Tuesday, 4 February 2014

It's all about the conversation ........

......talking and discussing and reaching an understanding hopefully while not forgetting that we are there to provide a service. The advantage of working in front line or first line services is that you are, by default, interacting with students, staff, visitors and other customers which keeps it in perspective.
For me, as a manager, it is important not to lose sight of the day to day interactions while stepping back enough to manage effectively.
Nevertheless it is that time of year for PDRs (Performance and Development Review). Although I have quite a bit of experience at carrying out appraisals and performance reviews, I went along to the reviewer training. This was quite useful as it covered some of the procedures and some scenarios which could occur. It was a good opportunity to meet people from other departments across the university and share experiences. The HR partner doing the training was good and made it quite interesting for what is essentially a process that should be very rewarding but often not looked forward to by anyone. She did emphasise that the PDR meeting is 'all about the conversation' and that it is the opportunity for reviewees to have their say about the last year and their plans for the future year.
I'm still spending time getting to know the members of my team, I know it takes time and I remember saying at my interview that it takes two years to build a team so that they work effectively as a unit or unified group. I'm not sure whether it is easier to start with a new team or change an existing team. This week and last week I've been concentrating more on the IT Helpdesk staff in my team and discussing with them the changes and developments that we need to make. I'm hoping the conversation helps us to move forward.

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