SUPPORTING STAFF DEVELOPMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC
During the COVID pandemic, the People and Culture directorate's Organisational Development team, led by Laura Lynch, team has adapted the University's development offer for a virtual world.
What is your role at Queen's?
My key responsibilities include leadership and management development, professional development for all staff, and targeted development for specific cohorts of staff such as researchers and females. Additionally, I support staff engagement and listening activity across Queen’s, work which aims to improve the employee experience through the Staff Forum and staff surveys and subsequent action planning.
How long have you worked here?
I have worked in Queen’s for 8 years, joining as an HR Business Partner and moving into my current role in 2017.
Can you outline some of the challenges?
During the COVID pandemic, the OD team has adapted our development offer for a virtual world. We recognised that the longer lockdown continued, the more detrimental the impact on staff development and progression, in particular for females. OD reached out to QGI to see what support we could offer and this connection coincided with initial discussions regarding the QGI COVID Lockdown survey. The OD team joined the project group to help take forward the survey given our experience of running the staff surveys.
Can you share any moments of positivity or joy?
The working group who supported the development of the survey were really positive. Everyone was passionate about the survey and its aims, and despite individual circumstances, all members of the team made the time to contribute. To me, this work was an excellent example of connectivity at work in Queen’s with a cross-functional team of academics and professional services colleagues working together to achieve a shared and positive outcome.
What one thing would you like people to learn or remember from the pandemic?
The key thing that has stood out to me during the pandemic is the need for greater empathy. It is now more important than ever for managers to lead with compassion, and this approach can go a long way in helping colleagues feel more secure and valued.