In 2017, only 36% of respondents felt that UCL had provided adequate support to staff in response to Brexit.
UCL has launched a website for UCL staff on Brexit which provides the latest updates and answers to FAQs, we have also set up a dedicated email address so anybody concerned with the impact of Brexit on their employment at UCL can receive a direct response from an immigration specialist, and we have responded to more than 1,700 emails so far. We have also held 19 Immigration Clinics run by immigration specialists, with up to 60 people attending each, plus two ‘Town Hall’ meetings, hosted by the Provost and the senior leadership team.
UCL offers an interest free loan of up to £10,000 for eligible employees to obtain immigration law advice and make certain immigration applications, and we also support the family of EU staff with making an application for Settled Status.
UCL is totally committed to our European colleagues and continuing to provide support throughout the uncertainty, whatever the eventual outcome.
In 2017, only 47% of survey respondents thought that the promotions criteria was clear.
The 2017-18 academic promotions round was the first to use the new academic careers framework, which was developed through wide consultation to make to make the criteria for promotion much clearer. Since then, UCL has seen record numbers of both applicants and promotions. A promotion route to the new position of Professorial Teaching Fellow was also introduced for the first time in 2017 and we’re delighted that six individuals were immediately promoted to this role.
Similar activities have now started to provide career pathways for staff working in professional services roles. UCL Ways of Working for staff in professional services was also launched in May 2019 and the framework enables individuals, teams and leaders to set clear expectations, support development, have quality conversations and be their best in the workplace.
In 2017 only 56% of respondents felt that their last appraisal helped them to identify opportunities for personal development.
UCL HR has recently completely refreshed the centrally provided appraisal training so it's now highly interactive and provides tools and techniques to have a coaching style conversation. This training is available through the Learning and Development Portfolio. A digital solution for mandatory training requirements will be launched in Autumn 2019, if you would like to know more please email UCL HR Organisational Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2017, a quarter of respondents reported that they had witnessed behaviour towards others that they considered to be bullying/harassment in the last two years at UCL.
UCL has launched the Full Stop campaign which aims to remove some of the barriers to reporting and provide improved support for those affected. The campaign also focuses on how, as members of the UCL community, we can all play an active role in shaping a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and staff.
Significant progress has already been made:
The new Report + Support portal provides staff and students with the opportunity to report anonymously or contact an advisor to make an informed decision about their support options.
Additional training is now offered, including Student Union Active Bystander training, ‘Where do you draw the line?’ ‘Taking the Lead’ for managers, and specialist Rape Crisis training for staff in student-facing roles
UCL has banned the use of non-disclosure agreements in settlement agreements with staff or students who have raised genuine complaints of sexual misconduct, bullying or harassment and has established an agreement with Intersol Global to improve the quality and consistency of investigations.
Highlights from across departments and faculties
Finance and Business Affairs
For our 2018 all-staff away day 2018, we collaborated with colleagues from the Slade, and provided a variety of theme-based activities to explore three UCL Wellbeing Pillars: Positive Environments, Healthy Lifestyles and Mental Wellness. Staff experienced ‘colour breathing’, ‘embraced the rhythm’ with a drumming class and contributed to the creation of three calendars now displayed in FBA offices. Find out more.
Finance and Business Affairs Away Day 2018
Global Engagement Office
We arranged a workshop to explore team culture: things that work well and areas for improvement. Work continues, but key recent achievements include expert sessions on managing workloads and maintaining resilience in a demanding environment. GEO is also piloting a light-touch staff development and performance management process, building on the essentials of the UCL appraisal system. Recognising the diversity of our team, we have also reaffirmed and clarified our commitment to flexible work.
We have rolled out a management training programme for all managers in the department; the programme is ongoing but 122 managers have already participated in 7 sessions. One manager said: “The programme has been extremely useful, particularly in tackling and understanding issues of a sensitive nature as well giving me the confidence to improve the way I look after staff.” Another described how “I have taken away the idea that the most important part of management is listening. It is worth reiterating that and thinking about how to do it.”
The MAPs Staff survey group meets once a term and has so far been instrumental in setting up new initiatives including the MAPS Career Clarity workshop (aimed at supporting professional services staff to take the next step in their careers at UCL) and the Faculty Forum (an event bringing all faculty staff together to hear updates from the Dean and other invited speakers from across UCL).
The team follows a really consultative approach to planning, focusing on the top six areas of concern for the department, staff develop an action plan and active to do list which is monitored at all team meetings. Actions we have introduced include 360 feedback as part of the appraisal process for all staff (with mandatory training on how to give and receive such feedback), ‘Active Bystander’ training for all staff and a buddy system for all new staff.