Today (Monday, 1 November) marks a significant step as the Directorate of Human Resources changes its name to the Directorate of People and Organisational Development.
In Professional Services, we want to create a more flexible future for our people because we know that it can benefit us in our professional and personal lives.
Often when we talk about the Student Experience Programme (SEP) we focus on the new technology, processes and staffing changes this major change initiative will bring to the University. As part of the SEP leadership team, I have, along with many of my colleagues been an advocate of the importance of us also thinking about our shared ways of working.
I love an anniversary or a celebration – but realising that a year ago today we had, for the most part, to close the campus is not something I thought we would be marking, and indeed it isn’t something that many people would probably look on as a celebration.
This period of time has often been referred to as a ‘great homeworking experiment’. But when organisations normally adopt remote working they usually do so in a strategic way, with much planning and organising. Like all organisations the pandemic forced us to adopt remote working at speed and in difficult circumstances.
Usually at this time of year our campus is buzzing with excitement and optimism as students from all over the world descend on Manchester, taking full advantage of the opportunities that our University and the wider city present. It’s also one of the busiest times for colleagues with all hands on deck to support our on-going research activities and to make sure our students feel welcome and help them adjust to their new life.
Key to how we deliver our Vision, are our Values. Especially when needing to make difficult decisions, how we deliver will be as important as what we deliver.
For the first time in my life I feel I could ask anyone if they have learned anything new in the past few weeks and the answer would be 100% “Yes”.
Theories of disasters point out that during major societal crises the needs of individuals and society move closer together: we develop a greater sense of belonging and commonality and we tend to bring out the best in ourselves and our organisations. All of this has been evident across our University community since the extraordinary events brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
These last few weeks, particularly the last week or so, have undoubtedly been some of the most unusual and challenging of my entire career, and I am sure many of you feel the same way. These events are truly unprecedented, and moving at an astonishing pace.