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Sharing experiences improves mental health of NHS staff, research shows

October 31st, 2017

Healthcare staff who regularly share the emotional, social or ethical challenges they face in the workplace experience less psychological distress, improved teamwork and increased empathy and compassion for patients and colleagues, a new study commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research reports.

In the first in-depth study in the UK, researchers from the University Sheffield, the University of Surrey, Kings College London, and The King’s Fund examined the impact of Schwartz Center Rounds® (Rounds), on both clinical and non-clinical staff. Rounds are monthly forums that offer a space for staff to share experiences with colleagues and to discuss the challenges they face in their work and its impact on them.

The psychological wellbeing of 500 staff members who attended Rounds regularly, irregularly or not all, was measured over an eight-month period, using the clinically validated GHQ-12 questionnaire.

Researchers found that the wellbeing of staff who attended Rounds regularly significantly improved, with the proportion of those with psychological distress halving – down from 25 per cent to 12 per cent. There was little change in the psychological wellbeing of staff that did not attend Rounds over this period.

When asked of the benefits of Rounds, participants noted that attending led to greater understanding, empathy and tolerance towards colleagues and patients and positive changes in practice.

Following the publication of the Francis report which highlighted Schwartz Rounds as being a way of fostering good teamwork and improving morale amongst staff, the implementation of Rounds in the UK rapidly increased. The research found that Rounds were implemented variably and challenges to implementation and sustainability included ward staff attendance, and the workload and resources required for planning and running Rounds.

Professor Jeremy Dawson, Professor of Health Management from the Institute of Work Psychology at the Management School, said: “Schwartz Center Rounds provide an innovative forum for healthcare staff to discuss the difficult emotional, social and ethical challenges they face at work.

“Now used in over 160 healthcare organisations in the UK, they allow a safe setting to explore issues relating to compassion, empathy and strain, which can be difficult to talk about otherwise. However, in the 14 organisations we examined in this study, we saw that they need to be carefully planned and facilitated for them to be the most effective.”

He added: “The results can be very powerful, though. Our research team at Sheffield University Management School conducted a longitudinal survey in ten organisations, comparing staff who started attending Rounds with those who did not attend. We found that the proportion of staff with high levels of stress more than halved over an eight-month period for those who attended Rounds, compared with almost no change for those not attending Rounds.”

Jill Maben, Professor of Nursing at the University of Surrey and formerly of Kings College London, said: “Delivering care to patients at some of the most challenging times in their lives has an emotional impact on staff, which undoubtedly impacts on their own wellbeing and on their work.

“Our study is the first in the UK to demonstrate that those who regularly attend Rounds see significant benefits; their symptoms of anxiety and depression are reduced, they are better able to cope with the issues they face and have more empathy towards patients and colleagues, which undeniably has a positive impact on those in their care.

“Given these impacts it is good to see Rounds running in over 160 organisations in the UK, particularly in light of the Francis report, which called for more compassionate patient care. The challenge is for organisations to continue to invest in Rounds in resource-constrained environments.”

Dr Cath Taylor, Reader at the University of Surrey and formerly of King College London, said: “NHS and hospice staff are the unsung heroes of our society, but the physical and emotional demands placed on them often go unnoticed, leading to high rates of burn out and people often leaving the profession. Rounds are a unique organisational wide intervention that we found benefitted many attendees”.

Jocelyn Cornwell, Chief Executive of The Point of Care Foundation (which holds the licence to promote and support Schwartz Rounds in the UK and Ireland) said: “We are delighted that this research shows that Schwartz Rounds have significant positive impacts on the well-being and experience of the staff who take part in them. The Rounds offer a unique space for all staff in organisations to come together as equals, to share experience and listen to one another.

“In environments in which staff are under tremendous pressure, the Rounds offer a much–needed space for reflection and renewal. We hope that organisations that are not doing Rounds will pay attention to the research findings, and organisations that are doing them, will re-double their efforts to sustain them.”

The message from Japan – joint conference investigates science/technology innovation and entrepreneurship

October 31st, 2017

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A recent conference held jointly between the Management School and Kobe University, held at Osaka Innovation Hub, investigated science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

Alongside Kobe’s Vice Dean for the Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation Prof Kenji Kutsuna, Dr Naoko Komori, lecturer in accounting at Sheffield, organised and delivered the successful event which was funded by the Compass to Healthy Life Research Complex Programme.

Dr Komori invited a number of renowned scholars and practitioners to speak at the conference which considered ‘the message from Japan’ in the context of science/technology corporations seeking to improve their competitiveness by fostering entrepreneurship.

About 100 attendees, including academics and business representatives, enjoyed the lively programme which welcomed three keynote speakers. Prof Kentaro Nobeoka, Dean of the Institute of Innovation Research (Hitotsubashi Uni) and author of ‘Thinking Beyond Lean’ led the programme, followed by Prof Dimo Dimov (University of Bath) and AJ Van Bochoven (Head of Strategic Innovation, ‎Cambridge Consultants). They discussed innovation strategies between Japanese and European/UK corporations.

Following the formal programme, a popular networking event was held at the World Beer Museum.

Dr Komori said: “This is a landmark conference that introduces studies on Japan that are largely missing in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. The kick-off event, held on 21 October, has enabled us to develop a strong research team in the UK that will start to develop research on translating cultural knowledge on Japan in an international arena”.

“This was the third event held by Kobe’s Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation. I’m delighted with the feedback we received from attendees and look forward to starting work on the event for 2018.”

This is the Management School’s second collaborative event with Kobe. Click here to read about prior activities.

Click here to see the conference website.

Event: Towards achieving sustainability in urban traffic management with CILT

September 22nd, 2017

On 4 October, experts from the Management School welcome the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a stellar speaker line-up to discuss a sustainable traffic management approach for UK cities.

Richard Bruce and Dr Erica Ballantyne are welcoming bookings for the event which will be held in Inox Dine (5th Floor, Sheffield University Students’ Union) from 10am-4pm. Guests include Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and representatives from Siemens, Jaguar Land Rover, ITM Power, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Together, they will discuss the challenge of planning a forward-looking transport management approach, covering key difficulties such as social acceptability, government affordability and air quality improvement targets.

Through the involvement of key practitioners and researchers, the seminar and workshop will examine issues such as the rise of omni-channel business, private car usage, a reluctance to use public transport, the lack of ‘joined up thinking’ from transport providers, and the rise in vehicle-based crime. The day will consider the enablers and tools available to help participants navigate the minefield.

Coffee on arrival. Light lunch and tea/coffee included.

To book: Complete this form or contact CILT’s membership services (Tel: 01536 740104/membership@ciltuk.org.uk – quote event code NER0306).

Cost: Member – £32.50/Non-member – £50/Student – £15

Prof Lenny Koh welcomes local MEP to the University

September 22nd, 2017

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Prof Lenny Koh, director of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) welcomed John Procter, MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber, to the University on 22 September.

Mr Procter and his adviser to the Yorkshire & the Humber region, Martin Dales, met with different departments at the University including the Management School, the Department of Materials Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Impact and Knowledge Exchange (SSPIKE) team.

As the spokesman for Education and Culture, Mr Procter (pictured above with Prof Koh, right, and Shirley Harrison from the AMRC) has a keen interest in research at the University and was keen to see its facilities and learn more about ongoing projects. Prof Koh showed the visitors the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and cutting-edge laboratory facilities in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which form part of the Sir Henry Royce Institute.

This visit follows AREC’s impact presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels. Mr Procter hosted the event, ‘Pathway to Global Policy, Industry and Societal Impact’, which showcased Prof Koh’s role in working towards environmental sustainability. At the event, she presented the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool – Intelligence (SCEnATi), a cloud-based software in partnership with Microsoft, which helps businesses become more competitive and resource efficient, whilst reducing negative impacts on the environment.

On his visit, Mr Procter said: “I was impressed by the University of Sheffield. It was great to see first-hand the world-leading work produced right here in Yorkshire. The research has great implications for the region, as well as globally. In a world where the global supply chain relies on resources interconnection, it’s inspiring to see research which champions an inclusive, integrated approach to resource sustainability and efficiency.”

Prof Koh continued: “It was my privilege to show Mr Procter leading examples of Sheffield’s research. Our cross disciplinary environment, combined with a global outlook, shape our contribution to the region and beyond.”

Taking flight: International summer placement inspires Stephanie

September 19th, 2017

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Whether it’s for a summer or a whole year, our students are all encouraged to engage in practical work experience while at Sheffield. BA International Business Management student Stephanie Taviner has just completed an 11-week placement in Uganda, ahead of spending her next year of study in Hong Kong. She is having a truly global Sheffield experience!

She spoke to the University of Sheffield Placements Team about her experience, which she’s delighted to share with other students considering an international placement.

As they partner with the International Citizen Service, where the government funds volunteers to travel and support organisations, Stephanie found and applied for her summer placement through Balloon Ventures’ website. Balloon Ventures is a social enterprise which enables micro-finance in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, helping entrepreneurs and start-ups to grow their businesses.

Ahead of the placement, Stephanie had to go through a comprehensive application process including an online form and an assessment day). She explained: “Questions mostly focused on why I wanted to join the programme. After I was accepted, I was asked to raise a minimum of £800, which fundraises for the project. All other expenses are paid for such as flights, visas and vaccinations I was also given a weekly stipend.”

After arriving in Totoro, Uganda, Stephanie settled in and got to grips with her responsibilities which were mostly shaped around managing four micro-businesses and one start-up entrepreneur, upholding the objective of facilitating growth and development on their business ideas, consequently alleviating them from poverty. She also worked in a team to empower local entrepreneurs and monitored Balloon Ventures’ impact on entrepreneurs and the community. She described her typical day: “My group would attend meetings with entrepreneurs in order to prepare for their pitching document. Additionally, we trained them about marketing, strategy, and their finances such as record keeping, profit analysis and cash flows in order for their business to succeed. Moreover, I was chair for the socials committee whereby I planned weekly social events for the team.

“I lived with a host family, sharing a room with a Ugandan counterpart. This gave me a cross-cultural experience as I learnt a lot about their lifestyles and made me feel part of the community.”

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Stephanie cites teamwork and analytical skills as being core to her success – both of which have been developed through her first year on BA International Business Management. Discussing how the summer placement has influenced her career aspirations, she said: “My placement has confirmed that I would like to go into a career of development, specifically supporting businesses abroad. Having this experience has made me feel that working in the third sector is where I would like to start my career after doing a masters in International Development.

“This placement has been a two-way process. I have learnt a lot about cultural experiences, living overseas and being part of a new community – meanwhile I have passed on business knowledge which will support my entrepreneurs for the future so they can have a sustainable and profitable business.”

Click here to visit the Management Gateway, where students can explore placement and internship opportunities.

In support of decent work: Prof Colin Williams’ European Commission platform continues significant impact across EU

September 18th, 2017

Prof Colin Williams, Chair in Public Policy at the Management School, is engaged in an ongoing project with the European Commission addressing undeclared work.

Tackling the undeclared economy has become a critical issue on the policy agendas of supra-national agencies and governments in recent years, leading to action from Prof Williams and his team in the Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy (CRISP).

In early September, the International Training Centre of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) in Turin hosted a global knowledge sharing forum on making the transition from the informal to the formal economy. This was attended by Ministers and senior government officials from 17 countries including Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, South Africa and Vietnam.

Professor Williams opened the five-day forum and led a panel which presented his experiences on formalising the informal economy in Europe including policy approaches that work and those that don’t. He said: “The intention of this forum was to allow countries to engage in a process of mutual learning. This topic is important when we realise that 60 per cent of workers globally are employed in the informal economy where they are unregistered and have no labour rights or entitlements, such as to holidays, minimum wages, and health and safety standards. Across the world, the issue of achieving ‘decent work’ is seen as a key issue for all governments, and the aim of the ILO is to disseminate best practice on how this can be achieved.”

Prof Williams’ critical work continues this month (September 2017) as he takes the Mutual Assistance Project to Latvia with the aim of improving the performance of their State Labour Inspectorate in dealing effectively with undeclared work.

This platform was launched in 2016 and provides a forum at EU level where enforcement authorities and social partners can learn from each other. The work programmes include seminars, staff exchanges and training, as well as the development of toolkits, studies and mutual assistance projects. Prof Williams said: “Officials in Latvia have taken this opportunity to be counselled in an area where they would like to see improvement. Romania are reporting great progress after a similar visit in November 2016, so we will be mirroring that approach which led to policy recommendations about how they could improve as well as strategic and operational guidance.

“The expert team ​visiting Latvia will focus on discussing areas where the ​​State Labour Inspectorate can benefit from the mutual learning process​, including strategic management​ practices; operational processes; evidence-based design and implementation of initiatives​; management of partnerships; and allocation of resources.”

Prof Williams is conducting a follow-up visit to Romania at the end of this month and will visit Latvia to evaluate its success in late 2018.

Selling experiences – not rooms: Exploring the future of luxury travel through digital strategy

September 13th, 2017

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Can a holiday make you a better parent, or more creative? Luxury hospitality consumers aren’t satisfied with a great view – they want a substantive change borne out of amazing experiences, suggests Dr Navdeep Athwal.

Luxury consumption has shifted away from goods and towards experiences, so how can the premium hospitality market capitalise on this? Navdeep’s white paper, co-authored with digital agency Verb Brands, argues that the key to growth is brands getting their digital and marketing strategies right.

Social media and luxury travel goes hand in hand – customers are generally tech-savvy and self-sufficient deeming the high street travel agent redundant. They favour mobile apps over web browsers so are likely to interact with a provider from a hand-held device at one point in the process, leading brands to address their digital and social media approaches in order to remain competitive.

A brand’s social media must showcase the aspirational experience while also demonstrating customer care and relationship management. User-generated, story-based content trumps traditional advertising so many brands employ online ‘influencers’ to contribute to visual platforms like Instagram. While they can be effective, Navdeep suggests brands introduce a comprehensive vetting process prior to appointment, as well as exploring people without an online presence who have “priceless Rolodexes” for accessing high-earning, hard-to-reach spenders.

An ‘Instagrammable’ destination has become a primary influencing factor for millennials choosing their holidays, and with 25-34 year olds spending much of their disposable income on travel, this paper highlights the importance of brands understanding how to deploy digital to best meet market requirements. Navdeep indicates that AI is the future of customer engagement – meanwhile Airbnb is adapting its sharing economy model to meet the expectations of luxury travellers. The landscape is changing, and quickly.

In this paper, Navdeep also identifies successful strategies for businesses based on offline consumer behaviour. Luxury consumers are pursuing experiences over possessions – “a better me” is the product and key themes are wellness, personalisation and dining.

One of the market’s primary challenges is building brand love and loyalty, though defining the latter is complex as it can be driven by behavioural (earning perks) or attitudinal (emotional) motivations. Navdeep suggests that arriving at a combination of both in a brand’s marketing strategy is ideal. She continues: “Globalisation necessitated a one-size-fits-all approach, but the changing luxury market demands a more personalised response. Brand authenticity is vital, as is a marketing and digital strategy shaped around accurately collected and analysed data.”

“Over the next ten years, growth in luxury travel is expected to exceed that of overall travel – brands must tap-in to consumers’ spiritual and emotional motives for spending their money on travel. Happily, we’re already starting to see premium brands such as major hotel chains react by refining their digital approach.”

Click here to read the full report (‘The Evolving Luxury Hospitality Market – what’s the key to its growth?’).

A pioneering partnership: Management focused degree level apprenticeships with the AMRC

September 12th, 2017

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The Management School (SUMS) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) Training Centre has announced a pioneering new education route to study degree led apprenticeships.

The collaborative partnership between the AMRC Training Centre and SUMS will create a world leading advanced management learning offering for SMEs, world-leading organisations and their supply chains.

SUMS is in the top one per cent of business and management schools worldwide with Triple Crown accreditation. The AMRC specialises in carrying out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials. Its ground breaking Training Centre equips apprentices with the skills to go on and regenerate the UK’s manufacturing industry.

The new, high quality, vocational route into university, which is a further development of the University’s successful AMRC Training Centre’s advanced apprenticeship scheme, will feature an innovative curriculum to recognise the skills, experiences and particular learning styles of the apprentices, while meeting the needs of employers.

The Management School will teach professional management leadership skills to support the technical teaching at the AMRC Training Centre.

Yvonne Beach, Director of Professional and Executive Education at the Management School, said: “This is a significant partnership for the Management School. Working with the AMRC Training Centre, we have the opportunity to arm apprentices with management knowledge, enhancing their contribution to organisations and impact on the region overall.

“The Management School is known globally for its high quality degree offer – we’re looking forward to delivering the renowned University of Sheffield learning experience to apprentices too.”

AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Kerry Thompson, said: “The UK desperately needs skilled engineers to help boost productivity and growth in our economy and our apprentices are the future of skilled manufacturing workers.

“We are providing opportunities for apprenticeships and further postgraduate study, so our apprentices will not only have the crucial engineering skills required today by manufacturers in the region, but also the management skills needed to advanced their career and bring real value to their employers in the long run.”

Businesses will be able to use their apprenticeship levy contribution to fund an apprenticeship place and could use the opportunity to upskill existing members of staff. The apprenticeship levy – introduced in April this year – is designed to increase the number of apprentice opportunities.  Any company with a paybill of more than £3million is liable to pay a 0.5 per cent tax on their wage bill but can claim the money back if it is used to train present staff or new people starting apprenticeships.

 

For further information on the partnership, please contact Yvonne Beach (y.beach@sheffield.ac.uk).

50 days of research at the Management School

September 11th, 2017

Today (Monday 11 September 2017), we launch a campiagn which puts a spotlight on the Management School’s commitment to world-leading research.

Each day for the next ten working weeks, we will showcase some of our current leading research on the School’s Twitter and Facebook portals, using the hashtag #50daysSUMS. Dr Kirsty Newsome, Associate Dean for Research, said: “Research underpins so much activity at the Management School. We want our ’50 Days of Research and Impact’ campaign to highlight how the research activity of the School is fundamental to our Mission to promote socially-responsible work practices and to have a positive impact on organisations and societies worldwide. Over the next 50 working days, we will showcase some of the research that we’re very proud of – but be assured, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Prof Tim Vorley, Associate Dean for Impact, Innovation and Engagement, continued: “We’re top five in the Russell Group for research impact – by using social media I want this campaign to reach new audiences who aren’t currently aware of the Management School’s contribution to global society.”

Follow the School on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.

Celebrating Sheffield’s relationship with NCUK

September 4th, 2017

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2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Northern Consortium Charity and NCUK, a collaboration of leading UK universities including the University of Sheffield, dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities worldwide and helping them succeed when they get there.

To mark the occasion and celebrate continued success, the IEN Institute joined with NCUK on 3 August 2017 to hold their first alumni event recognising the success of students that have progressed through the partnership in Korea.

Dr David Littlewood, Divisional Director for Impact, Innovation and Engagement at the Management School (pictured above, left), attended the event held at the British Ambassador’s Residence, Seoul, South Korea, meeting with Sheffield alumni and delivering a speech.

David said: “The UK remains at the forefront of research and academic quality, with world-class facilities, industry leading academic staff and a tradition of excellence which dates back hundreds of years. The NCUK qualifications help students to contribute and succeed when they come to study with us.”

IEN has taught over 800 students and helped them to achieve their dream of studying in the UK. The centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with NCUK in 2018.