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Short description / Current status and future steps / Lessons learned:
= Case description =
A paradigm shift can be seen in today’s society, mainly in two areas.
Firstly, the so-called ‘protected fields’ such as public administration are
increasingly being called upon to apply the same management methods
and performance criteria as are widely used in the private sector.
Secondly, enormous changes are currently taking place in terms of
management approach. Authoritarian management is no longer wanted
and is often rejected, but a laisser-faire approach leads to chaos and is
clearly not productive either. This is the impasse in which both public
sector and private sector managers currently find themselves and there
is deep and widespread uncertainty about how to proceed. The situation
is almost overwhelming for managers and there has been a marked
increase in the number of burnout syndromes, psychosomatic illnesses,
skin diseases, and heart attacks. Indeed, far fewer people, and young
people especially, want to take on managerial positions.
Consequently, in October 2005 a project was launched with the aim to
realise a vision of increased efficiency through organisational optimisation
and improvements in both managers’ and staff’s quality of life. All staff
members of the IT Division Directorate V/2 were included when a set
of standards was developed which give managers clarity in terms of
their management tasks. At the heart of this management philosophy
is the principle that a manager must take on several different roles in
the course of the management process. The key factors in this process
phase are, above all, a cooperative approach based on partnership and
coordination to develop proposals. A combination of an ‘authoritative’
approach and ‘laisser-faire’ was required depending on the stage of the
The following steps were implemented: management seminars with
all managers in the division and therefore also in Directorate V/2 at
approximately six month intervals; development of a management
philosophy with all staff in the division and therefore also those in
Directorate V/2 and special training courses for managers. The following
aspects are considered to be particularly relevant: one-to-one discussions
with every staff member at the beginning of the project; continuous
corporate culture analysis through periodical surveys; gender-specific
skills taken into consideration in training courses.
The staff survey results carried out in 2008 showed significant
improvements, specifically in soft skills such as communication, the
ability to work in a group, conflict resolution and the management
approach were decisive for the improvement of hard factors such as
working methods, quality management and staff management. The
positive example of Directorate V/2 can also be transferred to other
organisations. It does not matter at which level of the hierarchy you
begin: such processes can be used wherever people work and act
together. The processes must simply be adjusted to the corporate
culture in question according to ethical principles and the managers
must be ready for and want change.