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Launch of SMT Surgeries

By Rozz Evans, on 11 July 2019

The Library’s Senior Management Team (SMT) has been considering feedback from colleagues concerning the perceived lack of visibility of the team and a desire for a greater understanding of what the SMT does. We are aware that it would be helpful for colleagues to engage directly with by meeting and talking with SMT colleagues in order to raise issues of concern or suggest ideas for improvement.

As a first step we have refreshed the SMT information on LibNet and added more information about individual responsibilities as well as including photos and contact details. Feedback on the revised information on LibNet is welcome.  We have made sure that the last three months of minutes from SMT’s monthly meetings are available and will continue to ensure these are up-to-date.  Notes from earlier meetings are available on request from Noel Caliste, who is Paul’s Executive Assistant (n.caliste@ucl.ac.uk).

SMT have also decided to set up a series of Surgeries, modelled on those offered by MPs to give individuals and small groups the opportunity to meet members of the SMT face-to-face and raise issues of concern.  At least two members of SMT will be present at each surgery. This will be a pilot, and we will be asking for feedback from colleagues throughout the pilot so that we can see if this is something that is useful, or whether there is a better way to improve two-way communication.

Where possible, Surgeries will be held in non-library spaces.  They are going to be held on different days and times of the week to enable as many colleagues as possible to attend.  They will be timed to occur in-between SMT meetings, and issues and feedback raised by staff at the Surgeries will be discussed at the next SMT so that staff can be assured that issues will be followed-up.

While the pilot Surgeries are all located in Bloomsbury, there will be the option to Skype or phone in.  If the pilot is successful, we will ensure that they are offered outside the Bloomsbury campus if there is demand.

The dates and times for the Surgeries will be publicised on LibNet as soon as they are available, along with information for booking.

3 Responses to “Launch of SMT Surgeries”

  • 1
    Edmund A Lyon wrote on 17 July 2019:

    One thing which would be really good and easily achieved is if some emails which currently go to issue desk heads could be sent direct to everyone on LibList – for example, the email which was sent last night about a rude and abusive man trying to renew an alumni card. For these to reach frontline staff who need to know about them the manager must be present and have seen the email. Teams whose manager is absent or misses the email won’t have this forwarded to them!

    One of the biggest problems with communication at UCL seems to me to be that so often things which everyone – or a great number of people – needs to know aren’t sent directly to them but to a restricted number of managers, or that emails cascade through a number of layers of management and (hopefully!) end up with the people who need the information, rather than simply being sent to everyone.

  • 2
    utnvrev wrote on 18 July 2019:

    Many thanks for the feedback. We absolutely agree that the way that we communicate internally needs improvement and getting this right in such a large team is a challenge!

    This specific example plus your suggestion for how it could work better is very welcome. I will pass this on to relevant SMT colleagues for consideration.

  • 3
    Benjamin Meunier wrote on 18 July 2019:

    Thanks for your suggestion, Ed.

    In terms of the general approach to communication, I agree we do need to target messages to the right audience so that – as you say – messages reach everyone who needs to know as soon as possible. To help with this, we changed the distribution of the Core Brief, the monthly briefing with information which all members of Library staff need to know, from being cascaded via managers to being distributed to all staff via the Peer Review.

    Simon Bralee has joined UCL Library Services this month as our new Communications Officer, and Simon will be looking at how we can improve our internal and external communication to address situations like the one you describe above. Our goal for the new Library Communication Strategy is to ensure that the right information is available to the right people at the right time.

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