Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing gives you the opportunity to become familiar with someone else's role or responsibilities within Loughborough University.

It can help you to develop your understanding of a process or procedure relating to your role, or it could help you to understand more about a totally different role. Job Shadowing can also provide a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with colleagues from other areas of the University.

We encourage staff to self-manage their own job shadowing opportunities at a time suitable for your host and yourself. Job shadows should be discussed and agreed by your line manager.

Job shadowing at Loughborough University is:

  • self-managed - not co-ordinated centrally;
  • available all year round;
  • approved by both line managers;
  • included in your PDR discussions.

Different types of job shadowing

Observation – “Fly on the Wall”

You will spend an agreed period of time observing the day-to-day work of your host. It should be a typical representation of what the “host” individual does each day and may involve a range of activities such as attending meetings or watching interactions with others. This type of shadowing works best when you are looking to gain a greater understanding of what the host’s job role actually consists of. It might be helpful if you are considering a career change but are not quite sure what is involved in different roles; job shadowing will give you the opportunity to explore this further. Your host should provide opportunities for questions and a debrief to ensure that both parties benefit from the shadowing.

Regular Briefings – “Burst Interactions”

You will shadow the host for specific activities over a period of time which are all preceded by a mini-brief and follow up debrief. The host can advise you of dates and times of specific activities which are of value in understanding the role of the host. This type of shadowing provides short periods of focused activity, rather than passive ongoing observation. It does needcareful timing and planning if it is not to become disruptive.

Hands On – “Job Sharing”

This is an extension of the observation option, where you start to undertake some of the tasks that have been observed. This provides you with hands on experience of the role whilst having the safety net of being closely supervised by the host. This is not always possible and would need to be discussed on a case-by-case basis between the host, yourself and the line managers of both.

Things to consider when deciding on which role to job shadow:

  • Discuss suitable shadows with your line manager.
  • Browse the University web pages to see which role/s are suitable.
  • Ensure you have fully briefed the host on what you wish to learn from your shadow, to get the most out of the opportunity.
  • Agree a suitable time of year and length of shadow.

Once you have completed your job shadow, ensure you record it in my.HR under your Learning section by selecting to ‘Add personal learning’. You will need to be logged into the VPN.