Yep, I started with a trilogy and ended up with 9 posts. A few people have said, “What if I miss one?”. I don’t think of that as a normal risk per se, but sure, I can do a single post with all nine linked…… Read the rest
When it comes to figuring out the way forward, we’re pretty much at showtime. In September, departments started mandating RTW options, “forcing” people into the office as it is pitched by employees and unions.
Some people want to argue whether the government as the employer has the right to make the decision unilaterally.… Read the rest
My normal schtick is description. I explain why something is like it is, why seemingly opaque decisions or processes are not as dense as people might think. Other than sharing tips and tricks in my HR guide, I rarely try to tell people to do x or y. I’ve been a bit more directive on some of these topics, maybe a bit more rant-y.… Read the rest
When I started this series of posts two weeks ago, it was with the intent simply to share some views on what’s going on for preparations around Return to Work options in the federal government. I’d been seeing a bunch of stuff online where people were saying, “Hey management is a bunch of idiots, everything is working fine, blah blah blah”, and while that may be an employee/bottom-up view, it is NOT what management is seeing looking “down”.… Read the rest
I’ve been struggling to figure out how to organize this post, ever since I started the first one in the series. I want to talk about what departments are doing, but I don’t want it to be some sort of inventory. That’s not why I’m writing. I don’t care if Fisheries is doing one thing and Environment is doing another.… Read the rest
So let’s recap my series so far and reorder the elements a bit. Hardly revolutionary, but decisions about RTW will be taken in a larger context:
- Pre-pandemic “norms” that assumed everyone was working “in the office” but that even face-to-face interactions were not enough, transactions and communications were not enough, you still needed intentional effort to make proper connections;
- Early pandemic transitioning to WFH and rolling out of all the cyber tools we take for granted now, while managers have been left to mostly “muddle through” too;
- Throughout the pandemic, public servants have been working with their paycheques intact, and relatively speaking, being spared much of the extreme personal economic, social and financial disruption that every other sector has experienced in the last 2+ years; and,
- Executives looking at the emerging-from-pandemic world and seeing not only that things are not all working perfectly, even if many employees don’t see the cracks, but also that there are huge risks looming on the horizon.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the public service (not necessarily federal, but mostly), and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard the story about the health townhall meeting where one of the executives suggested that going back into the office was a good thing because you could go to Subway for lunch and support local business.… Read the rest
For all the departments looking to have people back in the office, they frequently will use the phrase, “So, yeah, we’re looking to have people back in the office at least some of the time because the research shows that it’s better.”
And when they say it, most people listening think it is complete bullsh**.… Read the rest
In the world of performance measurement, a friend and I have a cynical joke between us that it seems like every year is a baseline year for some programs…if you’re always moving the baseline, there’s never anything to measure or report other than activities undertaken. There’s no standard for success. When it comes to the question of working from home, any year up to the end of 2019 would have been a baseline year, and there is still not much evidence of a performance standard for success.… Read the rest
As everyone has seen over the last 2.5 years, every business entity has had to deal with the labour organization aspects of the pandemic. Separate from all the labour and health and safety issues, or supply-chain issues, one of the most pervasive questions has simply been one of location. Could employees work from home or did they need to return to work at a specified location?… Read the rest