Job Description Review Project
The Faculty is about to undergo several major changes, namely:
- Adoption of a new Student Information System (SIS)
- Restructuring of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
- Change in the duration of the undergraduate program
Given these changes, the Faculty of Education wants to ensure that its staff members are fully equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities that will arise during this transition period, and that a high-quality work, research and learning environment is born.
To do so, the Faculty is conducting, in partnership with its staff members, a review of its work processes and related roles and responsibilities.
The key expected outcomes are:
- simpler processes
- clearer roles and responsibilities for each position to help implement these changes
- maintenance of the quality of the services offered
- Faculty of Education employees excel in their fields, feel appreciated and engaged, are employed in positions that make full use of their talents, and actively contribute to continuous quality improvement. They work with procedures, tools and mandates that are effective, innovative and clear.
- An excellent employee experience generates an excellent student experience. Hence, the entire Faculty contributes to the University's vision (Destination 2020) of making the University of Ottawa one of the great universities of our time, one whose reputation matches its achievements.
Reasons for the project
Changes: Several changes, both known and not-yet-known, require us to adapt some of our processes, roles and responsibilities. The Faculty wishes to minimize the negative effects of these changes on its staff members and on the quality of services offered to students.
Job descriptions: Most of our job descriptions date back more than five years and follow an obsolete format. Over the past few years, the roles and responsibilities of our staff members have shifted, which is not reflected in the current job descriptions.
Optimization: Some of our work methods and procedures require updating.
Retirements: In the coming years, an increasing number of our employees will be retiring and the Faculty wishes to proactively preserve and transfer the expertise and corporate memory of these future retirees.
From now until the end of the project
- key procedures will be simplified and standardized
- roles and responsibilities of each position will be clarified
- job descriptions and the organizational chart (if necessary) will be updated
- procedures will be put in place to transfer expertise and preserve corporate memory
- a shift towards a culture of continuous improvement will be initiated
Roles and responsibilities
— Chief Administrative Officer
— Human Resources Generalist
Program directors and managers
Administrative staff members
(Central) Multidisciplinary Human Resources Committee, comprising representatives from:
Benefits for each team
Although this project will be challenging, it will also be an extraordinary opportunity for all administrative staff members
- This is an opportunity to voice your opinions and help identify solutions to the issues that concern you, to question current practices and to develop new ones.
- This is an opportunity to identify repetitive work that could quickly be automated (major automation projects will be addressed later, and not as part of this project) and increase the value-added of each task you perform.
- This is an opportunity break down barriers and uncertainties to create an optimal work environment for everyone.
- This is an opportunity to use your extensive knowledge of student needs or client requirements to design solutions to the challenges that you and your team encounter every day and to participate in decisions on how best to serve them.
- This is an opportunity to conduct project management and implement a continuous quality improvement process in order to apply these concepts on a daily basis.
Each of the Faculty’s teams is unique in its mission, structure, tools, strengths and challenges. Consequently, the project has been divided into 6 phases, one phase per team. Each phase is further broken down into 4 stages: diagnosis, planning, execution and evaluation.
Although each team will run the project in a similar way, the content they will deal with, the solutions they will find and the changes they will make will be tailored to the needs and situation of the team itself.
* The order of phases 2 to 6 is not final and may be subject to changes.
The six phases
The four stages
Between 18 and 24 months. Each phase of the project should take a few months.
Phase 1 – Planning
This fall, we are going to concentrate our efforts on the evaluation of diverse options in order to elaborate on an action plan.
Benchmark activities and consultation with key persons are being scheduled.
The process of writing the job description of the administrative assistants from the Office of the Dean has already started. Several meetings with the supervisors will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
Beginning of Phase 1
The main actions undertaken with the team of administrative assistants from the Office of the Dean:
We hosted two feedback sessions, one to the Dean, the vice-deans, and the programs directors, and the other to the managers. During these sessions we have:
Analysis of the results obtained in the information gathering process, Preliminary Analysis has enabled us to:
Launch of the web page devoted to the project.
Please see the Latest News section, where you will find an update of the progress of the project.
Before beginning Phase 1, information will be collected from the vice-deans, program directors and managers to:
1) provide a general overview of current Faculty issues that will guide our review of all Faculty support staff and contract positions, and
2) identify the key issues and areas to explore with the team from the Office of the Dean.
In October 2015, the project was presented to a Human Resources multidisciplinary committee, which approved it. This new committee is made up of representatives from three HR sections — Employee Relations; Health, Wellness and Leave; and Leadership, Learning and Organizational Development — as well as senior HR advisers. It is mandated to assist faculties and services in implementing major projects. In early November, the project was presented to, and subsequently approved by, the vice-deans and program directors.
In early November 2015, the project was presented to, and approved by the vice-deans and program directors.
In November, Faculty managers and administrative staff members were invited to an information briefing that outlined the project’s purpose, scope, approach, timeframe and the participation expected of employees.
Review of Policy No. 1
We have begun reviewing Policy No. 1 to update the sections on the scope of activities, and the roles and responsibilities, of vice-deans and program directors.
We are currently working to complete this review in order to begin the official approval process.
The results of this process will help us find out how updating the scope of activities, and the roles and responsibilities, of the vice-deans and program directors will affect the roles and responsibilities of the Faculty’s administrative staff members.
New resource person hired
To assist in completing this project, we have hired human resources expert Marie-Claude Haché. She has a doctorate in labour and organizational psychology and has an in-depth knowledge of the University, having worked in HR as a counsellor and in a number of HR generalist positions.
We have determined the scope of the project, the objectives to pursue and the general process that will be used to conduct the project.
* Now that the project is underway, the Dean has asked all employees not to change their roles, responsibilities or work procedures without first informing Céline Morin, our chief administrative officer, so as not to interfere with the project.
Your questions, your ideas
Consultation: a vital part of the procedural and job description review project
Administrative staff members play a crucial role in the project to review our procedures and job descriptions. These staff members are not only experts in the Faculty’s procedures, they also work with these procedures every day and are aware of the difficulties they pose. It is essential that we consult these staff members to gather a realistic and representative picture of the work environment. This is why this project has been designed with a consultative and participative approach in mind.
To this end, several methods or tools will be used successively or simultaneously, namely:
- Online surveys will be sent to specific employee groups, depending on the phase and stage of the project
- Meetings with individuals have been planned to learn more about certain aspects or to work on drafting the job descriptions
- Discussion groups and working groups are being created to design and run the action plans, and to review procedures that are shared between different staff members.
- Staff members can contact Céline or Marie-Claude by email or in person to discuss the project at any time
- You can also send us your questions, suggestions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org, for the duration of the project.