Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday night recap and how the evaluations went

It is Friday night and The Week of Continuous Demands From Other People has finally come to an end. I am tired and exhausted and want nothing more than sleep, go shopping for my sister's wedding next week and hang around and do nice things. But Fiance is out of town and I have sort of a longish weekend so I am going to camp out at my desk for a little work retreat beginning tomorrow morning. I am going to work on the manuscript I have been close to submitting for months, but I just haven't had the time to finish it up. It will probably be very boring, so expect lots of blogging.

As tonight is the last bout of freedom until after the manuscript is done I am going to waste it by watching TV and reading my non-intellectual but very hilarious book and generally enjoying myself in the laziest possible way. I do have some blog posts on my mind, but I don't have it in me to write those out tonight. What I can tell you is that I am almost done with the annual assessment meetings and it has been such a great experience. Everybody has been nice and taken me seriously as the head of the group (something I tend to worry about more than necessary) and I have gotten lots of great and positive feedback. I know it can be annoying when people brag on their blogs, but let me just say that you'd probably brag too if you got responses to "how is the leader perceived by the employee*" like "fair, organized, gets things done, open-minded, respects peoples differences and has a good balance between authority and listening to other peoples opinions". In short, I am definitely happy with the outcome. I have also gotten some good feedback on what people think the role of the group/ department leader ideally is and how it should be filled**. Basically it seems people want the head of department to take care of administrative necessities, inform them and involve them when necessary, provide good working conditions and support/ create a good social environment. While I am happy to hear that people are generally satisfied with how I approach these tasks, I think it's interesting to think about the process and how the daily interaction with people somehow captures so many aspects of what the workplace is like.

*As it is an annual assessment for employees most of the questions are concerned with the work situation for the individual, but we follow a pre-made questionnaire, and the one question about the leader is there to open up for a discussion about how the department works.

**As I am at a research institute I have nothing to do with administering teaching staff, courses, academic programmes etc., only administration relevant to running a research department.

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