Employee Development Plans LO19722

Philip Pogson (Philip_Pogson@oz.sas.com)
Tue, 3 Nov 1998 08:37:58 +1000

Replying to LO19716

As Phillip Capper has revealed a little of himself and his background in
regard to the development of teachers and the role of their Unions,
perhaps I should say that I have never been a Union member but have always
found myself able to work with most Union officials.

I have little experience of school education but my previous role was in a
senior HR position at Australia's oldest University where I interacted
regularly with local and head office Union representatives.

The things that concerned me about Doug's original post was that it
appeared to me that he wanted to improve measures for teachers to "root
out" those the community saw as non-performers. (Forgive me if I mis-read
your intent Doug). I saw this kind of approach consistently fail in the
higher education sector. The philosophy of the Executive was to see
performance management & development in terms of performance appraisal and
assessment and getting rid of people. Often, I might add, senior staff
knew exactly who the wanted to get rid of and the reasons were not always
purely performance based. We had Deans keeping secret files on staff, for
example, that were illegal and bore no link at all to academic matters.

In this environment, no wonder we struggled to get Union cooperation and
buy in and negotiations were painful and fraught with game playing on both
sides. I was back at the University last week and a number of senior
staff commented to me how they hated engaging in the current round of
bargaining as it was such a draining, negative experience.

On a broader note it saddens me to see this "punishment" mentality
increasingly enter management thinking at the same time that research
tells us people thrive in a positive, fair and development environment
where they feel recognised, valued and their concerns heeded.

As an addendum, just today I filled in a survey from our child's
kindergarten teacher. She is completing a Master of Education degree and
is voluntarily seeking yet more parent feedback on her performance, above
and beyond the many "official" feedback methods the school uses. Perhaps
this is just a small example of what happens when we take a developmental
rather than punitive approach to employee development? Rather than
avoiding feedback, people might seek it...


Philip Pogson
Training and Development Manager
SAS Institute Australia
Ph: +61 2 9428 0585
Fax: + 61 2 9418 7211

"There is only one point on which economists and I are in agreement: I
am not an economist."

-Peter Drucker


Philip Pogson <Philip_Pogson@oz.sas.com>

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