Social Safety

Goal 2: Define, address, and minimize unacceptable behavior

For this goal we defined four action points (note that actions A1-A3 were addressed in Goal 1).

Action A4: Define and discuss a Rules of Conduct for the institute, and make resources available to get such discussion going. Make sure they explain why these rules are important, and that they are reviewed periodically. Make efforts to also involve people who are normally less likely to be heard and give everybody a voice.

While the University does provide a comprehensive Code of Conduct, its extensive and legalistic nature may be challenging for those not accustomed to legal terminology. With this in mind, we aim to develop a more accessible and concise Code of Conduct tailored specifically for our institute, to complement the University's guidelines.

Realization pathway:

  • 9/2023: We ask members of the EDI committee, supplemented with some volunteers to come up with a more tailored Code of Conduct.
  • +1 Month: Discuss the code of conduct among scientific staff, support staff, postdocs, PhD-students, master students. This can be achieved with a special seminar, sessions with specific groups, and/or anonymous surveys that allow for anonymous feedback.
  • +2 Months: Adoption of Code of Conduct by Institute Council and Management Team – publication on Social Safety Website.

Action 5: Organize training and courses to raise awareness on unwanted behavior, and further develop professional skills. This has a broad aim to improve the culture at Leiden Observatory.

Realization pathway:

  • 4 – 12/2023: Intervision sessions for Scientific Directors (WD). Intervision is a form of expertise development in which professionals call on their colleagues to help them gain insight into problems they have at work. Our WD is part of a group that started regular meetings to discuss challenges, often in the area of social safety. These are fully anonymized and confidential.
  • 11/2023 – 4/2024: Continuous coaching for the WD to help improve social safety matters by Kracht Ontwikkeling & Advies.
  • 9/2023: Inventory of skill/development/leadership training attended by scientific staff. Five staff members were put forward to specific university courses, such as “Supervising PhD candidates” and “Academic Management and Leadership Skills”. It is a Faculty-wide problem that the attendance of scientific staff to these type of trainings is rather ad-hoc. With HR, we are working on a new system to monitor this in a better way.
  • Continuous: We will organize regular training and courses, some for specific target audiences, some obligatory, some recurrent. This will be an ongoing effort, i.e. with input from the EDI and Wellbeing committees, with the aim that such meetings become part of the culture at Leiden Observatory.

Action 6: Define a system for correcting behavior. The starting point will be that everybody at the institute is aware of the code of conduct and understand why it is important. Timely correction of behavior is key.

Realization pathway:

  • 9/2023: Our HR Advisor is asked to make an “if-then” template to provide a guide on how unwanted behavior can be most effectively be signaled (which steps to take) and corrected. This will be iterated with management and then published op the social safety website.
  • 9/2023: Information on our Observatory Allies and other confidentiality persons is being updated and advertised in prominent places in the institute and our website.
  • 9/2023: the Observatory Allies and WD followed a confidentiality training conducted by Winston & Partners, about their role, how to handle cases, dilemmas, and boundaries - in addition to do’s and don’ts and conversation practice.
  • 4/10/2023: The University Ombuds Officer Marjan van Dasselaar, and Confidentiality Councilor Marije Bardaux will visit our institute and explain about their work.
  • Continuous: we are contemplating whether intervision would be a good form of further training and development of our Observatory Allies. However, this cannot be arranged within the institute because of confidentiality issues.