Friday, November 18, 2011

Reculturing a higher ed work place

A report commissioned by the Tertiary Education Union and put together by the New Zealand Work Research Institute in conjunction with AUT University, surveyed 3000 academic and support staff from universities, polytechnics, technical institutes and wananga. Massey University had the second-highest number of people respond at 444, behind Otago University on 460.

One of the report's authors, Professor Tim Bentley from AUT, said the one-in-six figure was high compared with overseas samples.

The impact is not only personal, the costs are high- personal and financial.
There are more sick days- in academia this means either loss of classes taught or more stress on colleagues.
There are costs to the employer with time spent with HR and or in mediation let alone the potential if not actuality of legal action.
There may also be costs incurred with employment assistance scheme counselling.
In addition are the costs on peers of supporting distressed colleagues- which then detracts from the ability of this person to do their own job well when time is spent supporting colleagues ...
When a person leaves there is also the cost of staff turn over.

It makes sense -logical sense and finacial cents -to end work place bullying.

A zero tolerance for bullies and for bullying.

Regarding educational leadership Michael Fullan suggests reculturing educative places so that people are able to flourish.
I agree with him.

He writes:
Solutions must come through the development of shared meaning
The key to successful change is the improvement in relationships between all involved and not simply the imposition of top down reform.

Turning around a workplace culture takes collective action.
I see a visioning exercise then...
What is it we value
What is it we grow now
What is it we would want to do if not impeded (blue sky thinking)
And steps to get there... a collective.

Creating change...

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