Stakeholder Communication and Involvement
Good communication with stakeholders is essential. It is always rated as one of the most important management practices.
- Stakeholders need to know what is going on in the organisation and to understand decisions and results.
- Communication is especially important in uncertain times.
- Communication also means giving stakeholders opportunities to ask questions and express their views.
- Getting employees, students, parents, governors, trustees and partner institutions directly involved can pay dividends in commitment and engagement.
- Well-informed, engaged stakeholders are much more likely to commit to the organisation.
Meetings between Senior Managers and Stakeholders
An annual plan of various stakeholder briefings and meetings is produced for the start of the academic year and distributed to all staff and governors. These regular meetings help develop consistency and build trust and engagement. The plan includes introductory meetings between senior managers and new students. Student Representatives meet in a Student Forum and invite senior managers to respond to particular items on the agenda. Two students have membership of the Board of Governors and deliver reports on Student events issues etc directly to the Board. Relevant Senior Managers attend Governing Body committee meetings and all of the Senior Management Team attends the full Board meetings.
There are two members of Staff on the Governing Body: one representing academic and the other representing support staff. Parents are encouraged to apply to be a governing body member and the College holds elections where more than two parents volunteer. The LA is represented and various representatives of our local business community also serve. Each governor has a link with a functional area of the College and carries out at least two meetings with their link manager in any academic year. Governors also contribute to internal College meetings such as Safeguarding and Joint Consultative Committee. Those governors who are members of Strategic Planning and Quality Committee also contribute to Health Checks: annual audits of the day to day curriculum delivery within each Faculty. Governor views on the committee meetings are formally surveyed on an annual basis and are summarised by the Clerk to the Governors and any actions to be taken shared at each committee. The Principal attends the Trust meetings to update the Trust on all College matters and to answer any questions that the Trust members may have on an annual or as required basis. Weekly staff briefing sessions and whole College staff meetings are held on a half term basis to share information or answer questions within the normal working week.
A staff survey is completed every 18 months to two years and results are analysed, shared and discussed by teams throughout the College. Senior Managers produce an action plan to respond to major issues raised in the survey. The Principal writes a blog for all stakeholders to access and letters are sent to inform and update parents on events and important dates each term. Senior Managers attend every parents evening to respond to any parental queries or help to look for solutions for any problems. Parents are encouraged to complete parental surveys and are invited to place comments on our interactive ‘parent portal’ and College website. Any parental complaints are handled immediately by relevant staff and formal complaints are overseen by the Principal and reported to the Board. Formal meetings are held with parents and students at their request or at the request of Senior Managers.
Senior Managers take part in a regular duty rota and have many conversations or meetings with students on an informal basis. In addition, Senior Mangers attend external strategic and operational meetings with partners such as the LA, feeder schools, other local SFCs or local General FE College. The Principal attends local community meetings such as the town centre partnership. On at least an annual basis the borough and relevant county councillors are invited into College and the Principal regularly meets with the local MP. Senior Managers organise a range of stakeholder surveys covering all aspects of the College operations and these are shared with relevant staff to inform action plans that lead quality improvements. Many policies and procedures are stored electronically and often links are sent out to stakeholders by email. All newspaper items have a web site listed to attract views from the local community.
Line Managers hold team briefings and meetings with their staff
Line managers are crucial in building productive relationships and in communicating well with all members of their team for the College to build on success and become more effective. Line managers display good practice in holding team briefings/meetings at regular intervals usually every 3 weeks as planned in the annual calendar. Each line manager is a critical link between their staff and all other stakeholders: students, parents, the local community, senior managers and governors. Some issues are discussed at team level and others with an individual staff member. Employees are encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions and share issues and good practice. Where appropriate, their suggestions and comments are passed to senior managers and other managers through the cross College management and curriculum management meetings. Many operational items are communicated to staff, parents and students through email, through the parent portal and College web sites as well as through notice boards or display boards around the College.
Middle Managers communicate with parents at the request of either both formally and informally and are also a link to the Learner Voice through the Faculty Student Representatives and through holding themed student focus groups. Informal communications with all stakeholders take place on a regular basis through face to face communications. Stakeholder surveys are used to drive improvements in the way that the team operate.The Personnel function is going to operate a stakeholder suggestion scheme so that relevant managers are able to consider suggestions from the local community, staff, students and parents and act on or respond to them. Increasingly employees are empowered to effect change. Groups of staff meet at regular intervals during working time to examine issues such as the development of IT, quality, accommodation, induction of new students, Academic Learning Support and delivery.
Meetings between Staff and Stakeholders
Staff are actively involved in meeting other staff, managers, students and parents in their day to day activities. Regular feedback on College operations takes place informally and formally through Student Support, Curriculum or Parental surveys.
Teaching and Pastoral Staff write reports on student progress for staff, student and parental use on a regular basis. Curriculum surveys inform staff of which areas are working well and in which areas improvement can be made. Staff contact other stakeholders through various letters, cards media, blogs, student moodle, lync messaging, email, parent portal, telephone and the College web site. Facebook and twitter sites are monitored for stakeholder activity and senior managers and other staff are alerted by the technician when it would be relevant to respond.