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The 2019 Staff Survey: Institutional Action Plan

The 2019 Staff Survey provided an opportunity for us to listen to our staff and hear your thoughts on your experience working here at Queen's. You told us what was working well and where we needed to improve, you can read the full Institutional Survey Report on Queen's Online.

Using your feedback, the following three areas for action were identified and shared with staff in an email from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer on 1 July 2019.

  1. Management of inappropriate behaviour and poor performance
  2. Working as 'One University'
  3. Support for health and wellbeing

However, while the Survey allowed us to identify what areas required action, it did not tell us the reasons why. In order to better understand the feedback - and to ensure that all staff had an opportunity to shape the solutions - a feedback exercise took place between July and September, co-ordinated by the Staff Forum. You can read more about this process and view the resulting Institutional Action Plan by clicking on the links below.

  • Staff Forum feedback exercise

    The Staff Forum met in late-June 2019 to review the results of the 2019 Survey and to consider the key areas for institutional action. The Group also agreed that further feedback was required from staff to better understand the action areas identified and to develop practical solutions.

    Between July and September, the Forum engaged with staff within their respective Schools and Directorates to gather your input. Different approaches were taken across Queen's, including online feedback, team meetings, coffee mornings, anonymous suggestion boxes and more. A huge amount of feedback was gathered, and this was collated into key themes to be presented to the Staff Survey Steering Group (SSSG).

  • Staff Survey Working Group: Feedback review

    The Staff Survey Steering Group met on 30 September and 15 October 2019, to review the feedback submitted and develop an Action Plan. The Group noted some key observations from the feedback submitted:
    • There was significant crossover in the proposed solutions across all three areas for action.
    • Inappropriate behaviour and poor performance are two separate issues and should be treated as such
    • Many of the solutions are being addressed through ongoing or planned activity.
  • Institutional Action Plan 2019: Actions in progress

    The Staff Survey Steering Group noted a number of existing or planned actions that address some of the issues identified through the Survey and feedback exercise. These are detailed below:

    1. Development of the new University Strategic Plan

      The Vice-Chancellor has begun to develop a new strategic Plan for Queen's and has held a number of Faculty and Professional Services based all-staff sessions, sharing his reflections of his first year at Queen’s and outlining the development of the Plan.

    2. Current Learning and Development offer

      Over the course of 2018, our L&D offer expanded to build our leadership effectiveness and ensure our line managers are supported and informed, this included:

    3. Launch of OMNI

      A three-year Institutional Framework for Mental Health for students and staff was launched in 2018 and will continue to be developed and rolled out to staff during 2020. This includes a full programme of Mental Health Fist Aid, which has been available for staff from 29 November 2019 onwards. Delivered by Action Mental Health, this two-day course focuses on specific topics such as suicide awareness, identifying risks of harm, signs of depression and anxiety, self-care and positive action planning for staff and managers.

    4. Launch of PDR and Academic Progression
    5. On 4 November 2019, PDR officially launched for all staff. This new approach to Appraisal focuses on equipping all staff to take responsibility for their own development and progression and focuses on ongoing conversations between Reviewee and Reviewer in support of this. You can read more about PDR here.

    6. The Professional Services Career Progression and Development Working Group

      Chaired by the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Joanne Clague, this Group was established in response to feedback that indicated more needs to be done to support the development and progression of our Professional Services staff. You can read further details of the activity of this Group, here.

  • Institutional Action Plan 2019: New Actions

    The following actions were approved by the University Executive Board on 22 October 2019:

    • Action One: Review our approach to flexible working practices creating simple and transparent guidelines/ principles to support the implementation of flexible working practices in a fair and consistent way.

      A Working Group was established to lead this work. This Group, Chaired by Laura Lynch, Head of Organisational Development, People and includes representation from across Queen's, including a member of the Staff Forum.

    • Action Two: Review our approach to workload allocation within Faculties providing a framework to support workload allocation in a fair and consistent way.

      A Working Group was established to lead this work. This Group, Chaired by Professor Stuart Elborn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, includes representation from across Queen's, including a member of the Staff Forum.

    • Action Three: Review our core policies that relate to performance and behaviour to ensure that they are applied in a fair and consistent way.

      The initial policy review was led by a People and Culture Team, consulting with relevant staff, Trade Unions and Legal Counsel as appropriate.

    • Action Four: Build on our Core Values and articulate the types of behaviours that staff should and should not demonstrate to create a positive work environment.

      This work was taken forward by the Staff Forum from February 2020. The Forum are consulting with their respective teams to ensure that all staff have an opportunity to have their say in shaping the framework, which will outline how we should - and shouldn't - strive to work together at Queen's.