Update - June 2012 - actions taken by PEG members and their areas as a result
of the EES action planning sessions facilitated by Michelle Sutton in early 2012.
Some of the key themes being worked on in Faculties and Services from
action planning groups are:
Communication, open consultation, information sharing and decision making
Enhancing leadership and management
Values and behaviours
Senior staff visibility
Career progression/ staff development
The following are some examples of what is being focussed on in Faculties
Communication, open consultation, information sharing, and decision making.
A PEG member discussing engagement plans with all Faculties, including
staff feedback and consultation mechanisms; conducting open meetings and
discussions around the academic agenda with all schools and professional
services and moving to publish all minutes and agendas for all university
academic committees on the web as standard practice
Cross departmental conference held in three Service areas to review
customer service excellence and listen to staff suggestions. Action plans are
now underway to take these actions forward
Implementing a SharePoint site in a Service, specifically for Employee
Engagement where staff can raise topics or issues and add comments or
feedback. Topics that are under the Service’s control will be dealt with by the
appropriate staff member in the department. Topics out with their control will
be forwarded to the appropriate person/department in the University. Updates
will be posted when available
Issues which have an impact on teaching practise such as the dissertation
model have been explored using a problem-solving approach in one Faculty.
This work by a team of academic staff has been led by a subject group leader,
rather than a decision being taken by the Faculty Executive.
One School has decided on the following three key areas to work on:
o Reinstatement of a School Management Team (SMT). To determine
the constitution of an effective and representative SMT in consultation
with School members and to ensure regular SMT meetings. Meetings
have re-commenced, and this should be fully achieved by the end of
o Determination of a School mission statement and annual School
objectives. To write a brief, meaningful and impactful mission
statement, which reflects accurately the values, activities and
aspirations of the School as a whole: to be achieved by the end of
August 2012, and
o Establishment of regular School meetings. To organise formal whole
School meetings for the beginning of each trimester: already achieved,
but needs forward planning for 2012/13.
Another School has decided on these key areas:
Rapid Feedback scheme led by 2 lecturers within the School to
obtain comments/concerns/positive practice from staff and provide rapid
feedback (within 2 weeks) to what has been actioned.
Staff engagement action group (chaired by an academic member of staff)
School team meetings to provide information and rationale for decision
making at school level.
A Faculty has taken the opportunity through a number of staff meetings to
express a clear set of values in the Faculty. These are intended as a starting
point for embedding engagement as a philosophy. The Dean has met with
groups of staff and individuals to explore their expectations and aspirations,
and he has established a blog.
Commissioning by a Faculty Office of a review into how administrative and
business support services are provided in the Faculty. The core project team
for the review is currently being formed and will be drawn from across the
admin and business support staff within the Faculty. The Review will
eventually include Faculty academic staff and make the necessary links to
staff in Professional Services. The Review will address a significant number of
the issues raised in the Employee Engagement Survey and the focus
group. The project will also look closely at how staff are communicated with -
for example using social media. Administrators and Business Support staff will
be involved in emerging communication strategies across the Faculty.
A series of meetings were held by a Service Director with all teams to discuss
priorities identified in the action plan and commitments. So far, feedback has
been very positive.
A Service has been working with the original action planning group in order to
progress a meaningful action plan for the Service. An introduction was given
by the Service Director and then the group split into two smaller groups to
hold discussions based on the feedback from Michelle Sutton. Two themes
emerged which seemed to overlap – communication and culture. Two senior
staff are heading up the Communication and Cultures groups. (The sessions
was perceived to be so good that participants agreed that the two groups
should meet again separately and then come together to share
ideas/outcomes for further discussion and development of a SMART action
plan. These meetings have been set up and will take place by mid July.)
Follow up consultation with Faculty representatives on the issues from the
Enhancing leadership and management
One Service is bringing all Line Managers and Team Leads together in a
meeting to discuss the broad issue of their “managerial responsibilities”. This
will include: PDRs, HR policies, follow up to Employee Engagement and, at
the lighter end of the spectrum, thoughts on a social event to bring staff closer
A Service is working on the consistent implementation of
departmental policies across the Service (senior management and individual
team meetings are held on a regular basis)
A Service leadership team has attended a facilitated development session,
which focused on values and leadership behaviours and the link to staff
engagement in their area.
Senior staff visibility
Two PEG members attended matriculation
The new Dean visited colleagues in all campuses as part of his induction
The Principal held her 1:1 sessions with staff at Merchiston
Three PEG members have had separate tours of Merchiston to understand
the impact of the Merchiston Co-location Project in more detail
One of the Vice Principals met a Service Director and their direct reports, and
the wider Heads Group, at Merchiston. A further session with all staff is
A Dean is hosting a “campus get together” for all staff on 26 June in response
to staff feedback
Career progression and staff development
A Faculty Admin team project is defining core skills for administrators and is
working closely with HR to take forward actions in the area of Career
A development session held for line managers in a Services was held to
review staff development in the Service
A Director has circulated a detailed learning and development plan which was
prepared in the context of the employee engagement survey, where some
staff expressed dissatisfaction with the opportunities for staff development
and, in particular, the Service’s approach to PDRs. This plan reaffirms the
Service’s commitments to planned staff development.
A Faculty has created more promoted posts within the Faculty (Senior
One Service is working on enhancing team working and plans two annual
away days per academic year (corporate day has already taken place and
social day arranged for the end of June)
An all -staff team away day has been held which focused on activities
identified in the EES action plan
Enhancing the working environment has been taken forward by one Service -
Artwork, plants, lighting have been purchased / work areas re-organised.
All the feedback that staff provided via Michelle has been discussed by one
Service and and responsibilities for action have been allocated to members of
staff as appropriate.
The above are examples of the commitment shown by senior staff, line managers
and staff at Edinburgh Napier University to take forward the feedback from the
Employee Engagement Survey and the follow up action planning and focus groups.