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People Plan Programme: "it's about much more than just good communication"

colour photographic portrait of Tony Parr

Delivering change that is managed well and where our colleagues feel supported is a key focus of the ‘People Plan’ programme. We have had occasions when our ability to anticipate or reduce the impact of a change was limited by the number of projects we had taken on.

The Change Management Working Group is improving our approach across three aspects of change: Supporting People, Supporting Decision-making and Supporting Delivery. As part of this work, a Change and Planning Board is being piloted until the end of the academic year with a view to having a permanent board in position for the start of the 2019/20 academic year. The Board will take an overview of the change portfolio across the University and ensure not only that we are focusing our efforts and resources on the right changes, and that those changes fit together, but also that we can cope with it all. One of the things that many colleagues commented on in the 2017 Staff Survey was the cumulative impact of A lot of change on them and their teams. The Change Management Working Group is exploring ways in which we can all support each other and work together to help avoid these negative impacts in the future.

We caught up with People Plan Board member Tony Parr who has been involved in the Change Management project to find out more:

“When it began I had no idea of what the outcomes of this group would be. Probably most of us felt the same way. Fortunately, there is a real desire for change within the University which means the group is already a success. What we will achieve will, I feel, exceed my expectations.

“I have already used this network to benefit from other people’s experience and knowledge to help my work and more broadly the University. As a Building Support Officer (BSO) I have regular meetings with every type of building user, which allows me to talk about the Change Management board when possible and always in a positive manner.

“The scope of the Change Management Project was vast and was initially thought to be about communications. It was soon realised however, though communication is an important part, it’s about much more than just good communication. Everybody can play a part - we can all have a positive impact on the people around us. For me, it’s about making people care about where they work and proud of the work they do.”

Tony Parr is a Building Support Officer for Campus Services.

This is part of a series of articles updating the activity of the People Plan Programme in which there will be a summary of the project to date as well as a personal view from one of those involved. Previous articles on can be found here.

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