Guiding Principles – Work Shadowing
Work shadowing is when an individual from one area of the organisation has the opportunity to work alongside and gain experience of the role of another individual, and thus gain an insight into that particular work area.
Interested in work shadowing? Download the Work Shadowing Completion Form here >
What can I expect to gain from work shadowing?
- See how other staff and teams work together
- Gain insight into the roles and responsibilities of other members of staff and other departments
- Reflect and learn from others
- See the bigger picture and understand more about how the University functions
- Can be used as a way of “testing out” possible career options
What format will the work shadowing take?
As a visitor/guest you will spend the agreed period of time (usually half a day but it can be more) observing the work activity in the area you are shadowing. This may involve observing a range of activities such as attending meetings, watching interactions with staff, customers, etc. In fact it should be a typical representation of what the “host” individual does on a daily basis. The host will provide opportunities for questions and a debrief to ensure that both parties benefit from the shadowing.
Whilst we expect the majority of colleagues will undertake their work shadowing in Commercial Services if there is another part of the University (or external to the University) which is of interest please raise this and we will see what we can facilitate!
How do I know who I should shadow in order to get the most out of the experience?
This should be discussed with your Line Manager or Head of Service, who will be able to provide suggestions. Just ask – we want to facilitate the right experience for you.
How is the work shadowing authorised?
Your Line Manager is able to authorise you to shadow work in a different area of Commercial Services to the one you are based in. They will agree objectives with you prior to the work shadowing, and also help you to reflect on the outcome of this afterwards.
Expectations whilst you are work shadowing:
- Show tact, discretion and awareness and if required withdraw from situations when circumstances deem it appropriate (for example, a student/member of staff may just have requested a meeting to discuss something of a personal or private nature)
- Maintain confidentiality at all times
- Provide your host with feedback and reflections on what you have observed
- Ensure that you show good time keeping and inform your host if you are unavailable for any reason
- Ensure that your work colleagues back on the “day job” are aware of your absence and what cover is required
- Whilst on the shadowing take notes, of useful numbers, emails, facts, thoughts and observations. Reflecting on these notes will allow you to maximise your learning
- Make sure you discuss any disability requirements with your host in advance of the placement, so that the host has enough time to put adjustments in place in order to maximise the benefits of the shadowing