People Strategy Committee: November update

The People Strategy Committee is a Committee of Council dedicated to the University’s most important asset – the staff who deliver our research, teaching and professional services.

Chaired by Council member Lynette Eastman, its membership includes the Vice-Chancellor, Council members, external representatives and senior representatives from our academic and professional services colleagues. Meeting quarterly, the Committee reviews strategy, advises on approaches and drives delivery on initiatives to improve conditions, ways of working and methods of engagement.

At its meeting in November, the Committee focused on the following key areas:

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)

Fola Ikpehai, an expert in organisational EDI strategies from SUMS Consulting, provided an overview of the key trends and best practice in EDI in higher education. Fola indicated that the most successful EDI strategies have a supportive infrastructure, senior leadership commitment, an active EDI team takes responsibility for staff and students collectively, and clear evidence-based prioritisation and outcomes.

Fola explained how EDI maturity develops, moving from compliance with legislation through long-term evidence based planning, to an embedded unconscious competence across an institution. While no single university has yet reached that level of maturity, there are good examples in both the wider public and private sectors.

Sarah Sharples, PVC for Equality Diversity and Inclusion, provided an overview of the approach to EDI at the University underpinned by four themes. Theme 1 is the University, Nottingham and our Global Community; a place where all staff and students visibly contribute to the values of the University and feel included. Theme 2 is Equality of Experience for all staff and students; where EDI activity is transparent and active. Theme 3 is Collaboration and Partnership; to enable all staff and students to initiate and deliver appropriate activities, share challenges and best practice. Theme 4 is Excellence and Ambition in Delivery of Embedded EDI; where sound proactive governance ensures issues are acted upon. This vision is being developed into a strategy that will be shared across the University in due course.

PDPR Review Update

HR Director, Jaspal Kaur confirmed that the new approach to PDPR, to be known as the Appraisal & Development Conversation (ADC), would be announced shortly. The new ADC removes ratings to enable focus on meaningful conversations and would be implemented from May 2019. A separate approach to performance-related reward would be developed across the current academic year. As part of the wider work on reward, the Employee Hub was launched on 12 November 2018 as part of the Week of Wellbeing.

The Committee will meet again in January 2019.

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