Students Staff
University of Essex

January 10, 2018

You told us, we’re listening and making changes!

Filed under: Advice & Support,Developing Excellence,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 2:04 pm

Banner-3 people

Tanya, Donna and Claire tell us about planned improvements to the way we use People Manager and HR Organiser.

 

Q: Why are improvements needed to HR Organiser?

A: People told us in a recent survey, that although generally they found HR Organiser to be a useful tool, some improvements were needed to make a better experience for users.

 

Q: What are the key areas that people told you needed to be improved?

A: The feedback we received was that people were keen to see some changes in relation to annual leave calculations, user guides and the way we present learning events.

 

Q: What did people like about HR Organiser?

A: The survey respondents told use that generally people felt confident making annual leaving bookings and viewing information such as payslips, P60s and personal data. People also liked that they could access information 24/7 and keep track of annual leave.

 

Q: How will you go about making the changes?

A: The iHR programme board is responsible for overseeing the full implementation of iTrent.   Some of the changes you would like to see to the way HR Organiser and People Manager look and feel are being addressed through a systems upgrade in February 2018.

 

Q: Who is responsible for taking improvements forward?

A: The HR Employee Relations team, Finance Business Systems team and IT Services all have responsibility for the successful implementation and improvement of iTrent and are committed to working together to achieve this.

 

Q: What are the timescales?

A: We’re working on a number of changes including:

  • The way annual leave is calculated and booked
  • Linking Moodle learning events and Essential Training to HR Organiser records
  • Creating lean recruitment processes through iTrent to avoid duplication and reduce time to recruit
  • Improving the look and feel of HR Organiser
  • Reviewing the user guides

 

Changes will be implemented between now and July 2018.

 

Q: How will any changes be communicated?

A: We’ll communicate changes through a variety of mediums, including e-mails to managers, messages on HR Organiser, updates on the HR blog and notices in Essex Weekly.

 

Q: I have further feedback to share regarding People Manager/HR Organiser/iTrent, who can I speak to?

A: You can speak to any of the Programme Board:

  • Marc Albano, Deputy Director of Finance (Business Systems)
  • Donna Scott, Business Systems Manager
  • Susie Morgan, Director of HR
  • Richard Murphy, Director of IT Services
  • Sara Limerick, Assistant Director of HR – Employee Relations and Reward
  • Tanya Clements, Payroll and Reward Manager
  • Nicola East, HR Information Manager
  • Nilufer Demirkan-Jones, Head of Essex Pathways
  • Claire Foster, Resourcing Manager
  • Jo Andrews, Assistant Director of HR – Organisational Development

Q: How can I get involved in the project?

A: We are keen to hear from people who would be interested in undertaking some user testing. If you would like to volunteer to test out potential systems changes before they are made live please send your details to Tanya Clements, Payroll and Reward Manager.



December 18, 2017

Would you like to become a Harassment Support Worker?

Filed under: Developing Excellence,Equality and Diversity — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 9:52 am

We are looking for Harassment Support Workers across all campuses, to join our existing network which was formed in 1993, and was the model for a number of Universities throughout the country.

The network provides a listening and advice service to clients, who may be employees, workers, contractors, students and visitors to the University, wishing to report harassment or bullying.

This is a voluntary role and full training will be provided.

Further information on this post and the applicant pack can be found on job vacancies.

Please direct any questions to diversity@essex.ac.uk

 

PTAIT_20161013_3572

 



November 23, 2017

Opportunities and resources for managers at Essex

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , , , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:00 am

As part of our commitment to developing our membership, we would like to make you aware of new resources, policy and development opportunities to support employees in a management position at Essex. The following are designed to support employees new to management, both generally and at Essex, whilst also providing opportunities to stretch managers in specific areas of their management practice.

New resources and policy to support managers:

People Strategy in Action moodle resource(new)

Contains advice and guidance in a range of formats to support those in management positions. Resources range from ‘quick guides’ to approach people-related challenges, an interactive tool showing different approaches for development at work and the University’s expectations of a manager.

Developing Yourself and Others(new)

This is a practical guide situated in People Strategy in Action, that includes a range of approaches to develop professionally in the workplace.

Essential Training Policy(new)

This new policy clarifies the Essential Training that all employees are expected to complete within the first 6 months of employment, whilst all existing employees are expected to complete the Essential Training relevant to their role. All Essential Training can be accessed on the recently developed Welcome to Essex induction moodle resource.

Welcome to Essex(new)

The Welcome to Essex induction resource has been developed to complement local induction so that new employees can settle into their role as effectively as possible. It contains an induction checklist for new employees and for managers to support the new employees and their recruiting manager.

Development opportunities for colleagues new to management at Essex:

Induction for Managers(new)

Audience: New managers at Essex

Duration: ½ day

Content: Provides a greater understanding of management practice, supporting resources and development opportunities at the University.

Management Essentials

Audience: Newly appointed to management roles and managers who wish to develop further their skills managing others

Duration: 3 days

Content:Opportunities to learn about managing individuals (communicating effectively, setting objectives, giving feedback, using coaching approaches to develop individuals and delegation), understanding teams and how to manage teams effectively.

Development opportunities to stretch established managers:

Management Reflections(new)

Audience: Managers with 3 or more years of experience (particularly recommended for colleagues with roles in departmental leadership teams)

Duration: 1 ½ days

Content: The course provides opportunities in a safe environment for managers to reflect on their leadership and management styles, using a combination or 360-degree feedback, facilitated feedback from observers and peers, self-reflection and coaching.

Coaching Essentials for Managers

Audience: Essential Training for all managers

Duration: 1 Day

Content: A highly practical and participative workshop that enables managers to develop effective coaching skills which can be applied formally and informally in a wide range of workplace situations.

Managing Conflict

Audience: All Managers

Duration: ½ Day

Content: The workshop uses a psychometric assessment tool (TKI) to provide participants with the opportunity to understand how they approach conflict situations and how to achieve positive outcomes individually and within teams.

Handling Difficult Conversations

Audience: Available for all staff

Duration: ½ Day

Content: This ‘bitesize’ interactive and informative workshop is intended for managers and senior staff and has been designed to help you develop a strategy that works for you when entering into a difficult conversation. This workshop will provide you with the tools and practice to help you to deliver positive and constructive messages.

Appraisal and Personal Development Scheme: Appraiser Training(new)

Audience: Available for all staff

Duration: 2 hours

Content: This session will brief you on the University’s approach to appraisal and how you can use this most effectively to support the development and enhance the performance of those you are responsible for.The session will provide an opportunity to develop and practice your coaching skills, which will enable you to get the most from appraisal discussions.

Improving Assertiveness

Audience: Available for all staff

Duration: 2 Days

Content: Being assertive can make a huge difference to the way you feel about yourself and the way in which other people see you. It can improve the quality of your relationships with colleagues, family and friends as it demonstrates that you have confidence in yourself and respect for others. This course will show you, through discussion and practical exercises, strategies that you can use in your everyday life.

 

We hope that you find these opportunities useful. If you have any questions or suggestions in relation to these opportunities and resources, please email ldev@essex.ac.uk.

 



November 15, 2017

Supervising Doctoral Studies

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Mohammed Alam @ 2:02 pm

Dr Kate Exley will be visiting the University on Wednesday 29th November to deliver two workshops for research supervisors. The first in morning will be a 3 hour session for new supervisors who are required to act as Joint supervisor for their first PhD students. The national context in which supervisors and students work will be considered and the influence of the QAA Code of Practice on supervisory practice briefly reviewed. This session is also suitable for experienced supervisors who may be new to joint supervision. Kate will provide examples and activities that will support you in developing the relationships required for successful Joint supervision. This workshop can be booked on HR Organiser here.

In the afternoon Kate will run a second 2.5 hour workshop titled Examining Doctoral candidates. This workshop aims to explore the ways in which staff can prepare to act as examiners for a PhD candidate and provide input on processes, procedures and approaches. The workshop will include guidance and discussion on how to read the written submission (usually a Thesis) and formulate questions, how to prepare for the viva and ensure that the Doctoral level criteria have been met. You will also get the opportunity to hear from a couple of experienced Essex supervisors about their experiences of the viva voce exam. This workshop can also be booked through HR Organiser here.

If you cannot make these events, both of these workshops will run again when Kate returns to Essex on 17 May 2018. Please also remember that all research supervisors are now required to take the relevant pathway through the Supervising Doctoral Studies Moodle resource.



October 11, 2017

Registration Open for PG CHEP

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:58 am

This year’s PG CHEP program for those wishing to develop their skills in Learning and Teaching is open for registration and will be getting underway next month. It is the more formal pathway to Fellowship of the HEA (aligned with Module 1) and also allows you to gain a certification for teaching in HE (after Module 2). The Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (PG CHEP) is a qualification for staff involved in teaching who wish to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise in academic practice. The programme provides opportunities to plan, record and evidence your professional activity in three key areas:

  • learning and teaching;
  • research and scholarly activity;
  • teaching-related administration, management and leadership.

The qualification comprises two 30-credit modules. Module 1 leads to fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Subsequent completion of Module 2 leads to the awarding of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice. Modules are usually taken over one or two years for each. We recommend the PG CHEP program for those colleagues who are new to teaching in HE and generally academic staff with less than three years’ experience of learning and teaching in HE. Please email PGCHEP@Essex.ac.uk to register. Further details on Module content can be found on the PGCHEP web page

PGCHEP_logo.



October 10, 2017

Induction Week

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 10:53 am

In September, the Organisational Development section in Human Resources,  hosted a range of inductions that welcomed our new Graduate Laboratory Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Professional Services and Education & Research staff.

Over the course of the week, nearly 200 people attended a range of events that included an Induction Fair (photo below) to provide opportunity for new colleagues to meet others and understand more about a range of areas and services to support them in their role.

As part of the induction, everyone was introduced to our new induction Moodle page ‘Welcome to Essex‘. Here you can find the slides from all events during the induction week along with all relevant information related to induction. Welcome to Essex has been designed to complement your local induction and contains everything that we feel you will need to know during your first year of working here to get you started and settled in your new job.

 

Education and Research Induction Fair 2017

Education and Research Induction Fair 2017



June 13, 2017

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:30 pm

As part of the University’s commitment to increasing the diversity of staff at senior levels, the University has funded two places on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme designed to support black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff transition into leadership roles. The programme is aimed at early career BAME academics and professional services staff, up to and below senior lecturer level (or equivalent).

This year Ai Gooch and Kojo Koram were selected to attend the Diversifying leadership programme. Below is Ai’s experiences of the event and how it has impacted her.

ai gooch

Subject Librarian for Business and Law

‘’I am a Subject Librarian for Business and Law. I applied for this programme because I am fairly new in my position and I wanted to know more about leadership in the context of UK higher education. The programme has been intensive, but rewarding. The course combines a theoretical framework of leadership and practical exercises to develop skills. For example, we looked at leadership theories through different timelines and across the world to raise awareness of the variety in the concepts of leadership. I also discovered various concepts and approaches related to leadership – sponsorship, for example, is something I had never heard of but I now have two sponsors, who have been a fantastic encouragement to me. Practical exercises, on the other hand, provide opportunities to do things without worrying about failure and to receive feedback. Such examples include ‘elevator pitch’ and ‘active learning sets’. Another positive thing about the programme is to have an opportunity to work with BME staff from other institutions and share experiences. It is really encouraging to meet people who struggle and succeed in similar circumstances. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to progress.’’

 

For more information on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme and other development programmes please email Organisational Development at ldev@essex.ac.uk

 

 



June 2, 2017

Removing the ‘one box identity’: The effects of intersectionality on life experiences

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Developing Excellence,Developing Knowledge,Gender equality — Mohammed Alam @ 1:22 pm

Many of you will be aware of work going on around the University to improve the experiences and outcomes for different groups of staff and students through participating in initiatives such as Athena SWAN and the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. This work has led to a number of changes to policy, practice and process across the University, all designed to create a more inclusive environment, but what challenges remain, what barriers still exist that prevent people from being accepted without exception and how can we move towards understanding how individuals’ multiple identities interact to affect their working, learning and social experiences?

This is the beginning of a series of discussions on the broad topic of inclusivity which we hope will create a platform for bringing together people with a range of expertise and personal experiences which in turn can help inform our work in this area. The session will take the form of short talks by each of the speakers followed by a panel discussion, taking questions from the audience.

Event details:

Monday 3 July 2017
6pm until 7.15pm followed by a drinks reception until 8pm (Colchester Campus)
Essex Business School building EBS.1.1 and video linked to Southend campus room GB.2.18
Bookings to be made via HR Organiser for staff.  For students, friends and family please email ldev@essex.ac.uk

Speakers

Thomas Currid, Lecturer, Health and Human Sciences

Thomas will talk about how he uses intersectionality in session content design and in his teaching. His expertise lies in the area of mental health and he will describe how he asks students to reflect on the multiple identities of the mentally ill and also the challenges they face e.g. sexism, racism, ageism, singularism, homophobia, etc. Thomas will also talk about intersectionality approaches in dementia and others with mental illness and through this lens, discuss mental health and the LGBTIA+ community.

Dr Sonia VirdeeDirector of Strategic Planning and Change

Sonia will give a brief personal narrative to stimulate discussion on attitudes and approaches to equality in Higher Education, from the perspective of a woman and an ethnic minority.

Fr. Alex Gowing-Cumber, Anglican Chaplain, Essex and East London Workplace Chaplains 

Alex will reflect on his evolving nature as a disabled spiritual practitioner who has never fitted neatly into tick box exercises and as a result faced prejudice and discrimination at the cross section of most junctions of his life. He will also briefly touch on 24 years and counting in a mixed race marriage and what it was like, as a couple, flying back into England having been at a conference in Rome, the day after the Brexit vote.

Further information:

Stonewall has produced some very useful information on their web pages around LGBT in the workplace.  If you are interested in finding out more about other issues in the workplace i.e. Bi-Sexuality and Trans equality these links might be helpful.



April 26, 2017

Interest Free Loans for Visas and Health Immigration Surcharges (HIS)

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Mohammed Alam @ 1:29 pm

The University has a long tradition of employing a rich mix of staff from around the world.  As we have grown in recent years, recruiting academic and professional staff from outside of the UK has allowed us to keep growth in our staff base in line with increases in the student body.

As part of our commitment as an employer, the University is offering an Interest-Free Visa Loan to staff.

The loan initiative underlines our commitment to being a cosmopolitan University that is internationally-oriented and welcoming of students and staff from all countries.

What can the loan be used for?

The loan is designed to cover costs relating to Home Office Application Fees, such as visa application fees, Health Immigration Surcharge (HIS) costs and related legal fees, up to a maximum of £10,000. You can use it to cover your own fees and those of your accompanying dependents, including your spouse/partner and children.

Take a look at the full policy to see if you’re eligible.

To apply, complete our Interest Free Visa Loan form, making sure you provide a full breakdown of your anticipated/actual costs and submit the form to your Head of School/Department/Section for approval.

For further information, please contact your link HR contact.



April 19, 2017

Aurora: A Leadership Development Programme For Women

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:03 am

Aurora is a women-only leadership development programme created by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. The aim of the programme is to help address the under-representation of women in senior posts in higher education.

The Aurora programme is targeted to all women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college. The programme is aimed towards women who are ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as an option for progression. It is designed to introduce fundamental leadership skills in 4 workshops (1 workshop = 1 day) with networking opportunities and guest speakers at each event. Furthermore, on-going support is ensured through action learning (1 day scheduled for this as part of the programme), online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and institutional Aurora Champions.

 

aurora

This year we have had five successful delegates’ cohorts, from left to right: Emma Appleton (Senior Financial Analyst), Dr Amanda K Chaplin (Post-Doctoral Researcher), Dr Victoria Nolan (Longitudinal Studies Project Manager), Dr Nadine Rossol (Senior Lecturer in Modern European History) and Dr Louise Marsland (Health Services Research Adviser and Lecturer).

 

In 2016-17, the University produced 5 funded places on the Aurora Programme which commenced in London on 8 March 2017, with attendance on 4 further dates: 29 March 2017, 26 April 2017, 24 May 2017 and 28 June 2017.

We were able to catch up with Dr Victoria Nolan on her success in the programme. She has kindly provided us with her experiences with Aurora.

Who are you?

I am the Project Manager for Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study), based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex. My role involves project planning, coordinating, tracking and reporting across the eight directorates and a range of other subprojects that make up the Study, and liaising with project stakeholders, funders and data users. I also have line management responsibility for two members of the Understanding Society team.

What’s your view of Aurora?

Aurora is an excellent programme for developing leadership and management skills, and for learning about your personal strengths and weaknesses as a leader and skills that can be developed further. Aurora is helping me to identify ways of improving my workplace behaviour to develop into a better leader, which is helpful both now, and as my role may develop in the future.

Aurora is also helpful for networking and meeting colleagues from around the University, and also from other universities across the country. We are learning a lot from each other and are making connections which will endure after the course itself has finished.

How is Aurora helping you?

The Aurora programme is really helping me to develop leadership skills that I can put into practice in my day-to-day work. I am learning about my identity in the workplace, techniques for “being heard”, different styles of leadership, and developing a presence within the team. We have gone on to learn about managing credibility, profile and influence, and building effective networks. We are developing “Action Learning” techniques to identify and find ways of resolving challenges that we face at work.

What does Aurora bring to the table? Why should people do it?

Aurora is useful as it is provided externally to the University hence, enables networking with a broader range of people, but is bounded by being focussed on higher education professionals, so all the delegates share fairly common experiences. The training days are well-structured with a combination of presentations from successful female role models within the industry, and group discussions where delegates can share their experiences and discuss challenges and possible solutions.

I would recommend that people apply for the Aurora scheme as it is a well-structured, interesting and useful course which covers a broad range of skills, and provides advice and guidance for better understanding your workplace self and gives you the tools to develop your leadership skills further in the future.

What does it mean to be a Successful Aurora Delegate?

I was very pleased to be chosen to take part in the Aurora programme. It is encouraging to be recognised as someone with future potential and I am pleased to be given the opportunity to develop my skills further within the context of this programme. Once the programme is finished I am certain I will have developed personally and been able to take some essential leadership skills back to the workplace.

 

You can find more information for the Aurora Programme here.

 


 

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