Doing something different staff development and workplace learning at Cardiff University

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paper by Sally Earney
and Louise Harrington
given at the ALISS 2014 summer confernece

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  • HPWP – 35 practices – induction, team-working, appraisal – improved business performance of an organisation – companies adopting more of these practices are said to have more employee involvement and to be more effective at motivating staff and managing change.
  • Rotatees were interviewed pre and post rotation
  • Would ‘speak up more in usual workplace’
  • Examples of CU libraries that have taken par
  • Expanded out to members of CLIC,
  • Organised by job shadowing team, sub of WLWG. Myself and Susan Smith, the former Chair of the group.

    Frequency can be varied, Does not have to take place at the same time each week for a set amount of weeks. The shadower and shadowee meet to discuss beforehand and draw up a timetable that suits them both.

    There are some concerns that it would be too time-consuming and would involve a lot of planning, but not the case. Do not have to plan special activities: the whole point of job shadowing is that you are observed doing your daily activities.

    Shadowers usually have definite ideas about what they want to achieve from the experience so that makes it easy to come up with a timetable.
  • Doing something different staff development and workplace learning at Cardiff University

    1. 1. Doing something different – Staff Development and Workplace Learning at Cardiff University Sally Earney Louise Harrington
    2. 2. ULS Staff Development & Engagement Group (Chair - Sally Earney) Staff Development Policy, oversees training budget, Action Plan, Training Programmes, staff development newsletter, communication Workplace Learning Working Group (Chair - Louise Harrington) Job rotation, Job shadowing, “Do Something Different” Days
    3. 3. Workplace Learning @ Cardiff University • How it all started • How it evolved • What it looks like today • Where it is going…
    4. 4. Sally Earney MSc Human Resource Management University of Glamorgan 05/06 Dissertation topic: Piloting Job Rotation in Cardiff University Library Service 1. Whether job rotation improved motivation and job satisfaction 2. Whether technical and ‘soft’ skills increased
    5. 5. Background in 2005 • 18 site libraries • Large service (approx 250 staff) • Number and variety of roles being performed by clerical staff • 2005 Merger – different cultures • More opportunity for promotion since restructuring
    6. 6. Library Environment • Administrative repetition • Increasing technological change • Restricted financial resources • Diverse staff – range of expectations from their employment • Lack of promotion opportunities
    7. 7. What the literature says - benefits • “High Performance Work Practice” (HPWP) • Fosters employee learning / skills • Career development and promotion • Career ‘plateaued’ employees • Creates innovation • Aids assessment of employees interests • Increases ‘social capital’ – quality of relationships improved
    8. 8. And the list goes on… • Reduces turnover • Grows in-house talent • Speeds employee development • Creates agile and flexible employees • See ‘big picture’ • Increases job satisfaction
    9. 9. Costs • Learning curve – errors • “Non-participant” jealousy (additional workload) • Non-participating Managers jealousy! • Financial cost of running scheme • Zero reward / promotion at end – employee leaves • Decrease in output during rotation
    10. 10. 3 pairs “rotatees”, 6 week rotation Matt Robinson Lego 6301 - Town Mini-Figures (1986)Reproduced under cc licence
    11. 11. Who were they? No of hours swapped Pair 1 Senior Library Assistant Aberconway Library (Business) Senior Library Assistant Nursing & Healthcare Studies Library 29 hours /week Pair 2 Senior Library Assistant Arts & Social Studies Library Archives Assistant Special Collections and Archives 15 hours /week Pair 3 Senior Library Assistant Biosciences Library Acquisitions Assistant Collection Management Services 30 hours/week
    12. 12. New “Soft” Skills • People skills • Creativity in approach to tasks • Confidence U.S. Embassy Pakistan 2012 U.S. Embassy Officers playing soccer with Pakistani athletes Reproduced under cc licence
    13. 13. Technical Skills • ILLs (2) • Database searching (4) • Advanced word processing (3) • Voyager circulation (3) • Report writing • Athens passwords • Using photocopiers • IT troubleshooting • Voyager cataloguing • S: drive • SIMS • Microsoft Access • Orientation • Classification systems • Microsoft Excel • Internet searching
    14. 14. Building Relationships You can’t put a price on getting to know other people in those situations…and I think that facilitates any sort of cross-departmental working which I think is very important Enjoyed it from start to finishA brilliant experience We are in little pockets and we tend to stay in little pockets…most people have not got a clue as to what is going on in other pockets of it
    15. 15. • New friends • Perceived improved career prospects • Learning – soft and technical skills • Increased confidence • Learned about preferred working environment / roles • Comparison of workplace practices, questioning, revised practices • ‘Ripple effect’ - interest of other staff Outcomes
    16. 16. Successful BUT lack of volunteers! Reproduced under cc licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc- sa/2.0/ Rudecactus.com 2005
    17. 17. Terrigal Headland: chilly rock pool Nadia308 under cc licence Same aims • Making friends/building relationships • We do that differently • Less daunting • Learning new tricks • One library service • Building confidence Shorter rotation?
    18. 18. Formalisation • Started as a project – pilot of the Job Rotation to become a formal annual scheme • Workplace Learning Working Group formed 2008 • Reports to the ULS Staff Development & Engagement Group • Range of schemes organised and monitored by the Group
    19. 19. Do Something Different Day • Run twice a year in May and November • Usually on a Wednesday • Very popular – 20 took part in last DSD Day out of 31 applicants. • 134 participants have taken part since it started
    20. 20. Quotes I learned about services to Distance Learners which I can apply to my workplace The team were really helpful and made the experience worthwhile and enjoyable. I feel as though I know individual members of the team and their areas of expertise well enough to consult them in the future. DSD could be extended beyond Information Services - we could visit other Divisions and Schools. "I found DSD day to be a really interesting and stimulating experience. I visited the Welsh Government Library and Archives, and it was fascinating to see their facilities and find out about what services they provided and what the day-to-day work of the library staff involved - especially as it was so different to that of academic library staff. Even though it is such a different working environment, it was still very useful to share ideas and compare experiences & best practice."
    21. 21. Job Shadowing – ‘Don’t be afraid of your own shadow!’ • Pilot in spring 2010 • Spend a few hours per week for 6-8 weeks shadowing a person in ULS in a different role. • Gain insight into specific tasks and skills involved. • Very flexible – the schedule and timings bespoke
    22. 22. Job shadowing 2010 Pilot - Library Ops manager shadowed a subject librarian and a Senior Library Assistant shadowed a LOM 2011 – Subject Librarian shadowed a Site Librarian 2012 - An IT assistant shadowed a team of Subject Librarians from Aberconway Library 2013- The PA to the University Librarian shadowed the Senghennydd Library team
    23. 23. Job shadowing 2014 – 6 participants!1 courier shadowing a Subject Librarian 1 Senior Library Assistant shadowing a Subject Librarian 2 SLAs shadowing Library Operations Managers 1 Library Attendant shadowing staff in Aberconway, Bute, Music and Senghennydd Libraries 1 Library Assistant shadowing the Acquisitions and Cataloguing team
    24. 24. Feedback “I gained more than I was expecting from job shadowing. I expected to passively watch a standard ‘day in the life’ of a single subject librarian. Instead, the team of subject librarians met with me for an initial chat, and we discussed the specific gaps in my personal experience. They suggested activities that were coming up in the next few months, and invited me to sessions which I would not normally have the opportunity to experience… I really appreciated how much time the subject librarians were willing to give to me, and their focus in making sure I had a broad, high quality experience.”
    25. 25. Quotes“Being shadowed is an excellent opportunity to reflect on routine actions & choices. It also provides a fresh perspective on ambiguous or difficult situations. “ “I felt it was an opportunity to think about what I do & how I explain myself to others.” “I found it rewarding to provide an opportunity for job shadowing as it helped the shadower gain knowledge and experience
    26. 26. What next? • Work placement programme with IT? • Expand partnership with CLIC?
    27. 27. • Earney, S. 2011. Do Something Different Days at Cardiff University Library Service. Sconul Focus 51 pp.70-72 • Earney, S. and Martins, A. 2009. Job rotation at Cardiff University Library Service: a pilot study. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 41 (4), pp. 213–26. Articles
    28. 28. Which workplace learning initiatives do you have in your organisation?
    29. 29. How would you encourage staff to participate in workplace learning?

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