The accessibility of the services provided by the University Services unit was improved by creating a digital ‘one-stop shop’ for staff, called YPA-Help. The aim was to offer staff an accessible advice channel and reduce the time spent trying to find the right person or team at University Services. Other objectives included the enhancement of service quality and the development of the duties of University Services staff so as to reduce their workloads and the fragmentation of work. The new service channel was opened gradually to various UH units in spring 2020. User feedback has been positive, and the purpose now is to develop YPA-Help as a service platform and introduce new services alongside the current core services.
Kumpula Campus Code of Conduct
Based on the UH’s values, the Kumpula Campus Code of Conduct was drawn up to promote inclusivity and wellbeing at the Faculty of Science and guide people’s behaviour and activities at the Faculty. The Code of Conduct was prepared by a small working group, HR Services and the Faculty Council, and published in 2019. The Code of Conduct is intended to function as a proactive and preventive tool, ensuring that the Faculty is a good and safe place to work, study and visit. The Code of Conduct has proved to be a good way to articulate the day-to-day behaviour and practices based on the UH’s values to be adopted in the international campus community. The Code of Conduct has also been used to address difficult situations. Due to the praise received for the Kumpula Campus Code of Conduct, the UH was keen to apply it more widely. Accordingly, it served as the basis for the university-wide ethical guidelines published in 2020.
Mentoring and coaching
As part of the support for staff development and continuous learning, the UH has developed various supervision methods. It has posted detailed instructions for mentoring on Flamma and published a workbook and video tutorials concerning mentoring to support mentors and actors. Mentoring can be carried out independently, but HR Services also offers mentoring programmes to different staff groups, with information provided on Flamma. In addition, HR Services trains peer mentors to support groups of UH community members who work in the same role.
The UH has also trained staff members as internal coaches. Approximately 20 staff members have completed this training and are now developing their activities in a coaching network, which has also defined the UH’s coaching process. Alongside mentoring and coaching, the UH supports occupational wellbeing by offering work supervision and workplace mediation.
Activities of the quality network
Before the establishment of University Services in 2016, the UH operated a network of quality coordinators, appointed by each unit. The contact people represented a wide variety of staff. Some did not have the power to influence the promotion of quality management in their unit. After the UH organisation was restructured, the roles of the quality contact people were abolished.
In 2017 a new, open quality network was established for all UH staff interested in operational quality and development. This network meets four or five times a year to consult specialists, share good practices and further develop the UH’s quality efforts. The network also visits organisations of interest for quality management and operational development. The network members have actively developed the UH’s quality management, for example, by working on the UH’s quality system, drafting a quality glossary (Key quality concepts at the University of Helsinki) and conducting campus interviews in spring 2020. The members also develop the network activities.
The quality network comprises around 180 staff members who play an important role in promoting a quality culture in their units and work communities. After the network began to operate, the heads of administration at units were tasked with supporting quality management. Some independent institutes that provide services have also designated their own quality contact people.