2013年12月18日 星期三

CUSA president's words - published in CUSA newsletter Dec 2013

In the blink of an eye the year 2013 is coming to a close . CUSA , like the majority of CU staff, has been kept so busy we're all gasping for breath. Much of what we've done in the past year has already been reported in the AGM , but regretfully I 've to reiterate here the fact that grievance cases have increased alarmingly . What can be done about this ?

When I first came back to HK I worked in a government- subsidised hospital . This was the pre-HA era , resources were scarce and the condition in the hospital was bad , we were considerably more over-worked than even the doctors in government hospitals. Yet when I meet up with my old colleagues , we all agree the time we had at the hospital was probably the happiest period of our working life. The reason is we had strong team spirit, not just among doctors but also with the nurses, student nurses, down to the amahs . Even the adminstrators were part of the team because we all shared a clear focused vision and that was to serve the community. We didn't grudge the work-load because everybody, from the consultant to the intern, worked equally hard, there were no slackers . Problems encountered were discussed openly, every opinion, even from the lowly intern, was listened to and respected. Looking back, what mitigated the hardship, apart from the camaraderie , was the appreciation and validation of our efforts . Every single person in the team counted . I maintain to this day it's never just the work that brings people down but disrespect and callous uncaring treatment of people .

Maybe that's what's ailing CUHK: the lack of team spirit and the narrow culture of incessant and sometimes unscrupulous grappling of career advancement in various departments. I was taken aback when I talked to a  CU staff about 'a happy working environment' awhile ago , she paused for a full minute to ponder, then sighed and shook her head wistfully," I can't even imagine what that's like. " How sad is  it  ! Since 3-3-4 things have gotten worse . As workloads increase they're off-loaded down the tiers of managers then workers , fair to say everyone's under pressure, but the ones at the lower end of the echelon are the most vulnerable. Some of the office bullying could be traced to staff vending off work pressure on other staff . The lack of transparency in office operative promotes cronyism , and makes easy the shirking of responsibility; the lack of time or channel of communication between  senior and junior staff creates misunderstanding and grievances . The middle management glass- ceiling which effectively blocks issues of junior staff from reaching the top management must be done with .

It is laudable CUHK has recently recruited a professional mediator in an attempt to diffuse office conflicts at the earliest stage, but one can't help wishing for a more pro-active approach. Good governance must be institutionalized. Every individual worker should be treated as a stakeholder of his/her department . All workers should be explained fully all new policies and how they fit in in the aspired future development of the department ; in turn they should be listened to and made to feel safe discussing work-related problems , so that the allocation of funds and the creation of new positions would better meet the actual reality of departmental needs . A good manager puts humanity back into management , and sees workers as people and not just cogs to a gigantic machine. They would take time to talk to the workers about any job-related difficulties they might have, and assess the workers so as to allocate the right work for the right talent.

Accountability must be upheld, appraisal and reverse appraisal put in place as a check-and-balance.  Obviously the workers are also expected to perform their duty to the best of their ability. 

Is this so hard to do ? If there's a will there's a way. If we could all put aside our personal ambition and strive to serve, a fulfilled happy work experience is ours to keep.


我回港的第一份工,是加入一所政府資助醫院。這是醫管局年代之前,資源不足及醫院條件惡劣,工作量比其他公立醫院的醫生繁重得多。奇怪的是每當和這夥舊同事聚會時,我們都不約而同地認為這段時間可是我們工作生涯最中快的時光。原因是我們有很強的團隊精神。我們的團隊不僅是醫生,還有護士、學護、以至病房女工;甚至管理層都在行列內,因為我們都擁有清晰的同一理念 服務社區。我們從沒抱怨過量的工作,因為我們每一個人,從顧問醫生以至實習醫生,都同樣地努力工作 團隊中沒有敷衍失責的人。遇到困難我們會開放地討論,盡管是初出茅盧的實習醫生的意見,都會被聽取及受尊重。回想起來,當年能舒緩工作辛勞的原因,除了同袍戰友的緊密無私的合作外,還因我們的努力得到欣賞和認同。每一個成員都同樣重要。直至今天我仍堅持這信念令人沮喪的不僅是工作本身,而是自身不被尊重及其努力被漠視。




這真是那麼難做到嗎? 只要有意願就一定能做到。若我們每一個人都能放下私己的野心,盡其所能,我們定能擁有快樂和滿足的工作體驗。