The Open University in Scotland

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The Open University in Scotland

  1. 1. The Open University Human Resources (HR) Strategy 1. Introduction The essence of our Human Resource Strategy is to have a real and sustainable impact on achievement of the University’s strategic objectives and on business performance. These are challenging and difficult times for the University requiring organisational development and change in the context of increasing effectiveness and cost control. We recognise the need for staff and the organisation to increase capacity for flexibility, learning and change in order to contribute most effectively to the achievement of the University’s objectives and further their own learning and development within a framework of effective performance management. The strategic themes and HR priorities underpinning the Strategy are identified below. The Strategy also introduces the revised capability framework which identifies individual and managerial capabilities needed to support HR development. It is the unique ways in which these capabilities are embedded in and across the University and are modified and adapted towards fulfilling strategic directions as they emerge and change which will be a major contributor to the University’s competitiveness. 2. Strategic HR Themes The strategic themes provide a framework to support the University’s strategic priorities and its mission of leading the world in open and distance learning and providing opportunities for high quality university education by being open to people, places, methods and ideas. Our strategic HR themes are: customer focus; structures, systems and processes; leading and developing people and efficiency and effectiveness, underpinned by holistic thinking and the ability to change. These are represented in the diagram below. Holistic Thinking Achievement of OU Leading & Customer Structures & Efficiency & Mission & Developing = Focus + Processes + + Effectiveness Strategic People Priorities Ability to Change Activities to deliver strategic themes will be influenced by changes in the strategic priorities, external context and environment. Our Human Resource Strategy is a mid tier plan that will inform the work of the Human Resources Division and Units and links with other mid tier plans and initiatives, to provide a framework for the values and capabilities that underpin effective
  2. 2. human resource management. Within this framework it is action within Units to ensure effective people management and development that will enable us to realise the aims of this Strategy in support of organisational performance. 3. Values The values that underpin our HR Strategy are set out below. We believe that commitment to these values which have evolved from those in Plans for Change will create an organisation in which people perform effectively, and will be proud to work. A critical success factor for this Strategy will be motivating staff to commit to and demonstrate these values. The capability framework introduced later in this document identifies behaviours that support adoption of these values. Ideas We regard creativity, innovation and vision as key attributes in our staff. Flexibility and an outward looking approach underpin the way in which we work. We expect staff to seek out, listen to and respond to the diversity of opinions in our community and the wider society. People We respect individual diversity. We expect people to act with integrity, honesty and open mindedness in all aspects of their work and their interactions with others. We regard decisiveness, clarity of purpose and a willingness to take calculated risks as essential qualities in all our staff. Performance We provide a framework for developing staff, management and leadership capability to support the University’s aims and expect people to perform to the best of their ability. We expect all staff to be accountable for their actions and inactions and to take responsibility for their own development. We recognise and reward excellent performance and commitment to the University and its aims. 4. Capabilities Capabilities and competencies have a critical influence on the achievement of the HR Strategy. Overall competency of staff in the University will result from different skills, knowledge and aptitudes that contribute to organisational effectiveness, and the core competency of the University. The capabilities summarised below represent the individual behaviours that will contribute to organisational success. Additional generic functional capabilities an individual will require in any role e.g. ICT and financial capabilities are being developed. Specific functional capabilities should be refined locally with support from Human Resources Division. Essential Individual Capabilities (all staff) Additional Essential Management Capabilities  Delivering customer satisfaction  Leading people  Delivering innovation and change  Developing people  Collaborative working  Acting and thinking strategically  Delivering results  Thinking holistically Annex 1 sets out further details of the essential capabilities. These capabilities have been used to underpin the University’s learning and development strategy and should also be used in recruitment and selection, appraisal, management of performance and staff development etc. OrgDev/HRS/KLNov 03 v10 2
  3. 3. 5. Human Resource Priorities The key priorities to support and deliver the strategic themes are:  Organisational Development and Change We aim to enhance the University’s organisational development (OD), learning and change capability and responsiveness to our students and customers, through structured and coherent management and leadership development programmes, the provision of learning opportunities for staff to improve skills and knowledge, and by deploying a proactive organisational development capability to support University, Unit and individual change requirements. Our OD approach is aimed at facilitating change and improvement and success is likely to depend on building capacity for change rather than our ability to apply one specific method or technique  Accountable management Our people management capability will be distinguished by effective staff management and efficiency in the deployment of resources and by openness to self development and support for staff learning and development. Critical success factors for this strategy are action and implementation by managers and supervisors together with rationalisation of governance and accountability structures.  Recruitment and exit We aim to ensure that the University has the appropriate staff capacity and capability to meet the needs identified within University Plans, to enable the best fit in recruitment of staff using the most appropriate selection methods consistent with a competency/capability framework. We also aim to offer appropriate redeployment and exit packages to meet University and Unit requirements for change and restructure  Reward, recognition and retention We aim to provide the right level of pay, rewards and staff benefits to retain and motivate staff which provide equal pay for work of equal value. Our reward system will have sufficient flexibility to respond to external market pressure where appropriate and reward contribution. We will recognise and reward excellent performance, and commitment to the University and its aims. We also aim to support effective work life balance, and healthy work practices.  Diversity We aim to create a community in which individuals are valued, and treated solely on the basis of their merits, where respect for individuals is paramount, and which is open to and representative of all sections of the community. The intention is to provide development, employment policies, procedures and guides in order to set best standards of equality and diversity practice.  Information and communication We aim to develop a robust communication strategy and to ensure that communication systems are in place to support the flow of information across the University regarding strategic and business developments.  Working environment We aim to provide a working environment that fosters cooperative behaviours and enables achievement of results. We also promote a safe and healthy working environment through a range of health promotion activities, an overarching University Health and Safety Policy, and an integral healthy working strategy. Our Estates Strategy provides a long-term plan for developing and managing the estate effectively in relation to the University’s academic plan and business needs. Under this strategy a key issue is to achieve the balance of using space efficiently whilst ensuring the working environment is attractive to staff. OrgDev/HRS/KLNov 03 v10 3
  4. 4. 6. Conclusion This Strategy provides a framework for human resource development in support of University priorities. Under each of these priorities sit actions and areas of activity within Human Resources Division which are detailed in Human Resource Division’s Unit Plan. These are summarised in Annex 2. In addition, successful implementation of this HR Strategy will require action by managers at unit and individual level which will be detailed in annual unit plans and individual objectives OrgDev/HRS/KLNov 03 v10 4
  5. 5. Individual and Management Capabilities Annex 1 OrgDev/HRS/KLNov 03 v9 5
  6. 6. Core Individual Capabilities Core Management Capabilities • Delivering Customer Satisfaction Providing the best quality service to external and internal customers and building genuine and • Leading People open long term relationships in order to drive up customer service standards. Inspiring and managing purposeful teams in order to achieve high 1. Demonstrating openness and genuine interest standards of performance. Demonstrating a commitment to 2. Responding flexibly diversity and an awareness of the external environment in order to 3. Building longer term relationships define and meet team priorities. 4. Driving up the OU’s customer service standards 1. Setting standards and managing performance 2. Creating and inspiring purposeful teams • Delivering Innovation and Change 3. Demonstrating positive leadership finding new ways of doing things in order to achieve continuous improvement. Being open to change, adjusting to new demands and challenging norms in order to embed innovation. • Developing People 1. Being open to change Identifying, fostering and supporting potential in people through 2. Finding new ways of doing things planned development in order to create a high talent organisation. 3. Challenging accepted norms 1. Supporting planned development 4. Embedding innovation and change 2. Fostering potential 3. Creating a high talent organisation • Collaborative Working Demonstrating a commitment to diversity and applying a wide range of interpersonal skills in • Acting and Thinking Strategically order to achieve team goals. Working cooperatively across boundaries to contribute to positive Making connections between organisational priorities and outcomes. unit/individual planning in order to create a sense of purpose. 1. Co-operating willingly Encouraging a longer term view in order to create broad new 2. Influencing others visions. 3. Taking responsibility for collective outcomes 1. Linking actions to strategy 2. Taking strategic action 4. Encouraging wider collaborative working 3. Creating broad new visions • Delivering Results Planning and organising workloads to ensure that objectives and deadlines are met within resource constraints. Working enthusiastically and with determination to analyse problems and develop workable solutions. 1. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done 2. Taking on board financial and business considerations 3. Effective delivery in more complex situations 4. Exploiting cross unit efficiencies • Thinking Holistically Developing a broad awareness of the organisation in order to see where you fit and to promote organisational learning. Identifying and exploiting opportunities for integration and coherence across the organisation. 1. Having a broad awareness of the OU and knowing where you fit 2. Looking beyond the immediate context and seeing the wider picture 3. Promoting organisational learning OrgDev/HRS/KL Nov 03 v9 6
  7. 7. Annex 2 HR Strategy Priorities to Actions This section identifies the high level actions and projects in support of the HR Strategy. The final priority of Accountable Management identifies those things which are necessary for managers to undertake at Unit level in order to deliver this strategy. HR Priorities Area of Activity Actions Working Environment Health & Safety Strategy Provide OH advisory and support services HR Ongoing Develop H&S Guidance and Policy and monitor compliance Provide Safety advisory and support services to managers and staff HWS Provide annual programme of Health Promotion for staff HR Ongoing Improve staff benefit package & flexible working includes policy and practice Estates Strategy Deliver Estates Division Unit Plan Estates Ongoing OD Change Management Provide support for unit restructure and redesign HR As Reqd Support scenario planning activity HR & As Reqd Planning HR Facilitate change & improvement through development of 2004/5 change management policy and guidance Provide internal and external OD consultancy support HR As Reqd Capability Building Improve Leadership development through refocused HR 2004/5 leadership programme Roll out capability framework and integrate with other HR HR 2004 processes Restructure the staff and management development programme to support University priorities HR 2004 Deliver blended programme of ICT staff development AACS Ongoing OrgDev/HRS/KL Nov 03 v9 7
  8. 8. Enhance training to support Research Plan HR 2004/5 Develop and roll out an integrated Effective Staff Management HR 2004 (ESM) system Organisational Learning Review operation of Staff Placement Scheme HR 2004 Complete the CAU workload planning project HR & 2004 Planning Effective Recruitment & Selection practice Provide revised effective recruitment and selection guidance HR 2003/4 Exit and training Promote best equality and diversity practice in recruitment & HR Ongoing selection HR As per Progress staffing objectives of the University’s Equality and action Diversity Plans on recruitment and selection plans Exit Policy Ensure appropriate policies to support redeployment and HR Ongoing staffing reductions Ensure effective disciplinary policies and procedures Ensure appropriate management of Fixed tern Contracts Reward, Recognition & Pay and reward strategy Develop a pay policy to cover new pay structures, common pay HR 2004/7 Retention spine and job evaluation Evaluate and benchmark staff benefit package & flexible HR 2004 working HR 2004 Progress potential OUSS/USS merger and AL pensions Employee support Provide internal and external counselling services HR Ongoing (See also actions under Healthy Working and Health and Safety). Terms and Conditions Align with strategy, benchmarking against practices elsewhere HR Ongoing OrgDev/HRS/KL Nov 03 v9 8
  9. 9. Diversity EO and Diversity Develop and support delivery of staffing objectives in HR As per Institutional Equality and Diversity Action Plan action plans HR & Ongoing Promote best EO practice in recruitment & selection of salaried SS staff & ALs HR & Develop & review disability employment policies & increase no DAT Ongoing of disabled applicants & staff HR Ongoing Develop & progress staffing objectives in the Race Equality Strategy and Action Plan Information and Employee Relations Modernise working relationships with Unions HR 2003/4 Communication Implement information and consultation directive HR 2005 Create efficient systems for information & knowledge Secretary ? management Management Information Develop MI system in line with PIMS Project Plan HR & As per AACS project Implement Learning Management System plans AACS Provide corporate information (EIS) Ongoing Integrated Communications Maintain and update an integrated HR intranet service HR Ongoing Strategies e.g. Website Implement of University communications strategy HR and HR & 2004/5 Communications 2004-05 Comms Employment Law and Policy Develop integrated and flexible policies and procedures HR Ongoing Development aligned with strategy and within the context of changing employment legislation Provide effective employment law advice OrgDev/HRS/KL Nov 03 v9 9
  10. 10. Accountable Management Performance management Improve management of staff performance and implement Managers 2004 Effective Staff management system Identify issues affecting individual performance & provide Managers Ongoing support Development of self and Undertake learning development + needs analysis as part of Managers Ongoing people ESM Develop and deliver Unit learning and development plan as HoU 2004 part of Unit Planning Provide opportunities for development of staff and encourage learning from experience Managers Ongoing Implement the capability framework in line with guidance from HoU & 2004 HR Managers Deploying and managing Identify and address skill mix/shortage HoU & Ongoing resources Manager Comply with employment law and the legal framework Advocate and implement University policies and practice Facilitate effective workforce and workload planning Deliver staffing objectives of the University’s Equality and Diversity Plans Leadership and Change Demonstrate and promote the University values as expressed HoU & Ongoing Management in the HRS Managers Lead on delivery of University Strategic Priorities Involve HR early in considering redesign and restructure of functions and processes Generating a healthy Undertake workload planning and allocation HoU & Ongoing working environment Managers Support work life balance Promote dignity and respect for all staff OrgDev/HRS/KL Nov 03 v9 10

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