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Update on Staff Survey Institutional Actions

The key areas identified for improvement in the 2019 Staff Survey were as follows: support for health and wellbeing; management of poor performance and inappropriate behaviour; and working as "One University".

Between July and September 2019 Staff Forum representatives gathered feedback from colleagues across the University to help understand the issues behind the areas for improvement. This feedback was then used to develop four institutional actions. Select the relevant action from the list below for an update on progress.

  • 1. Review our approach to Workload Allocation

    Review our approach to Workload Allocation within Faculties providing a framework to support workload allocation in a fair and consistent way.
    A Working Group (WG) was established in January 2020 to lead on the Workload Allocation action which had been identified as way in which we can further support the health and wellbeing of our staff. The Terms of Reference are available on QOL under University Documents. The WG met on five occasions, the first two meetings took place before the pandemic, and remaining three when lockdown measures were in place.

    Feedback from Working Group members, and that gathered from their colleagues, was used to develop the Workload Allocation Guidance. The Workload Allocation Guidance includes the definition of the purpose of workload allocation for Queen’s, the scope of the guidance, principles and operational guidance and a review mechanism.

    The WG met a number of times when lockdown measures were in place and agreed the importance of updating the guidance to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on academic workload. Members agreed that the principles are very relevant in the current environment and therefore that it would be timely to launch with immediate effect.

    The Workload Allocation Guidance was approved by the University Executive Board (UEB) on 30 June 2020. While the principles are applicable now, it is recognised that some of the Operational Guidelines will not be fully effective until 2021/22.

    UEB also recognised that the Workload Allocation Guidance will be subject to change, reflecting the challenging and dynamic environment in which we are operating, and a review will take place early next year.

    Access the new Workload Allocation Guidance here.

  • 2. Review our approach to Flexible Working Practices

    Review our approach to Flexible Working practices creating simple and transparent principles and guidelines to support the implementation of flexible working practices in a fair and consistent way.
    A Working Group (WG) was established in January 2020 to lead on the Flexible Work action which had been identified as way in which we can further support the health and wellbeing of our staff. The Terms of Reference are available on QOL under University Documents. The WG met on four occasions, the first two meetings took place before the pandemic, and remaining two when lockdown measures were in place.

    Feedback from Working Group members, and that gathered from their colleagues, was used to develop the Flexible Work Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles include the purpose and benefits of flexible working, the scope of the guidance, principles and roles and responsibilities.

    The WG met a number of times when lockdown measures were in place and agreed the importance and relevance of the principles during the pandemic as we flex how we work on our return to campus and going forward. The WG also acknowledged that there is an opportunity to learn from the way that we have worked during the pandemic and that these learnings, alongside feedback gathered pre Covid-19, should be used to shape the revised Flexible Working Policy and the accompanying guidance and support for managers and staff beyond lockdown, helping shape a new agile way of working for Queen’s.

    The Flexible Working Guiding Principles were approved by the University Operating Board (UOB) on 24 June. In addition, UOB also recognised and endorsed the additional work required to review the Flexible Working Policy and the development of transparent guidance for both staff and managers informed by pre and post COVID feedback from staff and managers.

    Access the new Flexible Working Guiding Principles here.

  • 3. Review our core policies that relate to performance and behaviour

    Review our core policies that relate to performance and behaviour to ensure that they are applied in a fair and consistent way.
    Our core employment policies are currently being reviewed, the review of the Grievance Procedure is near completion, and will be communicated in due course, and a review of the Bullying and Harassment Policy will follow. This review is being led by the Employment Relations team in People and Culture and involves the three trade unions, our legal advisors and other relevant external agencies.

  • 4. Build on our core values, ICARE

    Build on our core values, ICARE, and articulate the types of behaviours that staff should, and should not demonstrate, to create a positive work environment.
    The Staff Forum is leading on this action. Dedicated Faculty/Professional Services feedback sessions were arranged in March to enable all staff to contribute. Only two of the planned sessions were able to proceed, due to Covid-19. To ensure all staff have the opportunity to contribute, virtual feedback sessions are now planned. Details will be provided by your Staff Forum Representative and in the Round Up.