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Taking it to the People: Enhancing Staff Engagement through Human - Centred Design

Ms Andrea Philips,
Ms Kylie Tran

University of Melbourne


Scholarly Services at the University of Melbourne is developing a new strategic future that will transform library and technology-enhanced learning services to take support for the University’s learning and teaching, research and engagement to the next level. Ensuring that our staff are fully engaged with this new future is essential for the successful imagining and implementation of this strategy.

This presentation will describe how we have utilised a human-centred design (HCD) approach to understand more richly the broad internal communications themes that emerged in a 2017 organisational review and respond to these more effectively. The review identified that work needed to be undertaken to develop a stronger organisational identify amongst our staff, with opportunities for enhanced shared purpose and increased collaboration. An HCD approach has been used to dive deeply and understand the issues from the staff perspective and ensure that the response meets their needs and resonates with them. It is essential to our success that these measures were owned by staff rather than imposed by management. Over a two month period a representative staff working group utilised the ‘double diamond’ research and ideation methodology and techniques to develop and test hypotheses and develop a response. The voice of staff across all areas of Scholarly Services and at all levels was researched through a range of interviews and focus groups, and new ideas were generated through ideation and prototyping. 

The outcome of the process is an innovative staff engagement framework that will drive effective internal communications, leadership at all levels and building of shared identity and purpose. The framework provides the vital link between our staff and our new strategy and will help bring the strategy alive through shared participation, understanding and commitment. A range of initial measures are being implemented and evaluated, including a new website for staff , revamped newsletter with content and design driven by staff , integrated framework for communications cascading through all levels and messaging packs for team leaders. Ongoing use of the HCD-approach to evaluate and fine tune our staff engagement will help ensure that our unity will indeed be our strength.

(A copy of this presentation is unfortunately not available).