Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7594

Sherry L. Gould (s_gould@conknet.com)
Sat, 25 May 1996 00:08:53 -0400

Replying to LO7563 --

Rol states:

>I would go further, however, in a number of directions on this issue. I
>would argue that your social work organization is, by its policies and
>practices, creating the very situation you are having such a hard time
>overcoming. The workload being put on the social workers is such that
>they cannot get all the work done and do a good job with their case load
>at the same time. I'm not really speculating on this. I have seen dozens
>of social work agencies in action, and they all operate with a clear
>disregard for the workload of their staff. I am speculating only in that
>I am extrapolating to your organization.

I would totally agree that many agencies, maybe even most, do the above.
We have honestly worked to reduce the paperwork time for all workers.
The work I am referring to consists of one, fill in the blank, one page
report per week, for a case load of two or three. The issue for us, IMHO,
is that the team honestly wants to have more control over their work. If
they choose to devote a full 40 hours to providing quality time to kids, and
leave the annoying reports to off hours, they do not want to be told they
can not have that option.

I was not fishing for solutions. The problem of two hours a week to whip
out a report is not the problem as I see it. Neither was four hours of
overtime pay. All the feedback from my original post has focused the
issue in my mind on the need for reform of regulations in a changing work

>By the way, you may force people not to do the work in the office, but
>they will take it home with them and do it there.

This is not an option in our case as one needs the records to complete the
report and the record is needed at the program at all times. If staff are
motivated to do something extra, not required, on their own time, at home,
I am not motivated to prohibit their energy. I am required to state that
I do not expect nor approve of people taking "their work" home with them.

BTW, in response to other posts, I have worked for for profits and other
non profits and have been self employed with and without my husband.
The "why would the big boys..." statement comes from my experience in
all work except for my self employment and my current employment. Our
program consistently shows a healthy bottom line and is commended from
inside and outside the agency for quality programing for children.

We are working on an agenda for an all staff retreat around LO issues for
our team. I would say a need is taking shape here, (are you reading,
Malcolm?). The larger organization has just asked for one of our direct
line staff to join in a team based training initiative. I am thankful
that I have the freedom within our organization to explore and utilize
pertinent methodologies. I am also thankful that I have this group to
learn and grow with. As I have shared some of your responses with the
management team, they have expressed a sense of validation and gratitude.

Sherry Gould

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>