National award recognises how we’re creating a remarkable place to work

People collage

Last night (Thursday 19 May 2016) our colleagues in Human Resources collected two awards from Universities Human Resources (UHR).

The Exceptional HR award for an achievement by an HR team went to our people strategy, Talent First; and Andrew Dodman, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Officer, picked up the outstanding individual achievement award.

Although we’ll soon be issuing an update to our people strategy, this particular award was for Talent First 2013–2015 based on our ambition and vision to create a remarkable place to work through attracting, growing and engaging the 8,000 plus people who work here.

“This award and the success of Talent First is thanks to people right across the University,” says Andrew Dodman.

This award and the success of Talent First is thanks to people right across the University.

Andrew Dodman

“We’ve worked in partnership with academic and professional colleagues and in collaboration with our Students’ Union – thank you to everyone for making this a remarkable place to work,” he added.

Talent First has seen success across many areas. In terms of recruitment, our employer brand, Pursuing the Extraordinary, has helped attract highly talented staff. And 81 per cent of people who’ve used our bespoke induction portal said that it had supported them in settling within their new role. One user said: 'It made me feel incredibly proud to join The University of Sheffield.'

The Deal, which opened last March, offers a visible and accessible total reward package. Between September 2015 and February 2016 over 2,100 recognition awards were given to colleagues across the University, with one user saying: 'Love the rewards scheme and the fact that you can send a thank you to anyone in the University.'

Over 2,400 of us have attended an activity with our sector-leading Juice wellbeing programme, which also picked up The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For Wellbeing Special Award earlier this year.

Working together with colleagues to make our University a remarkable place to work is an important part of Talent First.

Andrew Dodman

Our integrated approach to staff, manager and leadership development, Develop, MANAGE, Lead, aligns our management development opportunities with strategic priorities. During the first year of MANAGE 66 sessions were held with 738 attendees.

Development Everywhere offers multiple, flexible development opportunities. Of the 5,633 staff who visited the website between January and July 2015, 82 per cent of us have continued to engage with resources. Our globally acclaimed Sheffield Leader now has over 1,000 community members

Diversity and inclusion are key to our People Strategy. Earlier this year we were ranked as a top 100 employer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff for the third year running and we have amongst the highest proportion of women professors in the Russell Group.

“Working together with colleagues to make our University a remarkable place to work is an important part of Talent First,” says Andrew Dodman.

“One way we do this is with the staff survey. The fantastic response rate to our 2014 staff survey has been replicated this year – 72 per cent of us have had our say and there’s still a bit of time to get your responses in. We’ll start to share the results with you in June.

“Talent First also supported the process resulting in us reaching number 32 in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2016. One of the things which made us stand out and meant that we were the only university to make this prestigious national ranking was our sense of pride. 94 per cent of respondents in the 2014 staff survey said they were proud to work here, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to help you continue to feel this way.”

Universities Human Resources (UHR)

UHR is the professional organisation for Human Resources practitioners in the United Kingdom and Eire universities.

UHR works with associated bodies such as Universities UK , UCCEA and Guild HE to offer co-ordinated responses to consultations by bodies such as the Funding Councils and government, and to share information and best practice.

The 2016 UHR Awards for Excellence in HR recognise outstanding and innovative projects, teams and individuals that have led transformational change in their organisations.