Following feedback from the Staff Survey and the follow-up Listening Exercise, four areas have been identified for action at an institutional level.
Immediate actions to be taken in these four areas, are below.
During the action planning process, a key message from all staff was a need to improve how we communicate and connect across the University. We need to focus on more face to face interactions and events, including opportunities to engage with members of the Senior Management Team. There is also a clear desire from staff to have the opportunity to inform and contribute to the development of key institutional priorities in a meaningful way.
Actions initiated in this area are as follows:
- On Wednesday, 29 March 2017, all staff are invited to attend the launch of the Corporate Plan, including Core Values, in the Whitla Hall. There will be three sessions running at 11.00am, 1pm and 3.00pm. An update on the Staff Survey will also be shared at these events, which will include time for Q & A with members of the Senior Leadership Team;
- As we take forward the development of a new brand and corporate identity, a number of consultation roadshows are underway across the University. Feedback from staff and students at these roadshows will be critical in determining our new corporate identity;
- At a local level, there is a commitment to deliver more Faculty, School and Directorate events which facilitate opportunities for informal networking and sharing of ideas;
- The development of the Team Brief approach, which provides a mechanism for communicating Institutional, Faculty, Directorate and School information/updates;
- The Vice-Chancellor will visit all Schools and Directorates annually to meet with staff and hear, first-hand, your views and ideas.
70% of staff are satisfied with their total reward package and their physical work conditions. The Listening Exercise, however, told us that we need to improve how we celebrate excellence and recognise and reward the achievements of staff.
Actions identified in this area are as follows:
- As previously communicated, we are committed to a major review of how we Reward and Recognise staff and a dedicated Project Group will now take this work forward, bringing recommendations to the University Executive Board in June 2017.
- Our first Staff Excellence Awards were held in February and were a great success. We will be launching the 2017 Awards in October. This is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate our Core Values in practice, highlighting positive behaviours and identifying role models across the University.
- Over the past 2 years, Schools, Directorates and the Students’ Union have been asked to nominate staff and students to attend our Graduation Lunches as a way of recognising their many achievements. We will continue this practice and will shortly be requesting nominations for summer graduation 2017. A list of attendees, and their achievements, will be shared with staff and students.
During the Listening Exercise, it became clear that we need to review the current career development and progression framework and this work must be led at an institutional level. In response, we will initiate two work streams (see next steps below), to undertake a comprehensive review of the issues as they relate to academic and to professional services staff.
Academic Standards play an important role in setting clear performance expectations, appropriate to disciplinary context and career stage, for the academic community. At an institutional level, the effective implementation of standards is critical to delivering our ambition to become a world-class institution that is globally respected for its excellence in research, education and knowledge exchange.
The Listening Exercise has indicated that greater clarity is required in how Academic Standards should be interpreted, applied and updated. This will now be actioned through a dedicated work stream, which will tackle these issues and ensure greater understanding and ownership of standards within Schools.
There is a large programme of work to be undertaken to deliver the above and the framework for delivery will be as follows:
Establishment of a Staff Survey Steering Group, reporting to the University Executive Board, jointly chaired by Professor Richard English, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement, and Brian Parkes, Director of Human Resources. The Steering Group will be responsible for delivering on the four institutional actions summarised above, in particular focusing on how we communicate and connect, working effectively as One Team, embracing the Core Values we have approved.
The Steering Group will be supported by three Sub-Groups in the following areas:
- Academic Group – to consider Career Development and Progression, including Academic Standards.
- Professional Services Group – to consider Career Development and Progression for all Professional Services Staff.
- Reward and Recognition Group – to consider Reward and Recognition for all staff.
Details of the membership of each group and regular updates on progress will be provided through the Staff Survey Website.