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Letters To The Editor 2nd September, 2018

Letters To The Editor 2nd September, 2018
September 02
10:00 2018

UniFiji policy

Arvind Mani, Nadi

I am shocked and appalled at the directive at UniFiji to have academics clock in and out like petty peons. It is unprofessional, humiliating, downright inane – and most unbecoming of an education institution which has any self-respect. ty.

Imagine that you’ve been working in your job for a while. You enjoy your work, know how to do it well, and take pride in the results you produce. And then one day things change. Perhaps a new boss is hired who doesn’t talk to you or your colleagues in sufficient depth to understand what works well and what challenges you face. When you offer suggestions about how to improve performance, they are ignored. New policies and procedures are introduced. But they subvert the control and autonomy you have enjoyed in the past. They rob you of the investment you’ve made in your work. Your ability to produce value for the organization is diminished — and so is your morale.

The situation above illustrates one of the most common themes of the worst experiences employees have with their bosses. Bosses (I am hesitant to call them leaders (as they show a shocking lack of leadership qualities) who undermine employee autonomy are corrosive because they undermine the dignity of work. This is a serious issue, because dignity is fundamental to well-being and to human and organizational thriving. And since many of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work, work is a major source of dignity in our lives.

Not many people would argue with this. Yet few managers receive any guidance on how to uphold dignity in their workplaces on a daily basis.

Dignity is a fundamentally social phenomenon that arises through interaction, and hence it depends on a mix of both independence and interdependence. It involves recognition and trust, as well as autonomy and self-mastery.

In dignified work relations, people carefully avoid taking advantage of the inherent vulnerability of the employment relationship and power differentials in organizations. In large organization settings, dignity exists when people are listened to and taken seriously regardless of their position – and feel they can disagree respectfully and be heard, without fear of reprisal.

Academics should NEVER be reduced to the humiliation of punching in a timeclock (it shows a shocking lack of trust) and is unheard of in any respectable tertiary institution.) Showing trust, granting autonomy, and recognising the value of individual contributions all build employees’ sense of ownership of their work and pride in performing it. (So, does providing the option to work from home; it is appreciated by employees not only because it reduces work-life conflict, but also because it expresses trust.) Greater ownership, and the motivation to do well that comes with autonomy, yield higher quality outcomes for students.

Conversely, refusing to grant trust and autonomy and failing to recognize and respect employee contributions corrupt the very foundations of what makes work fulfilling. Unfortunately, once dignity is assaulted, a downward spiral is often set in motion. Employees may respond by reducing their effort and commitment, which leads misguided managers, who may interpret such employee withdrawal as petulance or unwillingness to cooperate, to treat them with even less respect.

The skilled manager, by contrast, understands that the first steps on the pathway to superior performance are to place as much control of work in the hands of employees as their capabilities allow and to support their autonomous accomplishment of meaningful goals. The enlightened leader knows to treat people with dignity.

For bosses that lack these basic leadership attributes, may I suggest they read “The Leader who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma for starters.

PM not President

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

One big lie passed around in the social media by the Government opposition forces, blew up in their faces after the Special Parliament Sitting on Friday to Appoint the President.

The anti-Government forces have been circulating that our current Prime Minister will become the next President, the AG to become the Prime Minister and the Military and Police be headed by Fijians of Indians descent.

SODELPA MP’s walked out of Parliament believing that the proposed appointment was illegal and may affect any major decision such as the upcoming election and should be referred to the Supreme Court of Fiji for interpretation.

Wow, the whole of Fiji love our current President and the law has a provision that he could be re-appointed for another three years. Even the Opposition NFP MP’s agree to the re-appointment of His Excellency, so there is no point in taking this matter to the Supreme Court.

The 2018 General Election should be announced soon with the re-appointment of our President and I pray that we will all continue to pray for the divine appointment though our one vote of leaders and a Government that will continue to put Fijians first.

Tui Labasa

Satish Nakched, Suva

I wish to hearty congratulate my class mate of yester years Jone Qomate as the new installed Tui Labasa. We were in the same class at Levuka Public School but had two Jones that caused a lot of confusion so the first Jone Qomate was referred to as Jone Q and the other one namely Jone Usamate was known as Jone U. May the Lord guide you in your new role, Ratu.

Taxi permit

Prem Kumar, Nasinu

I am told that some people have been trying to get a taxi permit for a very long time and each time they try, they have been unsuccessful. I am also told that there are some people who have as many as 70 permits. I am also told that there are some people who have as many as

How is it possible for one person to get so many permits while some have none

Election campaign

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

Political parties across the globe and including Fiji are learning that along with advertising on traditional mediums such as television and newspapers, they must invest in digital marketing if they want to compete with their rival parties.

Overall, politicians of all parties across the globe now understand the value of social media in speaking directly to voters and heavily impacting the results of their campaigns. Social media advertisements provide extensive targeting opportunities with tailored messages for hundreds of different audiences.

The difference between a winning campaign and a losing one is that the winning one has a better strategy.

A simple rule in campaigns is to say what voters can remember.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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