There has already been an extensive range of actions undertaken, at Faculty/Directorate and Institutional level, to address issues identified in the staff survey. Examples are included below.
Actions undertaken during the last year include:
- Extensive consultation across the University in the formulation and development of the new brand.
- All staff meetings with the Senior Leadership Team including: launch of the Corporate Plan and a Staff Survey update on 29 March 2017; and launch of the University’s new brand identity and Q&A with the University Executive Board on 4 October 2017.
- Introduction of a monthly Team Brief, which provides a mechanism for communicating, in a timely manner, Institutional, Faculty, Directorate and School information.
- The ratings scores in the non-academic Staff Appraisal Scheme and the requirement for 6-month reviews for all staff were removed in June 2017.
- Introduction of annual Staff Excellence Awards, which allow us to highlight and celebrate our Core Values in practice, emphasising positive behaviours, such as integrity and respect, and recognising role models across the University.
- Inviting staff who have made an exceptional contribution over the past 12 months to graduation lunch in recognition of their achievements.
High Level Faculty/Directorate Actions
Undertaken since the publication of the Survey Results in October 2016
- Introduction of interactive all Faculty staff meetings with Senior Leaders four times a year.
- Publication of an online Faculty Focus Newsletter. This provides a mechanism within the Faculty to celebrate success, share news and welcome new staff.
- Introduction of receptions for new staff and for new grant holders. These receptions take place 2 to 3 times per year and are attended by the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and relevant members of the Faculty Leadership Team.
- Introduction of Academic Promotions workshops, led by the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, making promotions relevant to the Faculty and supporting career progression.
- Introduction of a transparent Faculty Workload Allocation Model.
- Introduction of several informal opportunities for staff to meet with members of the leadership team to discuss and provide feedback on Faculty issues.
- Creation of a Faculty EPS Communications Team to identify and share Faculty news items both internally and externally.
- Comprehensive Technical Review, the expected output of which is an improved working experience for Technicians within the Faculty.
- Development and ongoing implementation of School Action Plans to address local issues.
- Increased communication and engagement with all Faculty members through greater face-to-face interaction with and increased visibility of senior leaders, for example, new initiatives to raise awareness of new research and education initiatives across the Faculty.
- Development of a transparent Faculty Workload Allocation Model.
- Establishment of a Faculty Postdoctoral Development Centre (PDDC) in recognition of the key role played by the large post doc community within the Faculty.
- Establishment of a Technical Forum to review the technical service within the Faculty.
- A new Staff Induction Policy has been introduced by Development and Alumni Relations (DARO), centred on the ‘DARO Passport’ and providing each new member of staff with a ‘buddy’ for their first six months in post. Included in the Passport is the requirement for each new start to meet with key people and visit facilities across the campus. This initiative is aimed at aiding the smooth integration of new staff into Queen’s.
- Academic & Student Affairs (DASA) now hosts an Inter Divisional Coffee Morning each semester, aligned to the Core Values, and organised and delivered by different business areas to highlight priorities within their specific area. DASA has also launched an Exchange programme within the Directorate, where staff can spend up to half a day in another business area – for example, staff from Academic Affairs and Disability Services have completed a half day exchange in Careers, Employability & Skills, helping out at the NI Graduate Recruitment Fair.
- Estates staff felt that they would appreciate more formal interaction with Senior Management – to address this, the Director has hosted a number of “coffee and catch up” meetings across the Directorate. An initiative known as Visible Felt Leadership has also been put in place to allow teams to meet with representatives from Senior Management who are not part of their own team. In addition, more Estates staff are now able to access computers/University communications – computers have been purchased for Cleaning Supervisors’ offices; Maintenance Staff all now have iPads; and Grounds staff have access to a computer via their tea room.
- Finance has introduced a Development Forum for Grade 7 and 8 staff, supported by the Directorate Management Team. The Forum will have an official launch event in early 2018, followed by three sessions per annum. The sessions will primarily be facilitated by external providers and will focus on staff development needs identified by a specific survey of Grade 7 and 8 staff – this will also develop over time to reflect the needs of the attendees at the Forum.
- Human Resources (HR) has developed new ways for HR colleagues, based in Faculty, to access centrally retained HR records through the acquisition of a document management system. Once implemented, HR colleagues will have instant access to relevant HR data/staff records.
- Awareness of Information Services (IS) Directorate activities has been enhanced through a series of ‘all hands’ staff meetings. This activity is being complemented by increased visibility of senior leaders through scheduled visits by the Director and Senior Managers across IS.
- Marketing, Recruitment, Communications and Internationalisation (MRCI) has introduced a Lunchtime Seminar series to enhance the visibility of its Senior Team and to provide a platform for staff engagement. MRCI Departmental Team Workshops have also taken place to clarify team and individual roles within the context of Corporate Plan targets. All this activity is complemented by a dynamic approach to using Team Briefing sessions to address issues which emerge from feedback boxes placed across the Directorate.
- The Research and Enterprise Directorate has established three new cross-team projects to tackle key issues within its core business and to give opportunities for staff within the Directorate to gain new experience and skills and to build better relationships across teams. This is a pilot initiative, and further projects will be established pending staff feedback. To enhance transparency, and the accessibility of senior staff, the Directorate now also holds fortnightly ten-minute stand-up briefings, delivered by SMT members in rotation. These take place the day following SMT meetings to ensure that information and decisions are communicated swiftly.
Student Plus (SP) has reviewed and updated all job descriptions across the Directorate and has communicated a more standardised approach to working hours. Team based activities have also been organised for SP staff who cannot engage in other University-wide Wellbeing initiatives due to their working hours. Staff information sessions have also been introduced, led by the Director and members of the Senior Management Team.