Employees responding to the Staff Survey wanted to see more opportunities to make their voices heard, so in June 2018 we established a Staff Forum. Made up of representatives from each Faculty and Directorate across the University, this group represents all of our people and provides the opportunity for everyone working at Queen’s to share their views on the various ‘touchpoints’ that matter to our staff and make a difference to their experience working here.
By listening to what our people have to say through the Forum, we will co-create solutions to help shape and design a more positive Employee Experience which meets both the needs of the employees and the University.
The short video below provides further information about the work of the Forum to date.
Staff Forum Representatives
Name Area Professor Ian Greer Vice-Chancellor and Forum Chair Brian Parkes People and Culture Director Claire McLoughlin Faculty Office, AHSS Aine Maxwell Institute of Professional and Legal Studies Dr Michael Isichei Queen’s University Management School Dr Philip McGowan Schools of Arts, English and Languages Susan Templeton School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics Trisha Forbes School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work Shannon Caldwell Faculty Office, EPS Darren Baskerville School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Allister Lee School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Francis Keenan School of Maths and Physics Olwyn Dawson School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dr Tristan Strum School of Natural and Built Environment Patricia Castle School of Psychology Dr Alice Dubois Faculty Office, MHLS Michael Hills Institute for Global Food Security Professor Bronagh Blackwood Institute for Health Sciences Gillian Riddell School of Biological Sciences Dr Declan McLaughlin School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Vacant School of Nursing and Midwifery Dr Paul McCague School of Pharmacy Natasha Sharma Development and Alumni Relations Irene Cavan Academic and Student Affairs Hugh Lewsley Estates Michael Stevenson Finance Leeann Matchett People and Culture Vacant Information Services Dr Kathryn Boyd MRCI Laura Vannucci Registrar’s Office Colin Walsh Research and Enterprise Richard Robinson Student Plus Pauline Allen Vice-Chancellor’s Office Karen McGivern School of Law
Staff Forum Meeting One October 2018
The Forum met for the first time in October 2018, and the meeting was chaired by the Vice Chancellor. Our main discussion topic was Appraisals and we received a huge amount of feedback reflecting the many and varied experience of all our staff across each of the Schools and Directorates.
We have listened to everything you have told us as well as suggestions from senior leaders and are committed to making constructive changes aimed at putting our people first and creating a positive employee experience. Further details will follow shortly.
Staff Forum Meeting Two February 2019
Our second Forum meeting took place on Monday 18 February 2019. The VC introduced the session and provided a summary of the feedback that had been provided by all Forum Representatives on behalf of their Schools and Directorates. Professor Greer confirmed that the Appraisal process would not run in its current format again and that a Review Steering Group has been established. The feedback provided by the Forum has been shared with this group and will feed into the review process, and the Forum is also represented on the Group by Forum member, Dr Michael Isichei.
Here's a brief overview of the feedback you provided:
- Online Appraisal System
- In the main, you agreed that an online system would make things easier for employees and managers, reducing the administrative and time burden. Any online system could not replace face-to-face meetings, however, and confidentiality would need to be upheld.
- Corporate Plan
- The University's Corporate Plan is an important document that should strategically inform everything we do. You've fed back that this isn't currently the case and we need to do more to ensure that all staff understand what the Corporate Plan means and how it relates to your job role. Only then can it form a meaningful part of continuous performance review.
- Understanding the 'How'
- We currently measure 'how' employees carry out their work using both Professional Standards and the ICARE values. You told us that this approach is inconsistent across different teams and it's confusing. Most of you agreed that we should measure behaviour using ICARE alone - but it needs to be properly explained and used consistently by all managers.
- Regular line manager catch ups
- Your feedback tells us that while the line manager relationship is a vital aspect of the employee experience, the nature of this relationship can vary greatly across the University. You've told us that regular line manager catch ups are very important but there needs to be consistency in this.
- Topics Covered
- You all agreed that there should be greater guidance around the topics covered throughout this process. Any conversation should look to the future, focussing on identifying strengths, development opportunities and progression.
- The Broader Performance Management Process
- It is clear from the feedback gathered that any new Appraisal process cannot be conducted in isolation. It should link explicitly to other aspects of career development and progression with clear and tangible outcomes.
The remainder of the Forum meeting focused on the 2019 Staff Survey. You can read more about the Survey here.
The next Forum meeting will take place on Tuesday 25 June 2019.
- Staff Forum Meeting Three June 2019
The third meeting of the Staff Forum took place on 25 June 2019. The meeting began with an update on the Appraisal review process and Dr Michael Isichei - the Forum's Representative on the Appraisal Sub Group - explained some of the key changes, which are summarised here.
The main focus of the meeting was on the institutional results from the Staff Survey 2019. The Group explored the results further and distilled priority actions at an institutional level to the following three areas of action:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Management of poor performance and inappropriate behaviour
- Working as 'One' University
The Forum explored the best ways to gather feedback from all staff and agreed that consultation would take place between June and 20 September 2019. You can read more about the next stage of this process here
The next Forum meeting will take place on Friday 25 October 2019.