News round-up

Recognition voucher scheme for University Services staff

A new recognition scheme for University Services staff is launched this week. 

The Recognition Reward voucher scheme has been designed to recognise and reward contributions from staff who have demonstrated one or even all of our key University of Glasgow values: Passionate, Professional and Progressive.

An online portal, operated on the University’s behalf by the facilities management firm Sodexo, allows managers to send e-thank you cards and vouchers to individual members of University Services staff. Using the portal, managers will be able to select a member of their team and nominate them; the recommendation then goes to the budget-holder who can consider the request and approve, vary or decline the nomination.

Criteria for rewards could include:

  • Successful contribution to the delivery of a team goal
  • Demonstrated innovative practice
  • Delivery of an excellent customer experience

Successful nominees will either receive an e-card, thanking them for their contribution; or they will receive a reward based on a points system – with each point equalling £1. The points can then be transferred into vouchers which can be redeemed via the Sodexo-operated rewards site.

Any member of University Services staff can recommend a colleague for an e-thank you card. Managers alone will be able to recommend a colleague for a voucher reward.

Secretary of Court, David Newall, said: “The new Recognition Reward scheme is aimed at helping us ensure that staff who really live and breathe our University of Glasgow values of being passionate, professional and progressive get a little recognition and thanks, from time to time. That could be a ‘thank you’ card, or it could be a financial recognition."

The new scheme will join the UofG's existing staff offerings including the ‘Inspiring Rewards’ staff offers and discounts system, and the annual Excellent Service awards.”

University Service budget holders under the new scheme will determine the frequency of awards within their area and will decide whether these will be processed on a continuous basis or at regular intervals, for instance quarterly.

HR’s Head of Performance, Pay & Reward and the University’s Secretary of Court will monitor the awards to ensure that these are made fairly, transparently and in accordance with the strategic values.

There’ll be no limit to the number of recognition awards an employee can receive throughout the year.

The scheme has been trialled by HR and will be rolled out from next week for University Services staff. Professional support staff within the Colleges are expected to join the scheme a little later.

Visit the Recognition Rewards web page on the HR site which links to the Sodexo portal. 


PDR 2016 underway

The 2016 Performance and Development Review (PDR) process is underway for the majority of UofG staff. For the first time, it is being managed online, using the CoreHR system.  The Principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli, has written to UofG staff thanking them for their help in revising the PDR system.

Dear Colleagues,

As you will be aware, we are now embarking upon our next PDR cycle. PDR offers a significant opportunity for us all to reflect on the preceding year and to consider our collective and individual goals and aspirations for the future.

2015 saw the launch of our new strategic plan, Inspiring People - Changing the World. Our mission is to inspire people to create a world class learning and research environment, empowering staff and students alike to discover and share knowledge that can change the world. Our achievements this year, in line with this mission, have been many. We are ranked top in Scotland and third in the Russell Group in the National Student Survey 2015; have jumped 18 places in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings to 76th place; and have now taken possession of the former Western Infirmary site. We are, I believe, giving life to our vision.

In the light of these achievements, I feel it’s important for us all to acknowledge and celebrate that none of them or our many other successes would have been possible without the skill, diligence and dedication of so many of our colleagues. And so it is vital that our strategy and the PDR process are closely aligned. PDR is, I believe, an essential tool in helping us move forward, with our key values of professionalism, passion and progressiveness providing the impetus to deliver ever greater success.

As the complexities of University life continue to grow, we must continue to ensure the tools we use to support us in delivering our goals remain useful and truly fit for purpose. To that end we have welcomed substantial feedback from across the University and have taken time to reflect on our PDR process. I am pleased to confirm that as a consequence of this review, robust changes have been introduced for 2016, aligning the process more closely with the needs of colleagues across the University.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their invaluable feedback.

Some of the most frequent comments we received were around the speed and ease of the process, and as a direct outcome of this feedback a number of key changes have been made. Principally, the key changes are:

Reduction from five to four performance outcomes; giving colleagues greater direction and clarity
The removal of moderation for Grades 9 and 10 staff; making the process swifter and less onerous
An increased focus on team objectives
A re-design and simplification of PDR documentation; a focus on objective setting aligned with strategic priorities at unit level and the development needs of the reviewee.

As before, there are three key elements to the PDR process, which will remain in 2016:

• Planning for relevant professional and career development
• Performance reviews
• Setting of aligned objectives

In addition to the above changes, we are moving to PDR online through our CoreHR system. This is a welcome innovation which will further enhance and streamline the process, complementing the changes outlined above. We believe this will provide an integrated and intuitive approach, and above all, one that is easier and speedier to use.

I do hope you will find the 2016 PDR experience an immensely positive one, particularly in light of the developments that have now been implemented.

Let me finish by offering my personal thanks for your passion, dedication and contribution to the University this year.

Professor Anton Muscatelli
Principal and Vice-Chancellor


Chinese Language Classes

We are delighted to announce the latest block of Chinese classes – Intensive classes in August, writes Laura Moran, Confucius Institute.

You can complete an entire level (20 hours of teaching) in one week. We are only offering these for Beginners 1, 2 and Intermediate 1. 

Please note that we require a minimum of 5 people to run these classes, and they will be cancelled if we do not have enough students, so early sign up is encouraged.

They are all non-credit bearing and are not eligible for Individual Learning Account (ILA) funding. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.


Monday 15th August - Friday 19th August, 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 3pm


General public: £130
Students, members of staff at the University of Glasgow and senior citizens: £115


Please return a completed enrolment form together with your payment cash or cheque (made payable to 'The University of Glasgow') to: The Confucius Institute Ground Floor, Room 202, John McIntyre Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Cash should be paid at the office directly. We do not accept credit/debit cards.



Charity Zip Slide

Date: Saturday 10 September 2016
Time: 12:00 - 15:00
Venue: River Clyde, Glasgow
Category: Sports events
Speaker: none

Zip Slide across the River Clyde and raise funds for cancer research at the University via The Beatson Pebble Appeal, The Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre and The Brain Tumour Research Fund.  

No experience is necessary.  Participants must be over 16 years of age.

Entry fee is £40.00.   Full details and entry information at

First published: 1 August 2016

<< August