Empowering People workstream delivers Staff Survey & Leadership Behavioural Framework

Image of the Inspiring Change brandingThe University’s Inspiring People: Changing the World strategy is the result of more than 100 hours of consultation events which engaged with more than 1,000 members of staff. The strategy sets out our vision to be a world-class, world-changing university – an ambition that requires a step-change in our culture and the way we work together.

The consultation events identified a number of actions we could take to move the University closer to our vision. These proposals broadly fell into three workstreams – Focus, Agility and Empowering People. In this series, we have already taken a look in more detail at the Focus and Agility workstreams, and this week we consider some of the activities of the Empowering People workstream.

Cultural change empowers people

While the Agility and Focus workstreams consider the ways in which we work together - how we deploy our resources and the processes we follow - the Empowering People workstream was charged with focussing on the cultural changes required to deliver our collective goals. The activities in this workstream are overseen by Christine Barr, Director of HR and Professor Roibeard O Maolalaigh, VP and Head of the College of Arts.

A majority of us previously reported not feeling valued by the University or sufficiently empowered to take decisions in our own roles or, indeed, to influence more strategic decision making. Many of us also didn’t feel we had a clear understanding of the ways in which our contributions might impact on the delivery of University aims and ambitions. The Empowering People agenda identified a series of actions to enhance engagement and two-way communication across the University, whilst enabling us to understand our current culture and develop an organisational environment in which we are empowered to act and succeed within our roles with the support of inspiring and visible leadership and in line with the University strategy.

A first step in implementing cultural change is to understand the current culture and how staff feel about working at the University. The 2016 Staff Survey, alongside a Cultural Diagnostic Survey completed by 10% of colleagues, were key deliverables of the workstream and the results show positive progress across a number of areas while at the same time highlighting areas for further discussion and development. A network of ‘Engagement Leads’ has been established across all areas, to help share the results in each School/ RIs/ Service and encourage two-way communication. The full results of the Staff Survey are available on Inspiring Change, our new webpages which share updates on the strategy and showcase positive examples of change and innovation happening across the University.

Nurturing collaborative leadership

A further key activity within the Empowering People workstream has been the creation of a new Leadership Behavioural Framework to build an organisational culture that nurtures collaborative leadership. The Framework was developed after broad consultation with the University community and describes the leadership behaviours expected for all university leaders, managers and staff with leadership responsibilities within their roles in supporting and realising our strategic ambitions.

The Framework aims to encourage leaders to motivate and inspire others whilst encouraging individual personal and career development and nurturing talent. The Staff Survey shows positive results ranging from 63% to 75% across relevant questions relating to leadership in our Schools/ RIs/ Services, and you can read more about the Framework and how it impacts on the delivery of our communal goals on the Employee and Organisational Development webpages.

Other initiatives

Alongside these activities, there have been a variety of other initiatives delivered across the University, these include:

These have been designed to enable and encourage all of us to play an active role in contributing to the delivery of  Inspiring People: Changing the World.

Further plans are in place to continue this work over the coming months, including the ongoing roll-out of Unit level Staff Survey results and the subsequent action planning, the launch of new Leadership Development Programmes and the continuation of our Email Overload campaign.

Share success stories

If you have a story of positive change or innovation on any scale you would like to share on the Inspiring Change Success Stories pages, then please do get in touch. Remember, there are also continuous opportunities available to offer further feedback and be a part of the on-going conversation. You can visit our Get Involved page to find out how!

First published: 18 October 2016

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