2016 STAFF SURVEY: WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED?
In 2016, we asked you to tell us what you think of working at Queen’s. There was a massive response with almost 70% of staff completing the Survey.
We have committed to listening to your feedback and working together to co-create an enjoyable employee experience where all of our people feel supported and empowered to develop their talent while working within a culture that reinforces pride in Queen’s as a great place to work.
What have we achieved so far?
Launch of People First
In March 2018, we launched the People and Culture Strategy for 2018-2021 in response to the feedback received in the Survey. Under the three pillars of Employee Experience, Culture and Talent, the strategy sets out our promise to put our people at the centre of everything we do at Queen’s.
All Staff Events
You told us that you wanted our leaders to be more visible. A number of All staff meetings have taken with the Senior Leadership Team to mark significant occasions within the University. These include the launch of the Corporate Plan and Staff Survey update, the launch of the University’s new brand, Q&A with the University Executive Board, and the launch of People First and the Social Charter.
Since joining in August 2018 the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Ian Greer, has been in listening mode, focusing on engaging with staff at a local level. He has visited all Schools and Directorates with the next round of visits currently being scheduled. Professor Greer has also hosted a series of lunches with staff from across the University including Finance and HR Business Partners, SWAN Champions, Porters, the EPS and AHSS Faculty team and staff from across the University involved in Widening Participation.
You told us that you wanted a voice to effect positive change at the University. In response, we created the Staff Forum in June 2018 and the group met for the first time in October. The Forum represents all of our people from across the 31 Schools and Directorates and has close links with the Staff Survey, providing a further opportunity for staff to share their views on the various ‘touchpoints’ of the employee experience.
STAR Recognition Scheme
The 2016 Staff Survey revealed that employees felt more could be done to highlight good performance and those colleagues who go the extra mile. In response to your comments the STAR Recognition Scheme was launched in September 2018. This allows managers to reward exceptional performance or contribution via annual Performance Awards and year-round Recognition awards. Over 500 STARs have been awarded since the launch.
The Vice Chancellor (VC) attended launch of the University’s LGBT+ staff network, PRISM, in October 2018. This Network was created to provide a welcoming space for LGBT+ employees to meet during work hours, to discuss relevant issues, work matters and to plan social events.
Queen's hosted its first Technician Commitment Event in January 2019, celebrating the unique expertise and contribution of its 240 technicians. This national initiative aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians across all disciplines working in higher education and research. By signing the Technician Commitment, Queen's has pledged to take action on the key challenges affecting our technical staff as part of a journey to ensure visibility and recognition for our technicians.
Academic Promotions Changes
In December 2018, the VC announced significant changes to the Academic Promotions process, including removing the restrictions on the time to progress and lifting the bar on unsuccessful applicants to reapply next year. This change was commended by the trade union, UCU, who voiced their support on Twitter
Learning and Development
Our last Staff Survey revealed that only half of you felt that there were opportunities for personal development and growth at the University. Staff are keen to have greater control over their learning and flexibility around how and when they access it, favouring bite-size development undertaken in real time.
To address this, we’ve refreshed our Learning and Development offer to ensure that all of our people have the chance to build their capability, empowering them to take responsibility for their own development while ensuring effectiveness in their current role and readiness for future progression. Our new offer recognises that development comes in lots of different forms, combining online training, coaching and mentoring, traditional training courses and more. There are opportunities for all staff to access development through Learning for All and LinkedIn Learning, and we’re introducing greater support for managers and leaders.
Removal of Appraisal ratings and Appraisal Review
The Appraisal process was not working effectively. You told us that it that it was administratively heavy, time-consuming, and also that it does not deliver sufficient positive impact on job performance or career development. We’ve taken steps to address this, removing the Appraisal rating system and then announcing in January 2019 that Appraisal will no longer take place in its current format. A full review of the process is underway and will be completed by November 2019.
Mental Health Framework
We’re committed to tackling the stigma around mental health and making Queen’s an open and compassionate workplace where every employee feels comfortable to be themselves at work. Plans are underway to develop a new Mental Health Framework in 2019, setting out our blueprint for achieving this for students and staff.
Leadership & Management Framework
It was clear from the Staff Survey that we needed to provide better support for our leaders and managers to empower them to do their job well and create a positive workplace culture, bringing the ICARE values to life. We’ve listened to what you told us have turned the spotlight on defining what makes a great leader at Queen’s University: the responsibilities, skills, knowledge and desired behaviours required to lead and manage our people effectively. This will form the basis of a new Leadership & Management Framework that is due for release in March 2019.
We want everyone who works here to feel comfortable within the workplace and Queen's is committed to creating an environment free from any form of harassment. To support this, we have established a network of Anti-Harassment Advisors on Campus who can provide confidential information to staff on issues relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination. Any member of staff who is experiencing harassment can contact an Anti-Harassment Advisor to seek advice, support or to talk to them about what they are experiencing in strict confidence and help them decide what steps to take next. You can view details of our Anti-Harassment Advisors here.