How to - A People Development Series of Modules

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Further to our People Development Review earlier this year, and in line with our response to supporting colleagues and managers with their recovery plans for Covid-19, we are releasing new learning and development modules as part of a ‘How to’ series. Please find below a background and overview of structure as well as next steps.

This learning series is being designed to be flexible and inclusive for all managers and colleagues to access, and we will be prioritising themes and modules in line with organisational needs, but also from feedback gathered from across the University as to what would support professional development now and in future.

A new module will be released regularly as part of the ‘How to’ series, with learning on themes such as wellbeing, managing change and complexity, and managing remote working. Our modules are focused on the key skills, behaviours and attributes required to encourage learners to reflect and plan for how they can apply them to different situations and scenarios, as we know there is a huge amount of complexity, change and nuance currently.

How the series is structured

Each module consists of two learning sections:

Core Learning is designed to introduce colleagues to how to develop their skills, behaviours or attributes to apply to different situations. We have provided dedicated and varied resources to encourage critical reflection and action planning. To ensure that it is flexible and accessible, this is available on Blackboard accessible through MUSE, and we have broken this down by duration, as detailed below:

When you have 5 minutes

We provide an introduction and overview of key principles and concepts related to the module topic, typically as a video or guidance document.

When you have 30 minutes

We provide further learning and instruction to deepen understanding, as well as encourage reflection, typically through use of videos, audio files, articles, quizzes and worksheets or workbooks.

When you have 60 minutes or more

We provide opportunities for social learning, deeper reflection and encourage you to commit to action planning. Typically this can be done through attending live development sessions, connecting with peers, coaches or mentors to consider learning and completing development or action plans.

To get the most out of each module, we recommend that learners engage with all of the Core Learning.

Additional Learning is available to assist colleagues to develop in a personalised way; we understand that all colleagues will have different situations, relationships, knowledge and experience. This space is designed to suit individual needs around specific module themes and link to many more focused curated learning materials. Again we aim to support different types of learning by varying our resources - there are often videos, e-learning courses and guidance booklets available to support development in a way that suits all staff.

For most modules there will be live development sessions available to complement the Core Learning, at various points in the year, bookable via LMS. Specialist colleagues in the People Development team will facilitate an interactive learning session for managers, to explore how they can enhance and develop their skills that builds on the Core Learning and support colleagues to share best practice.

Our first module is "How to have a wellbeing conversation". This module is aimed at colleagues who manage or supervise others. This module focuses on the key skills, behaviours and attributes required to have a wellbeing conversation.

Our second available How To module is "How to manage teams - wherever they are". This digitally blended learning module is aimed at colleagues who manage or supervise others. This module will focus on the key skills, behaviours and attributes required to effectively manage hybrid or physically distanced teams.

Our third How To module is "How to lead through change". This digitally blended learning module is aimed at colleagues who manage or supervise others. This module will focus on the key skills, behaviours and attributes required to lead through change.

Our fourth How To module is "How to support your own and others' resilience". This digitally blended learning module is open to all colleagues and is designed to raise awareness of how we can support ourselves and others when situations are challenging.

Our fifth How To module is "How to be an effective mentor". This digitally blended learning module is aimed at colleagues who mentor others. This module will focus on the key skills, behaviours and attributes required to be an effective mentor; confidently supporting and advising others.

Our latest How To module is "How to ease the load". This digitally blended learning module is for all colleagues to access. As many colleagues are balancing busy workloads, with additional challenges at work and home due to the impact of the pandemic, this module will help with balancing complex workloads, feeling comfortable using Google suite to manage tasks, and exploring project management exercises.

We think there are real benefits to this approach for colleagues, in that they can now engage with learning much more flexibly and inclusively, as this allows them to access when suits them whilst balancing other commitments, and to suit their pace and style of learning through use of various resources and materials. There are benefits for us in the People Development team, in that it allows us to be more sustainable in our approach, being able to design and launch new modules that are really bespoke to our organisational needs and emerging priorities, that reach more of our colleagues.

Other digitally blended learning opportunity for colleagues

As well as the above How to Series launch, you may also be aware of some of the digitally blended learning we have already created to support reviewers and managers at SRDS - ‘How to have a SRDS conversation: Skills for reviewers’. If you would like to find out more, please visit our SRDS Skills for Reviewers web page.

We also have curated opportunities and resources for virtual learning and development for colleagues that they can engage with as self directed learning. These can be accessed remotely and flexibly on our Digital Learning and Development web page.

The People Development team are committed to supporting professional development for colleagues. Should you have any queries or feedback please contact us at