I was introduced the other day to the term ‘a greedy organisation’. Greedy organisations are characterised by asking more from their staff than it is reasonable to expect them to achieve whilst preserving their health, personal relationships, equilibrium and capacity to sustain the pace that is required. I set out below a simple 10 point test that you can apply to your organisation.
It has a ‘work-life’ balance policy but there are no management actions associated with achieving it.
Overall capacity in the organisation is limited by ‘burn out’ of key staff.
Meetings organised out of core working hours are commonplace to ensure that people can fit them in their diaries.
It makes the standard maternity, carers and parental leave provisions but … thereafter acts as if all responsibilities have been discharged.
There is no active career management because there is only a single template for a successful career.
Not only are you sent emails on the weekend but your reply is, if not expected, then at least anticipated.
There is a focus on early-career staff because greater career pressure can be exerted and more can be squeezed out of them. Similarly, short-term and limited funding contracts are used wherever possible as a strategy for maximising productivity.
Entry to the organisation is gated by a lengthy and uncertain process requiring high, and often excessive, workloads so as to habituate staff to the expectations of the organisation.
Performance management is exclusively about low achievers and not high achievers. The job descriptions and promotions criteria cover many pages of dense text.
Thank goodness universities are not at risk of becoming greedy organisations!