Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

Sharing experience and best practice across the Faculty of Engineering & Design

Posts By: Iain Forster-Smith

Celebration day - 15th December 2016

  , , , , , ,

📥  Celebrating success

The Faculty Professional Services team held a Celebrating Excellence event in December which aimed to reward and recognise everyone’s amazing achievements over the past year.

As part of this, the team were given opportunity to nominate and vote for colleagues who they thought were particularly deserving of extra recognition. What better way is there to tell someone that you think they’re awesome?

Awards were made across three categories:

Working well with people
Innovative solutions
Random Acts of kindness

The team was asked to complete a short form, telling us why they thought a particular individual had gone above and beyond what was expected of them in their day to day work being sure the actions related specifically to the category criteria to ensure parity among all nominees.

Nominations were then anonymised and voting commenced, three very worthy winners were identified, who will remain anonymous to keep the spirit of this special type of celebration going.

The event also focussed on outcomes from the Staff survey. We welcomed Sally Palethorpe (Inspired Partners) and Sue Johnson (HR Business Partner) to help us begin a new path in working with and enabling ourselves through ‘change’. An end focus looked at positive outcomes from change and improvement for future change challenges.

Steve Egan popped along just before lunch, and found out a few interesting things he didn’t know about our local successes in Engineering & Design. I think Steve will agree he found out a great deal about the team’s fantastic work and understood fully why we were celebrating.

Our final activity focussed on collaboration and what that meant for the team. We generated a lot of food for thought and looking forward we will be focussing more on communication, working closely together, understanding all our roles and greater engagement.

Everyone left the event with a full belly from the amazing food catered for by The Edge and a Golden Duck – keeping our 50th anniversary celebrations alive.

Remember to focus on your weekly team positives – for the future is going to be great. I will be popping round to check on your notice boards, three positives a week is the aim.

 

IMG_0208

 

Faculty teams are on the move

  

📥  New initiative

Changes are afoot for parts of the Faculty support teams – so brace yourself for multiple moves and two new centres.

During December 2016 and January 2017 we will be relocating support services into more suitable environments to support our activity for the academic and student community.

New Faculty Student Centre

Our first major change will be the creation of a new Faculty Student Centre, which will be located in 2 East 2.4.  This centre will become a one stop shop for all students (UG/PGT & PGR), incorporating the Undergraduate Office and Graduate School.

This will provide huge benefits to our students and the key aspects are:

  • One stop shop
  • Consistent advice
  • Clear signposting
  • Enhanced student experience

For the academic community we hope this office becomes your one office for everything, we will be:

  • Assisting and enabling effective interactions between university and academic community
  • Working in tandem with the efforts of our academics
  • Improving the quality and resilience of our service
  • Providing support for academic goals and growth

The new team have already taken part in an away day to prepare themselves for the future, please read their blog post capturing the highlights of their day.

There are also benefits for this new team:

  • Improved line management and career development
  • Increase opportunities for cross fertilisation of ideas
  • Maximise on efficiency and utilisation of resources
  • Manage effectively the absorption of new systems and ways of working

We have made some changes to staff line management also, the organogram below will provide the further details:

Taught Programmes support structure chart

Taught Programmes support structure chart

Doctoral and Admissions support structure chart

Doctoral and Admissions support structure chart

A new Faculty Placement Centre

Our placement activity has grown over the years and is a vital part of our offering to our students.  The team has been squished into their current location for long enough, it is time for them to break free.  The new Placement Centre will be located in 4 East 2.2, providing drop in space for students and additional one-to-one space for staff and students to meet.

Other relocations

Our Technology and Learning Advising team will be relocated in 4 East 2.8, so please pop in to take advantage of this service – we are especially fortunate to have this support in the Faculty.

Student Experience is a vital function for the Faculty, so Louise Lynes (Postgraduate Student Experience Officer) and Sarah Stead (Student Experience Officer) will have a brand new easy to access location, 2 East 2.7.

To enable these moves to happen the Faculty Finance Office will be relocated to 2 East 3.10, with Jane Phippen and Ruth Burdett relocated 4 East 3.4.

To confirm all other Faculty level support will remain in their current locations:

Graduate Admissions – 2 East 3.11

Marketing & Communications – 2 East 3.13

Faculty Office 2 East 3.8

Please be patient with us during this time, we hope you will not notice any disruption in service and we look forward to working with you all in our new locations.

 

A shared MSA mission

  , , ,

📥  New initiative

The Faculty Professional Services are vital to the academic and student success we achieve. Without the dedicated team, who are enthusiastic, supportive and creative, many successes would not have been achieved.  We are in extremely exciting times with Postgraduate developments and our International agenda, the team are ready and geared up to support and make our new avenues even more successful than our past.

To ensure we all focus on the same goals and objectives I have developed a shared mission statement.

Our shared mission statement for the future is:

Collaboration, communication and planning between teams and the wider community

  • Increased collaboration and service sharing amongst our faculty teams.
  • Stronger and more integrated planning on local approaches to support our academic and student requirements.
  • Reduced duplication through service delivery efficiencies.
  • Improved coordination of decision-making and investment in our infrastructure, facilities, and equipment.
  • Increased accountability, as users and management will be better able to evaluate the performance of each faculty service.
  • Stronger services, benefitting from the collective strength of the faculty to meet common needs, and plan for the future.

Communication achieved by:

  • creating awareness
  • imparting knowledge
  • projecting an image
  • shaping attitudes
  • stimulating a want or desire

Collaboration achieved by:

  • fostering innovation
  • supporting the development of a team
  • creating more appropriate and effective outputs
  • building enhanced legitimacy and creditability

 

Celebrating the Recognising Excellence Award Scheme

  

📥  Celebrating success

Recognising Excellence awards are intended to recognise and reward those who have demonstrated exceptional performance. This exceptional performance may have been on a one-off or short-term basis, or at a consistent level throughout the year. The scheme provides staff, managers and colleagues with the opportunity to nominate an individual or a team for an award.

Across the Faculty nominations were received for a number of individuals and teams, highlighting the fantastic efforts and dedication of many members of the Faculty support team.  I was extremely proud to read such motivational and inspiring words about the team members, confirming to me, how together we complement each other to near perfection.

Rather than name the successful individuals or teams, I thought it would be useful to highlight where the nominations had matched against the criteria to be awarded against and how this links back to your Effective Behaviours Framework.

As you will be aware there are many criteria that a nomination can be set against, 15 in total.  The following 12 were demonstrated this year:

  • Management of a specific area of activity in a department/faculty resulting in significant improvement against appropriate metrics
  • Achievement of income, cost or performance related targets for the department or sub unit
  • Significant improvements in operational or service level agreement standards or operational efficiency
  • Achieving consistently high levels of customer satisfaction
  • Quality of work
  • Controlling costs and improving cost effectiveness
  • Minimising bureaucracy and streamlining procedures in a department/faculty or across the University
  • Improvements in team working in a unit, department/faculty or across the University
  • Demonstrating inspirational management of staff; motivating and leading by example
  • Demonstrating exceptional teamwork and interpersonal skills; creating and maintaining excellent working relationships
  • Contributing ideas and assisting in the implementation of a major change in efficiency, quality, cost reduction or achievement of departmental objectives.
  • Exceptional leadership of – and input into – large scale projects with significant impact upon the University or across the HE sector.

Linking this back to the behaviours framework as a Faculty Team we were able to match the nominations against all 9 behaviours:

  • Managing self and personal skills
  • Delivering excellent service
  • Finding innovative solutions
  • Embracing change
  • Using resources
  • Providing direction
  • Developing self and others
  • Working with people
  • Achieving results

It is important we embrace the behaviours, build them into your daily working life and remember to capture those moments where we as an individual or team are proud of the achievement made no matter how small it may seem.

I would like to thank you all for a fantastic 2015 and hope 2016 has many more pockets of glory and moments to be proud of.