Staff survey actions from 2009: a faculty perspective
20 October 2011
The results from the UCL staff survey in 2009 across the Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences were generally positive; but there were some recurring themes across both which we were able to address in our action plan.
It was felt that we should raise awareness of, and promote access to leadership training for senior staff. Following this feedback, we have actively promoted leadership training for academic and administrative staff across both faculties. We have also arranged bespoke mentoring for several senior academic members of staff. Administrative staff are also benefiting from UCL's coaching programme.
Senior administrative staff (grades 7 and above) are taking part in School-wide development events, organised together with colleagues in Organisational and Staff Development. The first of these, an exploratory day to ascertain what type of development would be welcomed, was held on in February this year. The second day was held in July, and resulted in several 'special interest' groups being set up. These groups are made up of administrators with particular knowledge or areas of expertise sharing good practice (for example, in research administration). This is an ongoing development programme, and more events are planned. One positive effect of this has been the increased opportunity for administrators across the School getting together to network with colleagues.
We are holding a School workshop on briefing personal tutors regarding student mental health issues - again, this is the first of several which we hope to hold, so that all SLASH personal tutors have attended the workshop. We are also considering investing more funds in external senior leadership training for Heads of Department.
A small cross-faculty working group to look at work-life balance across both faculties has been created, following concerns raised in the survey regarding excessive working hours and unrealistic targets and deadlines. The working group found that the wide range of work-life balance options made available by UCL were already actively embraced by both faculties, and our emphasis has therefore been on ensuring that staff are aware of the opportunities available to them. We would like to look more closely at improving work-life balance for academic staff in particular, taking into account irregular working hours.
Staff across both faculties felt that we would benefit from a faculty-level induction for new staff. We are currently developing this for both faculties, and it will include a welcome party for new staff held at the start of each academic year.
The Staff survey in 2009 was invaluable in helping us to identify issues and address them through our action plan. We look forward to getting involved in the 2011 Staff survey beginning on 31 October.
Cathy Brown, Faculty Manager, Arts & Humanities; Social & Historical Sciences