REWARDING AND DEVELOPING PEOPLE AT OXFORDUNIVERSITY OF OXFORD HUMAN RESOURCES STRATEGY1.1.1IntroductionOxford’s Human Resources (HR) Strategy relates, except where otherwise stated, to allthose employed by the University and is designed to support the University’s missionto achieve and sustain excellence in every area of its teaching and research, to maintainand develop its historical position as a world-class university, and to enrich theinternational, national, and regional communities through the fruits of its research andthe skills of its graduates. It reflects Oxford’s key values of academic freedom,subsidiarity, collegiality and the pursuit of excellence, as developed in the CorporatePlan, 2005-6 to 2009-101 and as set out in the Strategic Plan for 2008-9 to 2012-132; itis designed to deliver the Personnel Objective of the Strategic Plan, namely to attract,develop, reward and retain academic staff of the highest international calibre, and tomake the University of Oxford and its colleges employers of choice for all staff in theinternational, national, and local environments.Our first strategy for the period 2001-4 focussed on the six priority areas identified byHEFCE for the first phase of the Rewarding and Developing Staff (RDS) initiative3.There were very substantial achievements during the initial phase and many of theinitiatives in that plan continue, funded by HEFCE’s baselined allocation. After 2001HEFCE’s requirements broadened to reflect the challenges identified in theGovernment’s 2003 White Paper4 and, in respect of the second phase of the RDSinitiative (2004-8), focused specifically on teaching career progression (includingspecific recognition schemes), the use of flexible reward systems underpinned byinstitution-wide job evaluation (in the light of the National Framework Agreement onsalary modernisation), annual performance review, the development of researchers andthe professionalisation of support staff; and there have been significant developments inemployment legislation (e.g. the Race Relations (Amendment) Act, the Fixed-TermEmployees Regulations, and the Employment (Equality) Age Regulations 2006). Thiscurrent strategy reflects the HR objectives and priorities of the collegiate University, aswell as all of those external requirements.In developing the current HR strategy we have taken a broad perspective, involvingextensive consultation, strategic risk assessment5, and extensive self-assessment ofprogress so far, in line with HEFCE’s requirements, to ensure that all aspects of HRmanagement which are essential to the achievement of the University’s Strategic Plan1.21.3 Supplement *1 to the Oxford University Gazette, Vol. 136 (September 2005),http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2005-6/supps/corporate.pdf 2 See http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/pra/strategic_plan/. 3 The six areas were recruitment and retention, staff development and training, equalopportunities, reviews of
staffing needs, annual performance review and reward, and tackling poor performance. 4 The Future of Higher Education, DfES, January 2003 5 The University’s strategic risk register identifies failure to take adequate action onsalaries, other benefits, andbalance of duties as a major risk to the University and to the fulfilment of its StrategicPlan in terms of recruitment,retention, reward, and motivation of academic and other senior staff. Relevant objectivesin the HR strategy are keyresponses for managing this risk.11-2-are covered. The HR Strategy is therefore a comprehensive strategy designed to coverall key HR initiatives.1.4The objectives of the strategy are grouped under broad five themes, namely (A)recruiting high-calibre staff; (B) managing and developing staff; (C) rewarding andretaining high-calibre staff; (D) the new reward framework; and (E) monitoring andevaluating the strategy.Equality and diversity principles are not separately identified but integrated throughoutthe new strategy in line with the University’s aim to embed equal opportunitiesmonitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment in all aspects of policy development andpractice.The remainder of this document sets out the institutional context for the HR strategyand its links to the Strategic Plan and other strategies. It reviews the principal HRissues which the University intends to address, and sets out specific objectives,priorities, and actions.Oxford University’s mission and corporate planThe HR strategy supports the fundamental aim of the University’s mission, namely toachieve and sustain excellence in all areas of its teaching and research, by focusing onthe need to recruit, retain, and reward staff of the highest calibre in all employmentgroups, and to foster the motivation, morale, and continued development of such staff.The strategy underpins key elements of the specific objectives which the University hasadopted in support of its mission1, which are, in brief, that the University will:provide the facilities and support for its staff to pursue innovative research,building upon Oxford’s outstanding research record;promote challenging and rigorous teaching which benefits from a fruitfulinteraction with the research environment;maintain and make best use of the advantages of its independent colleges, wheremembers’ intellectual and personal development is fostered within a stimulating,multidisciplinary academic community;attract students of the highest calibre, from the UK and internationally, to itsundergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses, widening access by
actively seeking applications from students from diverse backgrounds.184.108.40.206.12.2The University’s Corporate Plan was agreed in 2005 after wide discussion andconsultation and identified a number of critical HR issues. The Corporate Plan was thendeveloped into a Strategic Plan for the period to 2013, and the personnel elements ofthat plan drew on, and are fully reflected in, the HR strategy.The following actions are being taken forward by a Task Force on AcademicEmployment, the work of which is of the highest importance to the future of thecollegiate University and its HR strategies, policies, and practices:The University’s mission statement is at http://www.ox.ac.uk/aboutoxford/annualreview/mission.shtml2.31-3-a review of the principles relating to all academic appointments made by the Universityalone or jointly with colleges, and the effect of current and possible alternativearrangements on both workload and the achievement of academic objectives;career structure and career development, including the implications for titles,remuneration, duties, and the role of developmental appraisal;a review of academic salary structures, including the number and structure of paygrades, promotion, arrangements for recruitment and retention payments, for merit payand market pay, and for allowances and other additional payments and benefits;the implications of inequalities in remuneration between the colleges;the promotion of the principles of equality and diversity; anda review of arrangements for tenure.The deliberations of the task force have major relevance across all of the themes of theHRStrategy. Its work represents in itself a substantial theme of the strategy, a key objectiveofwhich is to take its discussions forward towards recommendations for the future.Hereafter inthis paper and in the general objectives that follow, other particular issues which will beaffected by the task force’s proposals are marked (TF).
2.4Other key HR activities emphasised in the Corporate Plan and the Strategic Plancomprise:dealing with excessive workloads and rebalancing workloads, ensuring that academicsdevote sufficient time to their core activities, reducing bureaucratic burdens (TF);recruiting and retaining scholars of the highest distinction and potential, and providingextra administrative support and staff development opportunities, in order to contributeto the delivery of the strategy on research;increasing flexibility in the assignment of teaching duties, preparing contractresearchstaff (CRS) and graduate students for academic practice, and rewarding successfulteaching, in order to contribute to the delivery of the strategy on teaching and learning(TF);finding ways to integrate CRS more fully into the collegiate University, as part of ageneral initiative to improve CRS management and career development (TF);creating improved systems for developmental appraisal and staff developmentwhichare consistent with Oxford’s values and institutional structures; anddevising a coherent and effective system of management and administration acrossthecollegiate University.None of these objectives is fully achievable without a significant improvement in thefinances of the collegiate University. Given the range and importance of the HR issuesset out above, it is crucial that significant funds continue to be applied to HR purposes.Beyond that, the Strategic Plan indicates that improved reward systems for staff will be2.5-4-a first priority call on the additional income Oxford hopes to generate under its strategyon finance.3.3.1Development of the HR strategyIn addition to a careful assessment of strategic direction, the University’s HR strategyderives from analysis of quantitative trends over a considerable period. Staffing,recruitment, and turnover statistics have been monitored in detail for many years, withfindings reviewed regularly. Data on recruitment and retention problems have played akey role in the University’s development of discretionary salary systems which aremore extensive than in many other universities. Further detailed analyses of recruitmentand retention issues affecting academic staff, as well as updating market pay data, areplanned in order to refine the targeting of HR initiatives.
The University’s concern for equality of opportunity has led to the development ofmonitoring arrangements to evaluate the impact of HR initiatives (includingrecruitment monitoring and regular equal pay audits), which have in turn informedspecific positive action initiatives.This HR strategy has been developed by the University’s Personnel Committee andfollows extensive internal consultation with academic divisions, inter-collegiate bodies,departmental managers and joint committees with trade union and staff representativesover the period of the evolution of personnel strategy since 2000 and in the context ofthe development of the Corporate and Strategic Plans. Achieving the aims of the HRstrategy will require close dialogue between the Personnel Committee, Council and itsmain committees (especially the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee), theacademic divisions, the Department for Continuing Education, and those responsiblefor providing academic and other services. It will also involve close co-operation withthe colleges, as well as detailed discussion and negotiation with staff representativesand departmental managers. Formal mechanisms to review the progress andeffectiveness of the strategy, and to refine it as appropriate, are embedded in thestrategy itself under theme E.3.23.3Factors underpinning the strategy3.4The strategy has been developed in recognition of the following key factors:the values set out in the Corporate Plan and the Strategic Plan, and in theconsultative papers issued by the task force, relating to academic freedom,subsidiarity, collegiality, and the pursuit of excellence;the high degree of personal responsibility inherent in world-class research,teaching, and supporting activities;the collegiate structure of the University and of its undergraduate teaching;the important role played by all staff in enabling the institution to achieve itsmission and the need to tailor approaches to becoming an employer of choiceappropriately in respect of each staff group;the particular importance of maintaining and enhancing the quality of our academicstaff in general, as well as recruiting and retaining key individual academics;-5-the structure of the University’s governance, which combines central planning andoversight with substantial devolution of decision-making on detailed matters tobodies best equipped to take the decisions;1the need to streamline regulatory and bureaucratic burdens and ensure that the HRStrategy and other initiatives do not themselves add to these burdens;the importance of complying with employment legislation, developing a new
reward framework, and contributing to conceptions of best practice in the sector;the importance of diversity and equality and of appropriate impact assessments tomonitor the effect of policy and practice on all staff groups in accordance withrelevant legislation;the importance of monitoring the effect of HR policies and practices on theevolving needs and aspirations of the University’s departments; andthe limited resources available to the University, within which expenditure onstaffing issues must be properly prioritised, and the impact on those resources ofincreasing costs in areas such as pension contributions and employer’s nationalinsurance, as well as pay.3.5Working within the tensions characterised above, the strategy has been designed toavoid a proliferation of small centrally-driven initiatives, and to create flexibility withina general framework so that detailed decisions can be taken at divisional or departmentlevel, with appropriate support from the centre, to respond to specific local needs. Thisis particularly reflected in the devolution of the recurrent RDS funding en bloc tospending sectors, on condition that they devote these sums to the objectives of the HRStrategy but with the freedom to determine the precise use of those funds as betweenthose objectives, in the light of local priorities.Structure of the HR StrategyThe strategy is presented under five broad themes, the first three of which reflect themain stages of employment: recruiting high-calibre staff (theme A), managing anddeveloping them effectively (theme B), and rewarding and retaining them (theme C).Underpinning these three main areas is a commitment to providing professional supportfrom the centre to assist departments to match staffing profiles to academic plans.Theme D reflects the requirement to establish and develop a modernised salarystructure and to harmonise conditions between different staff groups. Theme E pullstogether a set of second-level objectives concerned with monitoring and evaluation ofthe strategy, and contains actions to further strengthen HR management informationsystems.The 2001-4 HR strategy had a separate heading for ‘equality of opportunity’ objectives,as required by the HEFCE template. All of our policies are informed by our well-developed equal opportunities strategy, which is promulgated via an annual rolling220.127.116.11 Throughout this document and the strategy itself, references to organisational unitssuch as divisions anddepartments may reflect a wider variety of spending body, in the light of the University’sparticular governancearrangements.
1-6-action plan. Staffing and recruitment are monitored by ethnicity, gender, anddisability,and the results are reviewed annually. Any data suggesting under-representation ordisparate impact are further investigated, resulting in the development of appropriatepositive action initiatives. In the past this has included an Athena-funded researchproject investigating the reasons for the relatively small number of applications fromwomen for academic posts in science, engineering, and technology: as a result of this ahighly successful Career Development Fellowship scheme was established under thefirst phase of the HR strategy, and continued in the second phase, as one means ofwidening the pool of suitably qualified applicants for such posts, including women andethnic minority applicants. Such considerations will continue to feature in the keypriorities for the current HR Strategy. The strategy covers part-time and full-time staffequally: and contains specific objectives in relation to fixed-term contract researchstaff.4.3In line with the University’s policy to integrate equality and diversity issues into all itsactivities, and the requirements of the recent equality legislation, such objectives havetherefore been included within each of the main themes, although there is also aspecific and separately identified objective to monitor the University’s progresstowards equality of opportunity within theme E, and diversity issues figure prominentlyin our key priorities and actions for the next period. The University’s Head of Equalityand Diversity has been a member of the HR Strategy Steering Group.In the first two phases of HECFE’s RDS initiative, the recurrent and non-recurrentfunding was internally earmarked by the University for use by specific spending sectorsfor particular HR purposes. From 2007-8 onwards, the recurrent (first-phase) fundingwas in principle allocated internally under the University’s Resource AllocationMethod, subject to the provision of sufficient funding to the services to enable them tocontinue to undertake the objectives which the HR Strategy requires them to pursue.This proviso covered two elements: (i) the services, like academic departments,continued to receive sufficient funding to enable them to carry out activities which alldepartments are required by the strategy to undertake; and (ii) the particular serviceswhich directly undertake specific HR Strategy objectives continued to receiveresources to enable them to continue to do so. From 2008-9 all the relevant funding forOxford under RDS became recurrent, and was allocated internally in that way on theunderstanding that relevant spending sectors will continue to devote appropriateresources to the objectives of this HR Strategy for which they remain responsible.The strategy is kept under review by the HR Strategy Steering Group (a forum whichdraws together all human resources services and includes representatives of Personneland Administrative Services, the Oxford Learning Institute, the Diversity and EqualityUnit, Occupational Health, and Health and Safety) and by the University’s PersonnelCommittee and Council, in particular in the light of ongoing implementation of theUniversity’s Strategic Plan and the work of the Task Force on Academic Employment,outcomes from which will be key to the further implementation of the HR Strategy.4.4
4.5-7-5.Overview of the HR Strategy themesTheme A: recruiting high-calibre staff5.1This theme is critical to the University’s position as an international centre of academicexcellence. In particular, the ability to attract the very best academics worldwide is verylikely to require individual arrangements, while we will also need to equip ourselves tocontinue to recruit high-calibre staff in an international market to all of our senior posts.A commitment to equality and diversity is integral to our recruitment objectives. Thus,more broadly, widening the recruitment pool for academic posts and becoming an‘employer of choice’ in all staff groups will help improve our ability to compete andattract the best and most diverse fields of candidates. The continued use of targeteddiscretionary payment schemes, that have been shown to be effective in recruiting staffand that are consistent with equal pay requirements, will enable the University torecruit high-calibre staff while complying with employment legislation. Provision formarket supplements will further increase the University’s ability to respond toexceptional recruitment pressures in areas of critical skill shortage.Theme B: managing and developing staff; achieving departmental staffing objectives5.2Under this theme we will continue to improve the quality of leadership andmanagement at all levels; and work towards mechanisms for enabling academic staffand senior administrators to focus on key priorities, and systems for appropriate careerand professional development for all staff. Underpinning the latter is the developmentof more effective appraisal for all staff to support institutional needs and facilitate staffdevelopment. Specific staff development initiatives for the professionalisation of keygroups of support staff are also included. Managers at all levels need timely andeffective support from HR services if they are to deliver plans within the requirementsof employment and other legislation, and lead the management of change at a time ofconsiderable major developments within the University (not least in terms of IT andother systems). Particular importance is attached to reviewing staffing needs in the lightof institutional plans and facilitating transition to new staffing profiles where required;and to dealing fairly and effectively with restructuring, redeployment, redundancy andcapability issues. All of these may require, within financial constraints, more ‘hands-on’ support for departments from Personnel Services and the Oxford Learning Institute.Within this broad objective, special emphasis is also placed on equippingadministrative staff to provide excellent support for the University’s mission; and onthe development of research staff in order to ensure that the University retains andenhances its leading position as a centre of research excellence. Building on theachievements under the Research Careers Initiative and the pilot activity undertakenlocally during the first phase of the RDS initiative, a significant enhancement ofsupport and development for fixed-term contract research staff is underway. This beinga very diverse staff group, equality principles will be particularly important in thedesign and impact evaluation of staff development activities.5.3
Theme C: rewarding and retaining high-calibre staff5.4This theme builds on recent developments to extend the range of ways of rewardingand retaining world-class academics and other high-calibre staff. Reward is notnarrowly defined as simply pay, but includes other factors that have been shown toinfluence individuals’ career decisions, such as work-life balance. Special attention will-8-be given to new initiatives focused on career progression and specific recognition andreward in respect of teaching excellence. Equality and diversity principles areintegrated through the monitoring and evaluation of general and specific initiatives, andthrough targeted staff development which promotes career progression amongst under-represented groups.Theme D: new reward framework5.5A modern flexible framework for reward, and greater harmonisation of terms andconditions of employment, provides the overall structure within which themes A to Ccan be implemented. The aim has been to create a single, rational, transparent, and fairstructure underpinned by analytical job evaluation to replace the previous plethora ofpay scales and grading arrangements. The new framework is intended to support aflexible reward system in an objective and transparent way, consistent with equal paylegislation and the requirements of HEFCE and the JNCHES national frameworkagreement (for example in relation to market pay, and the annual departmental meritaward scheme to reward exceptional performance). The new structure removesconfusing and unhelpful demarcation between staff groups, and will enhance careerdevelopment, and reduce administrative overheads through more streamlinedprocesses. This theme has major financial, organisational, and employee relationsimplications.The University will continue, as under the first phases of the RDS initiative, to devote aconsiderable proportion of the HR strategy funding direct to differential pay to addressrecruitment, retention, and reward of merit according the needs of the different staffgroups across the University.5.6Theme E: monitoring and evaluating the strategy and the requirements of departments;strengthening HR management information systems5.7Monitoring and evaluating the HR Strategy is integral to the University’s internalplanning and budgetary procedures. The processes outlined in Theme E will enable theUniversity to facilitate delivery of academic plans, assist the appropriate allocation ofresources, and ensure compliance with employment legislation. The processes includemore effective consultation arrangements, greater integration of an HR dimension intoplanning processes at all levels, and fostering the interaction between the Universityand colleges on the development of HR policy and practice. Provision of key HRinformation to those who need it, and replacing our current payroll/personnel system,OPENdoor, with an enhanced HR information system are also covered. In particular,the impact of policies on all groups, especially in the light of recent equality legislation,will be monitored to avoid disproportionate effects on certain staff groups.
-9-REWARDING AND DEVELOPING PEOPLE AT OXFORDUNIVERSITY OF OXFORD HUMAN RESOURCES STRATEGYMajor themes; general objectives; and specific key priorities and actionsTheme A: recruiting high calibre staffThis theme is critical to the University’s position as an international centre of academicexcellence. Inparticular, the ability to attract the very best academics worldwide is very likely torequire individualarrangements, while we will also need to equip ourselves to continue to recruit high-calibre staff in aninternational market to all of our senior posts. A commitment to equality and diversity isintegral to ourrecruitment objectives. Thus, more broadly, widening the recruitment pool for academicposts andbecoming an ‘employer of choice’ in all staff groups will help improve our ability tocompete andattract the best and most diverse fields of candidates, and also enable us to meet ourcommitmentsunder the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and other equality legislation. The continueduse oftargeted discretionary payment schemes, that have been shown to be effective inrecruiting staff andthat are consistent with equal pay requirements, will enable the University to recruit high-calibre staffwhile complying with employment legislation. Provision for market supplements willfurther increasethe University’s ability to respond to exceptional recruitment pressures in areas of criticalskillshortage.ObjectivesA.1.A.2.A.3.A.4.A.5.To continue to recruit world-class staff at the most senior levels (TF)To continue to attract outstanding lecturers (both nationally and internationally) bydeveloping amore effective and focussed approach to recruitment to academic posts (TF)To recruit key academic-related and university support staff through the targeted use ofcost-effective, fair, and transparent discretionary payment schemesTo become an ‘employer of choice’ in the local and national labour markets for supportandacademic-related staff, widening the recruitment pool in specific respects
To review the operation of the electoral board processes for the appointment of statutoryprofessors and readersTheme B: managing and developing staff; achieving departmental staffing objectivesIn this theme we attempt to work towards highly effective leadership and management atall levels,mechanisms for enabling academic staff and senior administrators to focus on keypriorities, andsystems for appropriate career and professional development for all staff. Underpinningthe latter isthe development of more effective appraisal for all staff to support institutional needs andfacilitatestaff development. Specific staff development initiatives for the professionalisation ofkey groups ofsupport staff are also included. Effective high-level leadership facilitates the delivery of academic plans at alllevels, andinspires and motivates university staff by giving clear direction and support. Similarly,middle- andfirst-line managers are crucial to the motivation and performance of staff across theUniversity, and tothe delivery of the University’s policies (including this strategy). Managers in all thesepositions needtimely and effective support from HR services if they are to deliver plans within therequirements ofemployment and other legislation, and lead the management of change at a time ofconsiderablemajor developments within the University (not least in terms of IT and other systems).Particularimportance is attached to reviewing staffing needs in the light of institutional plans andfacilitatingtransition to new staffing profiles where required; and on dealing fairly and effectivelywithrestructuring, redeployment, redundancy and capability issues. All of these may require,withinfinancial constraints, more ‘hands-on’ support for departments from Personnel Servicesand theOxford Learning Institute. Within this broad objective, special emphasis is also placed on equippingadministrative staff toprovide excellent support for the University’s mission; and on the development ofresearch staff inorder to ensure that the University retains and enhances its leading position as a centre ofresearchexcellence. Building on the achievements under the Research Careers Initiative and thepilot activity- 10 -
undertaken locally during the first phase of the RDS initiative, a significant enhancementof supportand development and for research staff is underway. Equality and diversity principles are integral to all aspects of staff management anddevelopment, including the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of initiatives.ObjectivesB.1.B.2.To further enhance the effectiveness of those who lead the University at the highest levelsTo seek to reduce and/or vary the range of demands on academic staff, reducing and/orrebalancing workloads, so that they can focus on their core role in research and teachingactivities key to the institution’s academic mission (TF): this includes, but is not limitedtoincreasing flexibility in the assignment of teaching duties, and preparing contract researchstaff and graduate students for academic practiceTo manage and develop research staff more effectively (TF), including finding ways tointegrate CRS more fully into the collegiate UniversityTo develop more effective appraisal for all staff which supports institutional needs andfacilitates staff development, through improved systems which are consistent withOxford’svalues and institutional structuresTo assist departments to identify and achieve their staffing needsTo strengthen administrative provision at the local level in order to manage strategicchangeTo develop operational HR expertise and ensure effective policy implementationTo improve the quality of leadership at middle and first-line management levelsTo provide staff development and other infrastructural provision to support equalityinitiativesTo establish an institutional framework ensuring equal access to training anddevelopmenttailored to the needs of each different group of staffTo review grievance and disciplinary procedures in light of legislative change and otherrelevant developmentsTo develop more effective mechanisms for staff communication and consultationB.3.B.4.B.5.B.6.B.7.B.8.B.9.B.10.B.11.B.12.Theme C: rewarding and retaining high-calibre staffThis theme builds on recent developments to extend the range of ways of rewarding and
retainingworld-class academics and other high-calibre staff. Reward is not narrowly defined aspay, butincludes other factors that have been shown to influence individuals’ career decisions,such as work-life balance. Special attention is given to new initiatives focused on career progressionand specificrecognition and reward schemes in respect of teaching excellence. Equality and diversityprinciplesare integrated through the monitoring and evaluation of general and specific initiatives,and throughtargeted staff development which promotes career progression amongst under-represented groups.ObjectivesC.1.C.2.To ensure the long-term retention of excellent academic staff (TF)To retain scholars of the highest distinction, and other key staff, in acute cases throughtheuse, where necessary and objectively justifiable, of discretionary payment schemes whicharecost effective and consistent with equal pay for work of equal value (TF)To hold regular, well-funded gathered field exercises for distinction awards for professorsandreaders in post (TF)To define, measure, and consider appropriate rewards for ‘teaching excellence’ in theOxfordcontext, in consultation with the colleges (TF)To reward exceptional performance amongst university support staff and academic-relatedstaffTo provide terms and conditions of employment which encourage existing staff to viewtheUniversity as their employer of choice (TF)C.3.C.4.C.5.C.6.- 11 -Theme D: new reward frameworkA modern flexible framework for reward, and greater harmonisation of terms andconditions ofemployment, provides the overall structure within which themes A to C can beimplemented. The aimhas been to create a single, rational, transparent, and fair structure underpinned byanalytical job
evaluation to replace the previous plethora of pay scales and grading arrangements. Thenewframework is intended to support a flexible reward system in an objective and transparentwayconsistent with equal pay legislation and the requirements of HEFCE and the JNCHESnationalframework agreement (for example in relation to discretionary and market pay). The newstructureremoves confusing and unhelpful demarcation between staff groups, and will enhancecareerdevelopment, and reduce administrative overheads through more streamlined processes.This themehas major financial, organisational, and employee relations implications.ObjectivesD.1.D.2.D.3.To reform salary structures (TF)To ensure that various categories of staff receive salaries commensurate with the range ofduties that they perform (TF)To continue to harmonise terms and conditions of employment in the context of adevelopingreward frameworkTheme E: monitoring and evaluating the strategy and the requirements of departments;strengtheningHR management information systemsMonitoring and evaluating the HR Strategy is integral to the University’s internalplanning andbudgetary procedures. The processes outlined below, which include consultationarrangements andgreater integration of an HR dimension into planning processes at all levels, will enablethe Universityto facilitate the delivery of academic plans, assist the appropriate allocation of resources,and ensurecompliance with employment legislation. Providing key HR information to those whoneed it, andreplacing our current payroll/personnel system with an enhanced HR information systemare alsocovered. In particular, the impact of policies on all groups, especially in the light ofrecent equalitylegislation, will be monitored to avoid disproportionate effects on certain staff groups.ObjectivesE.1.E.2.To provide accurate and timely HR information in support of policy and practiceTo consult divisions, departments and colleges on the University’s HR strategy, policies
andpractices; with a particular emphasis on discussions with colleges to ensure that both theUniversity and the colleges are employers of choice for all staff in the international,nationaland local environmentsTo replace OPENdoor, the University’s payroll/personnel systemTo assess the impact of the University’s policies and practices to ensure that all staff areafforded equal opportunities at entry into employment and within employment (TF)To monitor staff patterns at key intervention points to ensure that the University’spolicies topromote equality of opportunity are having the intended effect (TF)To conduct evaluations of staff development and leadership programmes, includingassessments of their impact.E.3.E.4.E.5.E.6.- 12 -SPECIFIC KEY MEDIUM-TERM PRIORITIES AND ACTIONSDivisions, departments, faculties, and relevant administrative services will continue topursuethe general objectives on pp. 9-11.In addition, following a self-assessment exercise, and wide consultation, the PersonnelCommittee and Council have approved the following specific key medium-term prioritiesandactions.Recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-calibre staffPriorities to take the work of the Task Force on Academic Employment decisively forward, particularly in relation to the optimal use of increased income to improve the terms and conditions of academic staff, career progression for lecturers, revised contractual conditions for lecturers to permit greater variation in the pattern of duties, and the grade structure below lecturer, taking account of equality issues in general, and in particular the goals set for academic women’s career development in the Gender Equality Scheme;to continue to focus on the most pressing recruitment, retention, and reward issues inrelation to academic, academic-related, and university support staff, particularly atsenior levels.Managing and developing staffPriorities to establish and implement systems for developmental appraisal and personal and career development which are consistent with Oxford’s values and institutional structures (and with the principles set out in the integrated Equal Opportunities Policy), with an initial focus on university support staff, and to strengthen management training in this area;
to sharpen the focus of work on contract research staff and expedite outcomes, inparticular in terms of integrating those contract research staff on an academic careertrajectory more fully into the research, teaching, and administrative work of thecollegiate University, taking account of the particular barriers faced by women andblack and ethnic minority staff;to develop a single profile of staff development needs and a strategy for staff andcareer development (not least for support staff);to improve managers’ understanding of tools for staff development;to ensure that equality principles inform the provision of staff development, and thatstaff development supports the University’s strategy for equality and diversity;- 13 -to improve training and support for those acquiring management responsibilities;to continuously improve operational arrangements for personnel services, includingrevised arrangements to link the centre, the divisions, the departments, and thefaculties on a ‘business partner’ model, implementing Internal Auditrecommendations on risk management, and fostering a more responsive and lessrisk-averse approach;to streamline procedures to produce a transparent, fair, proportionate and effectiveset of arrangements in relation to grievance, disciplinary, and capability procedures,and to strengthen management training in these areas;to further develop a coherent and responsive approach to workplace stressmanagement;to consider the introduction of a policy for recording and managing sicknessabsence.Monitoring and further development of the HR Strategy, management information, andthe requirements of employing departmentsPriorities to implement a new HR Information System, in consultation with all stakeholders, in order, in particular, to foster efficiencies in personnel administration, to integrate more fully the planning of staff numbers with other planning issues, to monitor recruitment and retention issues, and to ensure efficient arrangements for the administration of staff development, to inform equality impact assessments, and to inform discussions on the size and composition of the workforce (so that these can be seen alongside considerations of the size of the student body, research activity, capital developments, and estates provision);to improve liaison between the University and the colleges on personnel issues,
including all elements of these specific key priorities which affect joint academicappointments;to improve liaison between the various human resources functions within theUniversity;to ensure that good practice on diversity and equal opportunities informs the range ofour HR policies and practice, that monitoring arrangements are complete andsystematic, and that the conclusions drawn from this monitoring and other impactassessments are consistently followed through (e.g. in terms of the recruitment ofwomen academics and of disabled people);to conduct and analyse the results of an equal pay audit;to review arrangements for staff consultation, especially in relation to support staffand to the requirements for consultation and meaningful involvement under the RaceRelations (Amendment) Act, the Disability Discrimination Act, and the Equality- 14 -Act, and including staff opinion surveys, and to maintain good employee relations;to survey the perception of HR functions such as central support on occupationalhealth and staff welfare, and to review training and education programmes in thisarea;to contribute to the development of a more cohesive and streamlined system ofadministration in the collegiate University.G:HR Strategy2009current strategy.doc