July 17, 2008

Divestors of People - The Hall of Shame

The Criteria

1. Lack of strategy to improve the under-performance of the institution. This does not exist, is not clearly defined, or is not communicated to staff.

2. There is lack of coherent investment in staff development.

3. Whatever strategies exist to manage staff, these are implemented to promote cronyism, incompetence, favoritism, or inequality, and to disguise management failures.

4. The capabilities managers need to learn and manage staff are not defined. Managers received little or no training to improve their communication, behaviour and people skills.

5. Managers are ineffective in leading, managing, and developing staff. High levels of over-management or under-management.

6. Staff are not encouraged to take ownership and responsibility through involvement in decision-making. There is no accountability and transparency in the decision making process.

7. Staff are demorilised, de-skilled or demoted. The working environment is toxic.

8. Lack of improvements in managing people is chronic.

9. The working environment shows high levels of work-related stress.

10. Internal grievance procedures are used selectively by managers - against staff. Some managers are untouchable despite their failures.

11. Staff report high levels of bullying and harassment by managers. Fear prevails among the silent majority.

12. The governing body is detached from the staff and is in the same bed with the management. Governors show no visible interest in the affairs of the staff.

Nominations are open to all staff in all universities. Institutions qualify for the ‘Divestors of People’© award if they meet at least 50% of the above criteria and this can be verified by at least two different staff members from the same organisation. Nominators can remain anonymous.

Conditions for a university or college to be removed from the Hall of Shame

* Public admission of wrongdoing.

* Public promise to correct wrongdoings by changes in personnel (including getting rid of the bullies and reinstating the targets, if they wish to be).

* Public apologies to all targets.

* Payment of compensation to targets of bullies, especially providing guaranteed private medical
coverage for life to all targets affected.

* Setting up a scholarship/bursary fund aimed at deserving undergrad/postgrad students who have shown courage in standing up to larger forces in the name of justice.

* Public recognition of staff who stood up against the bullies and supported the target.

* Removal of Governors who failed to act.

Check the Hall of Shame.


Anonymous said...

This list of criteria is very helpful in the identification of universities where there are serious concerns.

It is also helpful to identify ways in which the universities can begin to move forward.

However I regret the lack of any visible action from UCU on this issue. I hope that Sally Hunt's article in THE last week is an indication of UCU's more proactive stance on this situation.

Also the fact that these issues are being addressed on a blog says something about society's lack of concern about the current situation in its universities.

Why don't the media take action on this or are they too silenced...

Many thanks

Aphra Behn

Ben Simonton said...

Sounds really bad to me and my heart goes out to the employees suffering from this kind of mismanagement.

Unfortunately, the same is also true in many commercial entities. Change management is a big thing in the commercial world these days. But if management had managed their employees properly, those employees would have long since taken full ownership of their workplace and be fully committed to its success, no matter what it takes. If they haven't, no change management strategy will correct that deficiency.

To learn the whats and whys of a superior way to manage people, read "Leadership, Good or Bad?

Best regards, Ben
Author "Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed"

Anonymous said...

I would like to nominate Glasgow University for the hall of shame.
Can someone tell me how to go about this?

My experiences relate to one particular individual in the Medical Faculty at the University who has a reputation for bullying, which seemed to me to be a bit overblown and harsh until I experienced it first hand.

His actions against me have had quite serious repercussions for my health, career and family. I am not sure how many other people he has acted against and my aim is to seek out others who can verify the crassness of his behaviour.

I agree with the last comment about the inaction of UCU. I'm not aware of the content of Sally Hunt's article but I am aware of how ineffective and disinterested the local UCU officals are when it comes to bullying.