea stage

Draft high level values statement

Review values statement and discuss process for implementation

18 September 2017

Stage 2: Project initiation and planning

Draft project definition and plan

Present at FEC for initial discussion

4 October 2017

Stage 3: Project implementation


Present at Faculty Council

6 December 2017

Present at Senior Managers Network

14 December 2017

Final version of values posted on faculty web site

January 2018

Short survey to seek feedback from staff – do these values address the concerns that you raised during the strategy consultation? (doe this align with your feedback?)

What tools/resources would help you to apply these values?

Late Jan/early Feb

Communicate – formal school launch

HoS/Faculty Directors discuss the values at team/school meetings

Determine what promotional materials are required – eg posters

Feb/Mar 2018

High profile person invited to discuss role of values in high performing organisation

TBC – this could be integrated with the leadership dev program initially and then made more widely available

26 or 27 Feb

Professor Michael West


Identify what support teams would like to assist them to understand what ‘living the values’ looks like for them

Develop toolkits to support processes like recruitment, induction, performance reviews etc

Position description templates updated with reference to values

March - Aug 2018

Stage 4: Project evaluation


Seek feedback

Conduct pulse survey to gauge understanding of values and application

Nov/Dec 2018