Friday, 14 March 2008

Not a culture of blame (or what UniSA could have done better)

Another thing I've learned from Jane is the phrase "not a culture of blame". The idea is that you might achieve more, improve things and make progress better if you don't just focus on finding someone to blame.

So trying to keep that in mind, I'd like to comment on a couple of things I think UniSA as an institution and senior management in particular could have done better with the restructure of the FLC, in the hope that the next time they might not repeat some of these mistakes. You be the judge as to whether I've managed not to blame anyone.

Don't take your staff for granted

There also seems to be a lack of understanding of what staff actually do. I suppose if those staff end up leaving, you'll probably find out pretty quickly though :-)

A new role isn't actually attractive if it is perceived as worse than the old one.

Don't assume that staff will willingly want to leave a fantastic team that provided them interesting, varied work, flexibility in work hours, supportive and understanding managers, ability to work from home, support to attend conferences, seminars and training events, in a reasonably convenient and pleasant location - to move somewhere else that they believe doesn't.

There is a world outside of UniSA

I wonder if senior management have considered the risk of causing staff, that they hoped would stay in the new structure, to discover that the commercial sector desperately wants their skills and is willing to reward them significantly better for them.

Sell us your vision

If you do need to change or restructure an area, then tell us (the staff affected) why! Tell us your vision of what you want to achieve and how this will help the organisation - and do that in person, not just as an impersonal email.

There are times when email is an appropriate medium for communication, but I believe this is not one of them.

Ideally, "in person" would be just that, but this is the unit that set up Centra and streaming video for the University, and either of those would have been an improvement.

 

As far as how the actual managing change process is progressing - the latest is that the NTEU lodged a dispute with the University on March 3rd, so we now have to wait for that to be resolved before anything else happens.

On a more positive note, I've got a few weeks of leave starting next week, so that will be a nice break. I'll have some time to make some more hot cross buns, and get ready for G3's arrival.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave
I said I would leave a comment but it has taken a while. I agree totally with your comments especially in regards to Management not understanding what we do and their perception that we are never there! Because we are not micro managed the area has thrived and has won awards for excellence. It is a fact that if staff are miro managed they will become less productive and will generally 'work to rule'.
Hopefully today the uni and the union will be able to quarintine there areas of concern with the rest of the Unit proceeding with the restructure.
All the best to us and our futures
Warren