Summary of local area Action Plans by Jeronohnson


									                                   Summary of local area Action Plans

The results of the Your Voice survey, carried out in May 2008, were communicated to the Executive in August 2008
and reported to Council in September. While there was much to celebrate in the results, a number of areas for
improvement were also highlighted. Across the University priorities identified were: the provision of additional
support to Senior Management, staff bullying, rewards and recognition, workloads and cross-sectional communication

At local area level, staff were given detailed information regarding their school or unit’s response. All Managers were
asked to confer with staff, identify some issues particular to their area and produce action plans to address them. These
plans were submitted to Pro Vice Chancellors at the end of March 2009. Interim reports will be submitted in
September and final reports in March 2010.

Thirty five action plans were returned to the Organisational Development Unit. Some areas combined and submitted
joint plans. (Areas where fewer than ten people had responded did not receive specific reports). The plans show a high
level of commitment to addressing issues, an impressive involvement of staff and a real engagement with improving
areas which have been identified as problematical.

An Action Plan template and checklist for Managers was sent to each area, and staff from the ODU and from Human
Resources were available to offer assistance and advice as required. Consultations included one-on-one conversations
with heads of areas, speaking to meetings of staff, facilitating focus groups and workshops to draft action plans.

This report gives an overview of the submitted plans.

Communication of staff survey results

Schools and areas communicated the results of the survey and addressed issues pertinent to their areas in a range of

Some examples of communication strategies used are:

Area A : Example of strategies at school level

    •   email circulated to all staff seeking comments on the areas of poor performance as identified in the survey
    •   review of staff responses
    •   draft plan circulated to all staff for comment and reviewed and finalised by the Head of School
    •   two focus groups (one comprised of academic and one of professional staff) were held to explore areas of (i)
        communication, (ii) parking and (iii) community engagement.

Area B: Example of strategies at Faculty level

    •   findings and outcomes presented to the Faculty Board
    •   findings and outcomes published on Faculty intranet
    •   ODU Consultant reported on results to full staff meeting of the area
    •   workshop with ODU consultant to address issues and prepare draft plan.
Area C: Example of strategies at School level

    •   summary of results and key areas for improvement discussed at the School Action Day
    •   results of the survey discussed at the School Strategic Planning Session – recognising a need for synergy
        between the plans
    •   staff feedback via email incorporated into the Plan.

Area D: Example of strategies at central service area level

    •   discussed at retreats, in working parties and in staff meetings
    •   some staff attended presentation on results
    •   survey results discussed at departmental meetings and with individual staff, exploring perceived disconnect
        between the results and current views of staff.
Area E: Example of strategies at School level

    •   dedicated working party with Heads of Departments and School Management Committee
    •   Heads of Departments consulted with department staff after draft plans had been distributed for comment
    •   consultation with the Heads of Department Management Committee members at a supplementary workshop to
        revise the first draft including staff feedback
    •    second version sent to staff for comment, then finalised.

Improving Communication

A critical issue identified in the survey both at a university wide and at a local area level was that of communication.
A total of twenty one action plans focussed on improving communication. Responses included:

                                 Strategies for improving communication
Meetings                             • weekly faculty executive meetings
                                     • monthly staff meetings
                                     • holding staff discussion forums
                                     • bi-monthly forums for Faculty Management
                                     • annual staff development day
                                     • regular forums to provide staff with the opportunity to provide
                                     • cluster meetings in which senior managers meet regularly with a
                                         group of staff they do not supervise to brief them on office related
                                         issues and receive feedback on concerns
                                     • regular staff meetings to address whole of office issues
                                     • enabling staff to place items on the agenda for all meetings in the
                                     • notes/minutes of all meetings circulated to staff and placed on
                                         School Blackboard page
                                     • continue monthly directors and managers meetings to brainstorm
                                         issues and update colleagues on key projects

Social events                        •    including social elements in staff meetings
                                     •    forming social club committee
                                     •    organising social functions for all staff several times each year.
Contact with management              •    develop a framework for effective two-way communication
                                          between staff and management
                                     •    invite the Director to staff meetings
                                     •    Director to advise all staff of availability through Outlook
                                     •    set up a PVC Blog.
Access to information                •    faculty newsletter
                                     •    development of staff intranet page
                                     •    post management meeting minutes on intranet website
                                     •    close the loop through planned communication and appropriate
                                     •    implement calendar of faculty events
                                     •    target communication to appropriate audience and increase
                                     •    establish clear and usable communication channels without
                                          information overload
                                     •    use blogs and on line forums
                                     •    encourage all staff to attend university wide briefings
                                     •    provide common folder for all relevant documents.
Visibility and promotion             •    include news and events section on website
                                     •    develop a faculty communications plan that will encourage an
                                          open and sharing culture
                                     •    manage client expectations about the work of the unit.

Involvement and interaction           •    continue communications strategies within the unit, including peer
                                           review, regular meetings, informal updates, consultation with
                                           colleagues and social occasions
                                      •    strategic plan to be completed in consultation with staff teams
                                      •    planning day to follow up on Your Voice progress.
Cross-sectional                       •    increased use of cross functional teams to enhance cross section
                                           collaboration and communication
                                      •    improve communication with other areas within the university as
                                           to management of legal issues
                                      •    be approachable and helpful and convince other areas it’s a
                                           pleasure to deal with you
                                      •    improve the quality and transparency of communication across the
                                           area and between the area and faculties and schools through
                                           regular management meetings with set agenda items and minutes
                                           to be disseminated to staff
                                      •    improve understanding of other areas’ needs and requirements by
                                           regular attendance at meetings of representatives of other areas
                                      •    increased staff participation in the FOLT program
                                      •    promotion of the CAS facilities to the whole of the University-
                                           include CAS on the Student Orientation Tour.
Other                                 •    electronic suggestion box for anonymous comments
                                      •    be consistent in decisions

Number of areas which identified issues for action in their plans

The figure below illustrates the distribution of issues identified by areas for inclusion in their plans.






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  Samples of actions

  The following is a sample of the actions identified in local area Action Plans. They have been grouped according to
  the most commonly identified issues

Workload                               •   WPPRs to be implemented across the faculty
                                       •   include recognition of staff workloads in the WPPR process and enable
                                           managers and staff to not take on new projects or additional work unless
                                           areas are adequately staffed
                                       •   continuous monitoring of workloads to ensure all staff have a balanced and
                                           appropriate workload commensurate with their level
                                       •   balance workload with strategies such as streamlining committee
                                           involvement, increasing time allowance for teaching, rationalising courses
                                           and reducing the duplication of administrative processes
                                       •   implement rewards and recognition system
                                       •   undertake a review of the school budget and resources
                                       •   no new area initiatives or projects taken on, until adequate resources and
                                           staffing are available
                                       •   managers to control work flow in their areas.
                                       •   establish working party to review current model and make recommendations
                                           for Semester 2
                                       •   develop strategies to ensure staff are able to take leave, e.g. training to
                                           enable backfilling.
Facilities                             •   audit of all space requirements to be undertaken
                                       •   funding application to be submitted for research building
                                       •   development of plan to cater for future space requirements
                                       •   security doors to ensure staff safety
                                       •   have school painted and recarpeted
                                       •   improve signage
                                       •   short term and long term plans for cleaning and upgrade of buildings
                                       •   investigate innovative solutions to staff space problems
                                       •   manage staff expectations regarding work space
                                       •   implement plan where each School/Centre has a visual identity and an
                                           established presence
                                       •   development and implementation of an Asset Replacement Plan
                                       •   identification of communal informal meeting areas
                                       •   develop staff legend in the main reception area.
Research and entrepreneurship          •   upgrade and replace ageing equipment
                                       •   establish mentoring program for junior staff and new researchers
                                       •   establish clear procedures to deal with informal enquiries/applications for
                                           higher degree research positions and internships
                                       •   establish school research plan
                                       •   establish resources to support the writing of research papers and grants
                                       •   establish research and development director
                                       •   ensure staff have appropriate time allowance for research
                                       •   fund conferences
                                       •   improve collaboration between staff involved in different areas of research
                                           by sharing publications and collaborating on grant applications
                                       •   staff to be supported in entrepreneurial activities through time release,
                                           resources, etc.
                                       •   ensure research supervision opportunities are made available to all eligible
Training and development               •   investigate ways of implementing training in teaching technology i.e.
                                           Blackboard, video editing
                                       •   development and implementation of a mentorship/coaching program for
                                           Faculty Management
                                •   identify appropriate training for new staff and align training with staff needs
                                    for career development and progression
                                •   develop and implement plan to review/ improve internal process and
                                    procedures documentation
                                •   review existing training options and consider gap analysis/communication
                                •   develop training plans for each section
                                •   develop induction program
                                •   consider team building activities
                                •   additional training for supervisors and staff regarding Work Plans
                                •   review process for completion of Work Plans
                                •   hold team development day
                                •   skills development for all staff through WPPRs
                                •   individual development plans
                                •   in training line managers to conduct WPPRs emphasise the area’s positive
                                    attitude to training and development even in times of staff shortages and
                                    heavy workloads
                                •   reinforce the positive training and development attitude through the year by
                                    communicating opportunities through local area newsletter
                                •   seek funding from DVC to provide financial support for staff to complete
                                    formal qualifications where they have demonstrated aptitude to succeed.
                                •   participation in training sessions and sessions organised by ODU.
Career planning and             •   identify staff needs and allocate appropriate resources including time
opportunities                       allowances
                                •   institution of merit based career progression for administrative staff
                                •   establishment of staff training fund
                                •   enhance skills through special project allocation
                                •   WPPRs to include clear plans for support and development for all staff
                                •   provide promotional opportunities
                                •   cross positional training to support career development plans and allow staff
                                    to gain some understanding of the functions associated with other positions
                                •   actively encourage staff to engage in career planning, assess their training
                                    and development needs and assist in providing the necessary training and
                                •   conduct audit of staff contracts
                                •   highlight to senior executive the impact of budget constraints on ability to
                                    attract and retain quality staff and on staff morale.

Processes                       •   increase range of SLAS to include all stake holders
                                •   all staff to be issued with organisational chart
                                •   work towards a professional and collaborative work culture
                                •   clarity in roles: departments to update position descriptions
                                •   establish procedures for all activities
                                •   undertake review of processes
                                •   introduce FLOW
                                •   develop SCRIPT as a process management tool across all aspects of our
                                •   integrate SCRIPT data with data from the financial, student and HR systems.
Valuing Teaching and Learning   •   recognise and promote quality teaching and learning
                                •   develop a process to enable staff to have their teaching monitored by an
                                    independent person to gauge the effectiveness of innovations and teaching
                                •   hold discussions with staff to see how teaching can best be supported
                                •   develop a forum to exchange best practice models of learning, teaching and
Senior                          •   increase participation through senior management role modelling and
Management/Leadership               listening
                                •   increased input and consultation from staff
                               •   improve career opportunities for staff
                               •   develop a solution based approach to problems
                               •   initiate individual staff sessions with external consultant in partnership with
                                   Staff Services
                               •   VC to address staff twice a year
                               •   PVC and DVC to attend staff meetings and planning days.
Environmental responsibility   •   establishment of an environmental management working group
                               •   environmental management plan
                               •   E –waste recycling project
                               •   printers set to print back to back
                               •   use energy saving globes
                               •   implement electronic audit working papers system
                               •   consider electronic generation of audit reports ( no paper copies).
Change and innovation          •   best practice change management procedures and practices are put in place
                               •   work with university and faculty management to ensure schools receive
                                   adequate funding for change management initiatives.
                               •   engage in discussions and collaborations with HR Managers
                               •   benchmark change consultancy in other universities
                               •   staff to be consulted about changes to budget allocations
                               •   regular team meetings for all areas to address day to day concerns of staff
                               •   regular 1-2-1 meetings for managers and staff


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