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General Staff Day 2015

Getting out of your Comfort Zone: The need for a high-performing culture

General Staff Day 2015 was held on Wednesday 11 November from 1.00 to 4.30. It was held in the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) Lecture Theatre on Level 1 of the MSB Building.

Programme Outline

1.00 Introduction from the Vice-Chancellor, Neil Quigley
1.20 Opening comments from the Chairs, Robyn Longhurst and Huy Vu
1.25 Workshop: What does a high-performing culture look like?
2.25 Afternoon Tea & Networking Exercise
2.50 The Year that Was: an image slideshow
2.55 Workshop: Are you change ready?
3.40 Crystal Ball Gazing: what will the future look like?
4.15 Summary and feedback from the Chairs
4.25 Major prize draw
4.30 Vice-Chancellor's Social Hour

Evaulation and Feedback

89 of the 120+ participants completed the evaluation form and the following quantitative responses were provided:

1. Following General Staff Day I now plan to consider areas of my role where I can develop my perfromance
Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
28 53 7 1 -
2. I now understand the part I can play in helping develop a high-performing culture
Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
20 55 13 1 -
3. I found General Staff Day 2015 enjoyable
Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
30 53 4   1


The following suggestions for improvement and feedback was also provided:

How can General Staff Day be improved?

  • Awesome day – no changes.
  • A full day of activities would be good.
  • More networking.
  • Better staff participation. Great event! Very well organised.
  • Earlier start to planning, making sure managers are getting staff along.
  • Some way to get strangers to interact better – maybe speed dating – random people matching and getting them to answer questions (this year’s speed dating touched on this).
  • All good – no improvements necessary.
  • Unsure – this was a good day and I met a few new people.
  • Keep it light and positive.
  • More time and interaction with keynotes and participants.
  • More action (movement, stepping away from seats).
  • It’s great.
  • This is my first participation in General Staff Day – very enjoyable.
  • Somehow encouraging people to interact more with people they don’t know (particularly in the speed dating activity). Healthy spot prizes (not just lollies/chocs).
  • Great format – well done. Food was great – more juice.
  • More cowbell (and a better one). More stuff for General staff – this had a lot of academic focus. Needs something that we can actually do something about.
  • Live twitter feed. Less paper – more digital.
  • More prizes.
  • More keynote style presentations.
  • Interactive activities/presentations.
  • Be shorter.
  • Thoughts on the future of General Staff roles, how is it envisaged?
  • Do not make it bigger, keep it this size.
  • Confirmation email after registering. Still presented mostly in old lecture style. Reception desk on arrival?
  • Access to keynote presentations.
  • Change the name from “General”. Would be good to mix with more academics.
  • It was amazing.
  • Live tweets.
  • More involvement from staff.
  • Motivational speakers. Getting to know what other staff do/who they are. Any 10 year staff being recognised – light hearted award.
  • More chocolate!
  • More statistics and future trends – really interesting. Less emotional wellbeing stuff – not so interesting.
  • Staff should be encouraged to attend – great day for staff. Interaction between departments during day.
  • Don’t have too many sessions. Just have one good one and make it more interactive and more participation from the staff.
  • Some inter-faculty networking opportunities.
  • Nothing, try and get more staff to attend.
  • Potentially a different location – not lecture theatre promotes group interaction.
  • I liked the 2014 format; lots of very short snippets – good for short attentions! Perhaps it could be held at the beginning of the year?
  • More time on Crystal Ball Gazing.
  • Timing – grades were due this week = very busy week.
  • I think this year’s General Staff Day was really good. There were more interactions, fun activities to enjoy while knowing and learning a lot from workshops. If these could continue that would be great. BTW I do love the music.
  • A performance from some students or something creative and interactive.
  • Question/answer time with VC present.
  • No General Staff speakers – did not want to hear from academics.
  • Website available to staff where questions can be posted for all to see so we can all see the answers (I have a lot of questions I want to ask the Crystal Ball Gazing presenters).
  • More interaction required (active interaction).
  • I think it was a good balance of quick and lean!! Very good job. I would keep much the same.

Other feedback

  • Evaluation form should be anonymous.
  • Great info on stress management.
  • Many of the Crystal Ball Gazing presenters sounded like they were rushing to do their presentations – talking flat out. Maybe helpful if they presented less info and didn’t speak so quickly.
  • Enjoyed Jenny Bell’s presentation.
  • “Mindful” session was disjointed and too simplistic. It’s designed for children and it shows. Does not suit the audience.
  • Excellent afternoon.
  • Line managers must encourage staff to attend. Too many staff have told me they’re not allowed to attend these types of days.
  • Jenny was a wonderful speaker – very insightful.
  • Very interactive, interesting subjects covered with strategies for improving performance and managing stress.
  • Jenny Bell was fantastic. Very engaging and very useful strategies to put in place. Thank you to you all.
  • Short, sharp future-oriented talks were excellent.
  • Gaining more insights around the running life of our University.
  • Even though I say these things are a pain I do enjoy them and they do re-invigorate.
  • Jenny Bell was great! Bring her back pleeease!
  • Very enjoyable.
  • Lots of fun, thanks!
  • Informative and enjoyable.
  • Keep up the excellent work Mike!! Create a “Staff Day” for both academic and general staff. Need more interaction opportunity between General and Academic staff. Info also useful for academic staff.
  • Low number – morale down with lots happening on campus.
  • Black slides make text difficult to see with lights up: need to dim lights.
  • Don’t put the same presentation on all 3 projectors (Especially video). Hated “speed dating” – very intimidating for shy people.
  • Good initiative.
  • Well done team for organising it!
  • Jenny was amazing. Crystal Ball Gazing was excellent.
  • Really enjoyed the workshops. Both were known but always need reinforcing over time. Valuable information with the Crystal Ball Gazing.
  • “Are You Change Ready” was very enjoyable.
  • Good organisation and candies.
  • Very interesting.
  • Thank you.
  • More feedback/actions during the year after the day is over! That would be great.
  • I enjoyed Jenny Bell’s presentation very much. Great afternoon tea – well done!
  • Change the name: General Staff.
  • A great opportunity to see who we work with across the University as a whole, and their roles.
  • Huy was the man, give that man a pay rise. Very good speaker. You rule Huy!!
  • Good mix of keynote speakers and interactive activities. Lots of info conveyed, good use of time
  • Jenny Bell was great!
  • Mindfulness is debatable. It’s an Eastern based philosophy and does not fit my culture.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Keep topics relevant to the audience.
  • Did not want academic input. How General Staff  can be supported and support UOW/Students.
  • I find presenters who ask for audience participation offensive and irritating – treating us like children. It would be good not to have it. This day gave me an understanding of the scale of proposed changes.
  • The coffee was bit on the dodgy side. Maybe we should go with a different supplier. There were a few people who should have attended and didn’t. Maybe increase the advertising of the event!

Twitter comments and feedback from the day may be found under the hashtag #GSDay15.


General Staff Professional Development Day 2011
General Staff Professional Development Day 2012
General Staff Professional Development Day 2013
General Staff Professional Development Day 2014

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