What constitutes a happy working environment ?
When I was working in the hospital we were terribly over-worked, the hours were long and the stream of patients unending . Yet we were happy, even today when I meet up with ex-colleaques and talk about old times we all agree those were memorable years. The reason we could maintain such high spirits inspite of the horrendous heavy workload was because we had great team work, we helped and covered for each other, the "bosses" were never bossy and we could see they worked just as hard as the rest of us . More importantly they were fair in their dealings with the subordinates.We appreciated each other and felt appreciated by the management , nobody's unimportant to the team , nobody's opinion's slighted or ignored , even the lowly interns' !
Since starting work in CUHK I quickly joined CUSA , and through the grievance cases brought to us by our members , I was shocked to realize there is another management culture at work here. While by no means all colleaques in management grade in CU are preposterous bullies, the problem is preposterous bullies are definitely allowed to flourish in the CU management culture. The story of our clerical friend who was made to wash glasses is not finished yet ; the caes was brought to the Personnel Dept and as expected all we got back was a cursory note stating: " all CU staff must do whatever the supervisor tells them to ", nothing was said on the reasonableness of the request, nor did they answer our question on whether they mentioned in the job advertisement that clerks in CU are expected to do amah's work, nor what their concept of specific training requirement for specific job is. In effect the Personnel Dept hid behind a bureacratic smoke screen and stonewalled us . Our clerical friend was given a lower rating based on unreasonable assessment elements in PRD just as she was threatened with and the irony is she told me if in the beginning the supervisor had been more civil when asking her to do the glasses instead of pulling rank with threatening words, she might have agreed to help out as a return favour. Time and time again I hear the same complaint , heavy-handedness and rudeness appear to be entrenched in the CU culture, from the top down . Except of course only the top brass can get away with brutish behaviour with no impunity .
I've tried again and again for many years in the JCC to get the University to install a reverse appraisal mechanism whereby a subordinate might rate their superiors but the Administration has put up huge resistance to the proposal , the reason is blatantly clear . I'd be extremely interested in hearing the views of all our readers, you'd be most welcome to send in your opinion, including personal experiences of unreasonable job allocations , unfair or discourteous treatment , which we could publish in our subsequent newsletters . The newsletter is afterall a platform for information exchange in all things pertaining to the wellbeing of our members .
If the new VC is really serious in reinventing a culture in CU that is based on mutual respect and cherishing of intrinsic human value of all stakeholders in CU as he said he did , he knows where to start .
Published in the CUSA Newsletter vol 19, Dec 2010