UHR 2022 > Programme > Wednesday 11 May



Day Two: Wednesday 11th May

09:00 - 10:00 Plenary 3

TimeSession informationSpeakers
09:00 - 10:00 Plenary 3: Engagement and collaboration in a post-hybrid world of work

In his exciting and thought-provoking talk Prof Eddie Obeng will reframe the major challenges we face as the world continues to change rapidly for people within HR in HE. He will explore and explain how to develop new ways to solve some persistent problems focussing on both the problem itself and the emotional needs of the solver. Step-by-step he will suggest building blocks to realign ourselves to thrive in our new complex ambiguous world and bring everyone on board with us. He will demonstrate how to be positive and resilient in what look like trying times.

The session will be interactive and tailored to your needs – so if you have any special requests to address issues or topics please let him know in advance here

You will leave with practical ideas you can put into practice directly and the methods and tools to carry them out. And with a confidence that you have the capability and courage to make change work for you.
Professor Eddie Obeng, Director of Learning, Pentacle Limited
10:00 - 10:30

Break & Networking 


10:30 - 11:15 Workshops Block B

TimeSession informationSpeakers
10:30 - 11:15 WB1: Transforming the Academic “deal”

Our Birmingham Academic Career Framework project has transformed the academic “deal” through a major 2-year change programme. This session will outline how we have developed and delivered the project, including a major consultation exercise, and constructive working relationships with the trade union. We will outline the outcomes which include: revised career structures and titles (including a new career pathway of Enterprise, Engagement and Impact); reimagined promotions criteria (including the requirement to demonstrate citizenship in order to progress) and processes; a new Academic Development Programme for Assistant Professors (which includes an innovative peer support group concept); and support for early career research and teaching fellows.
Lora Morris, Head of HR Strategic Projects, University of Birmingham
10:30 - 11:15 WB2: Respecting Old and New Brooms: Sharing Experiences of, and Identifying our Roles in, Leadership Change / Succession

Succession – a change in a Unit or Directorate’s Director – in the public and third sector is often uncertain and tumultuous, but is rarely attended to in a higher education context, such that a universal term for the process of leadership change has not been reached. This is despite succession being equally tumultuous, and in some cases, cost-ineffective, in HEI professional services. This session will introduce new research on leadership change in HEI professional services, replete with examples of succession challenges and solutions. The session will provide space for workshop participants to reflect on their own experiences of leadership change (occurring around them or within their own post) and identify their role in succession, highlighting the potential to have ‘everyone on board’ during change. This collaborative session repositions succession as a key event for units and directorates, beginning to unfold long before an announcement, and extending for several years.
Sam Ross, PhD Student, University of St Andrews
10:30 - 11:15 WB3: Planning an inclusive workforce

We want a more diverse workforce. Working alongside people from different backgrounds, with different experiences, challenges and values enriches us as individuals and creates stronger decision making, greater resilience and higher performing teams for our organisations. However, our Universities remain significantly less diverse than the populations they serve, in terms of race, gender, disability and sexual orientation. The actions we are taking now to improve the diversity of our workforce are simply not working, and in many cases the position is getting worse not better. This workshop offers a range of insight into the role workforce planning can play in building diversity throughout a workforce. It offers an opportunity for participants to engage in discussion and debate around the key issues and aims to deliver a road map for colleagues to adapt and implement in their own settings.
Helen Ashley, Head of Workforce Planning & Tahira Majothi, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner, both of University of Manchester
10:30 - 11:15 WB4: A New Wave for EVP: Culture and Connection

The tides have turned in recruitment and retention; set your culture on a new course to prevent your top talent from jumping ship.

Whether you are one of the many universities facing increasing challenges in recruitment or you are trying to keep your people engaged, this session will offer you an opportunity to reflect and work through these issues.

Key takeaways:
• Explore the key labour market factors that are creating the perfect storm for recruitment/retention challenges
• Dive beneath the surface and delve into the role that culture and connection play in motivating HE colleagues
• Learn how to get your ship in order and develop an effective strategy to keeping people onboard
• Be inspired by examples of HR functions that are flying the flag for cultural evolution
• Develop an evidence-based business case to navigate your way to success
Emma Brookes, UHR SPR Manager, UHR
10:30 - 11:15 WB5: Flex Select – A Flexible Working Case Study - how to successfully engage stakeholders and staff and support the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda

A case study and Q&A session based around the CIPD and UHR awards shortlisted Flex Select Scheme with an emphasis on the key factors that engaged staff and stakeholders to make the scheme a success and the link with EDI.
Vicki Casey, Head of HR Business Partnering, Elizabeth Green, HR Business Partner & Justine Gillespie, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, all of University of Sunderland
10:30 - 11:15 WB6: Sharing the Caring: parents, the pandemic and pertinent lessons

This interactive workshop is for all those interested in how work and parenthood intersect in Higher Education.

Participants will review and reflect on the learnings from a survey of >1,000 professional services parents and carers during the first lockdown in 2020.

Ways to improve employee experience and productivity are offered up for discussion, and recommendations on actions that can be implemented to further support the flexible and hybrid nature of work of the future are shared.

The workshop aims to meaningfully highlight the gendered experience of parents and carers, and the lessons learned that can inform policy and process with the wellbeing of the workforce at the centre.
Ivana Vasic Chalmers, Director of EDI Research and Impact, Women's Higher Education Network [WHEN]
11:15 - 11:45 Break & Networking   

11:45 - 12:30 Business Sessions Block B

TimeSession informationSpeakers
11:45 - 12:30 BB1: How to develop a strategy to create a unique Employee Value Proposition – key aims, avoiding pitfalls and evolving next steps

Thought provoking workshop focused on the tools required to build and implement an engaging Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Exploring how an employer can bring together compensation, benefits, career, wellbeing and purpose to create a unique proposition for every employee. Discussion on how to create a successful strategy and embedding an EVP within the culture of the university. Using a real life example from University of Surrey, we will review the key elements of the strategic approach, lessons learned from the process and the next steps in the evolution of the proposition.

Guy Clarkson, Digital Growth Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits & William Davies, HR Director, University of Surrey
11:45 - 12:30

BB2: Inclusive Recruitment: A Practical Toolkit

In December 2021, Society launched an Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit – a succinct compendium of practical actions that organisations can consider and challenge themselves with in order to refine and improve their recruitment approach. Society drew the content from its own executive search practice and conversations with others committed to inclusive recruitment.

During this session, members of Society’s Higher Education team will speak about how they developed the toolkit and discuss and debate its recommendations.

The session will be broken into three parts:
1. Defining key terms including Equity, Diversity and inclusion
2. The Business case for diversity in the workplace
3. Practical steps and considerations during each stage of the recruitment process including; Campaign Development, Candidate Attraction and Assessment and Selection.

Victoria Sanders-Clarke, Lead Consultant, Higher Education, Nicole Arnold, Researcher, Higher Education, Simon Lucas, Managing Director, all of Society: Global Executive Search

11:45 - 12:30 BB3: Co-created staff and student approaches to develop a mentally healthy university community

This session will bring together perspectives from across the sector to explore the complex challenges of, and successful strategies for, supporting mentally healthy university communities. The demand by students and staff for mental health and wellbeing support has changed dramatically in the last decade. It is estimated that 1 in 3 higher education employees have experienced a mental health problem and the cost of poor mental health could rise to circa £1,585 per employee (Mind, Mental Health at Work Commitment: Guide for the Higher Education Sector). The social and policy landscapes acknowledge the integrated nature of our lives and a whole-university approach is now what’s called for – clearly outlined in University UK’s Stepchange: Mentally Health Universities Strategy. We’re seeing universities redefining their roles when it comes to the mental health and wellbeing of staff and students - with positive outcomes starting to emerge and lessons learned along the way. For this to be achieved successfully, a co-created, collaborative approach needs to be considered.
Emma Ogden, Consultant, Alison Oldam, Associate Consultant, both of SUMS Consulting, & Tracy Hibbert, Bangor University

11:45 - 12:30 BB4 -  Mind The Gap

Everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future – yet nationally only 5.1% of people with a learning disability known to Adult Services in the UK go on to secure competitive paid employment.

DFN Project SEARCH is a highly ambitious Transition to Employment programme for learners with special educational needs and disabilities. Partnering with hundreds of national and international companies, education providers and local government bodies across the UK, DFN Project SEARCH delivers a fully immersive Supported Internship programme with the primary focus of supporting this cohort into full-time, integrated, competitive paid employment. 70% of interns secure paid employment each year, 60% achieve full-time paid employment, over 10 times the national average.

With the largest data set of this kind in the world, we can evidence how neurodiversity can be a huge advantage to businesses and the wider economy, and how given the right support, people with an array of skill sets can become fully contributing members of society. Through this presentation we will take a deep dive into the gender, race, age, and primary diagnosis of these interns and compare this against their outcomes in terms of salary, employment contracts and sectors they start their careers in.
Claire Cookson, Chief Operating Officer, Vinny De Falco, London & Southeast Programme Specialist & Harry Georgiou, Youth Advisory & Co-Production assistant all of DFN Project SEARCH
11:45 - 12:30 BB5 – Discover From World-Leading Research and two case studies how you can transform your managers’ capability within 6 months

This presentation will share with you the results of world-leading research from one of the largest academic studies in the world, into the application of coaching behaviours by managers, along with case studies of its specific application in two UK universities.

You’ll hear how the London School of Economics and Political Science on behalf of the UK Government (BEIS) evaluated a management programme, STAR® Manager,  run simultaneously in 62 organisations across the UK and how the statistically significant shift in the behaviours of managers was generated.  Results include significant improvements in retention, productivity, engagement, overall management capability and performance.

This will be followed by two specific case studies from the University of Exeter and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine exploring the application of STAR® to develop managers across all functions within universities, from academics to professional services.

Laura Ashley-Timms, Chief Operating Officer, Notion - STAR®, Clive Betts, Head of People Development, University of Exeter & Margaret Bentley, Head of Talent and Educational Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
12:30 - 13:00 Lunch and Networking Carousel  

13:00 - 14:00 Dedicated Partner Hour

TimeSession information
13:00 - 14:00 This hour is dedicated to our event partners, without which this conference would not be possible. The exhibition stands will be live during this hour only, so please take this time to visit our partner stands and see what they have to offer!

14:00 - 15:00 Legal Sessions Block B

TimeSession informationSpeakers
14:00 - 15:00 LB1: Navigating choppy waters – how to attract, performance manage and retain world-class staff

The UK higher education sector faces talent recruitment and retention challenges in a much more competitive environment. Tensions persist between universities, on the one hand, delivering effectively to the demands of their stakeholders (and regulators) and staff, on the other hand, who wish to benefit from greater flexibility and improved recognition and reward.

This session will focus on how to spot and successfully navigate employment law obstacles in order to attract, performance manage and retain world-class academic and professional staff who are aligned to each institution’s objectives and engaged in a more modern, collaborative relationship.
Nick Abbott, Partner, Nicola Brown, Partner and Anne Adamson, Principal Associate, all of Mills & Reeve LLP
14:00 - 15:00 LB2: Workplace sexual harassment: the legal framework for employers in HE

Sexual harassment within HE: our two expert speakers will provide an update on this key area of employment law which continues to be particularly important in the higher education sector. We will consider recent and interesting case law developments, as well as talking through the government’s 12-point action plan to make statutory changes to the law relating to workplace sexual harassment and what employers may need to do now to ensure they are compliant. The session will offer the opportunity for questions and give practical explanations of the existing and forthcoming legal framework.
Ashley Norman, Partner & Anne Palmer, Legal Director, both of Bevan Brittan
14:00 - 15:00 LB3: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion: How to keep everyone onboard from positive action to managing disputes

With staff turnover rates rising, recruitment becoming more of a challenge and a lack of diversity in universities at senior levels, it is more important than ever for HEIs to attract, retain and promote a diverse workforce. This session will address three tricky EDI issues that universities commonly face in practice, using real life examples and suggesting some solutions that delegates may want to consider:
• Positive action versus position discrimination - what is legitimate and when does action tip into unlawful discrimination?
• Disability discrimination - key considerations for objectively justifying sickness absence policies and decisions.
• The reluctant complainant - how can you manage equality issues when the individual doesn't want to raise a formal complaint?
The session will be stimulating and thought-provoking, using polls and case study examples to encourage delegate interaction.
Jane Byford, Partner, Bob Fahy, Partner & Michael Hasley, Partner, all of VWV
15:00 - 15:30 Break & Networking  

15:30 - 16:30 Plenary 4

TimeSession informationSpeakers
15:30 - 16:30 Plenary 4: Mental health, social mobility, D&I / Intersectionality and the power of representation

Mental Health - Mohsin addresses the stigma around mental health within ethnic minority communities and draws a parallel between it and a cultural stigma around discussing mental wellbeing in the workplace. Through very personal and at times harrowing tales, Mohsin articulates the case for honesty in personal identity within yourself but also at work and amongst colleagues.

Social mobility – The single most pressing issue of diversity facing society and businesses is the one to which we give the least attention. While measures of equity on race/gender/sexuality move in the right direction, the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Through personal experience of growing up in a council house and going to a school ridden with gang violence (a school from which he became the person to go to Oxford University), Mohsin addresses the issue of class bias and discusses what we can do about it.

D&I / Intersectionality – None of us are just one thing and Mohsin is the personification of an intersectional life. On race, Mohsin has the facts and figures to back up the experiences of ethnic minorities we so often hear about in the news. On class, he speaks candidly about the difference between the world he came from and the world he now lives in. On sexuality, he describes the struggle to accept yourself in the face of cultural stigma. But the strength in his experience lies in the intersectional tale it tells.

The power of representation – Through eye opening stories in a professional and personal context, Mohsin explains how diverse representation in key roles doesn’t just demonstrate a commitment to being an inclusive organisation but adds value to it.
Mohsin Zaidi, Award-winning Author, Commentator and Barrister 

16:30 - 18:30 UHR Awards and Evening Activities

TimeSession information
16:30 - 17:00 UHR Awards (kindly sponsored by our Premium Partners, Alumni Global and Workday)
17:00 - 18:30 Virtual Wine Tasting (bookings only - kindly sponsored by VWV)
17:00 - 18:15 Virtual Escape Room (bookings only - kindly sponsored by Simitive)
17:00 - 18:30 We're not really strangers (bookings only - networking session kindly hosted by Everyday Juice Limited)

Please note that the session titles and speakers are subject to change.

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