Management is an essential element of any staff policy

Yet the Staff Surveys have shown a growing unease with management. The gap between professional expectations and the restrictions imposed by management is becoming more and more significant.

In order to re-establish a favourable working atmosphere, it is essential to consider new management methods that will make it possible to respond to human and organisational issues, taking into account the diversity of the institution’s staff.

The components of a healthy management are essentially assertive feedback, the practice of recognition, respect, empathy, support, autonomy, and the meaning given to prescribed tasks. 

Nowadays, heads of unit, far from ensuring effective follow-up and support for colleagues, are overwhelmed with strictly administrative tasks and subjected to pressures and constraints that are often incompatible with the smooth running of the services.

Senior management is increasingly selected on a purely political basis without necessarily taking into account the skills required for the post: the “parachuting” exercise at the end of each college was proof of this! The game of musical chairs for Directors-General that is periodically organised is more in line with a “spoil system” and sometimes brutal dismissal than with the need to put the right person in the right place.

At a time when drastic staff downsizing is being imposed on departments, staff are witnessing an absolutely artificial multiplication of senior management positions, particularly for Deputy Directors-General, who are all too often appointed without a proper prior analysis of needs and have now become “double directors”, sometimes even responsible for a single directorate, which is highly harmful to the efficiency of departments.

R&D calls for

  • the reform of management appointment procedures in order to guarantee their transparency, to avoid favouritism and nepotism and to remove them from political influence and internal power struggles: passing through a cabinet or in the entourage of a DG should no longer be a sine qua non condition for access to management positions;
  • the promotion of local management based on the human dimension the development of the essential skills of any successful manager: knowing how to build confidence, coaching people, supporting them in the work of the team, offering a vision and genuine leadership;
  • the implementation of an ethic and line of conduct for managers: courage, sincerity, humility, generosity, creativity, proximity to employees in the context of a working relationship based on trust and the empowerment of personnel;
  • an end to the artificial multiplication of senior management positions and to ensure that any new nomination is preceded by a thorough needs analysis;
  • the introduction of fair and joint procedures to intervene effectively in cases of proven management failures;
  • the introduction of a credible 90° and 360° appraisal, the results of which are taken into account.