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This work stream is focused on recognising and supporting the critical contribution our professional services staff make to the University. The key elements will focus on specific areas which include the career structure for professional services staff, mentoring and peer-to-peer support, recognition, training, culture and values and community.

Career structure for professional services staff 

You told us that this was a high priority and that you wanted to know about options for career development and progression, including more career networking opportunities, and have clearer career pathways. Our aim is to:

  • introduce pro-active management of careers with the possibility of progression within a role;
  • make it easier for people to move across different parts of the administration, helping them focus on developing transferable skills to give them greater flexibility and choice;
  • for those who want it, introduce the expectation of movement on, for example, a three to five year cycle;
  • improve the process of creating secondments, so that people can get different experiences without necessarily having to move jobs.

Mentoring and peer-to-peer support 

This would complement career structures and introduce a non-hierarchical form of support, possibly with the introduction of shadowing someone in a different role.

Recognition

This not just about salary, although this is important, but also about non-financial reward.  It is important for us to understand how we can recognise staff contributions more effectively.

Training

Many staff members have very little opportunity to attend training courses, either internally due to workload or externally due to financial constraints. If we are to adopt fully the concept of continuous improvement in professional services, training is a key enabling factor.

Culture and values

We want to create an environment where staff are confident and willing to take assessed risk, crucially, within a culture of trust.  As part of this, we are suggesting a transition away from the term ‘the administration’ and towards the use of the term ‘Professional Services’, ‘The administration’ is not one amorphous group that sits separately from the rest of the University but a collection of many different skills and abilities throughout the University, from administrators to bioinformaticians to facilities managers to tax experts. 

Community  

Our relationships with each other need to be strengthened. However, the focus here is not only on work but on other activity too. For example, the University Sports Service have been talking about “Getting Cambridge Moving”; other colleagues are thinking about a choir, and there will be many other suggestions. 

This is the first time I've heard articulated at the University what I've been thinking and what needs addressing.
Comment submitted via ourcambridge website

 

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