Blog entries

Have you talked to your manager this year?

The strength of the university depends on its staff, and Staff Development Dialogues (SDDs) are the cornerstone to secure the continued development of the organisation. This autumn, it will again be time for one of the year’s most important dialogues at a workplace like ours, and I’d like to suggest that even more of us should have SDDs at AU.

Of course, we’re all different. Each of us has our own tasks, competences, responsibilities and wishes. To me personally, it's very important to stay curious about my workplace and the opportunities and needs embodied in a place like AU. I'll be going to my SDD soon, and I'm very much looking forward to it. Mine will take place with the rector, just as I will be holding SDDs with the deputy directors and administrative centre managers in October and November.

I hope that you’ll discuss the many opportunities you have for professional development. This may be through continuing education, courses, peer-to-peer training, job-rotation schemes, new assignments and many other exciting opportunities. For example, the Digitalisation Strategy will entail needs for new competences, as the digital transformation of AU begins to take shape.

This year’s workplace assessment (WPA) has hinted that a lot of people didn’t have SDDs last year. Of course, there may be very good reasons for this, but it's important for me to make it clear that I expect everyone to be given the opportunity to hold an SDD this year.

Firstly, there is a formal requirement for an SDD, and secondly, it’s an important and value-adding dialogue that supports development for both the individual and the university. At the same time, the SDD ensures that there is focus on well-being at the workplace for the individual, and that there is scope for discussing everyday life at work with your immediate supervisor.

The manager’s responsible for ensuring that an SDD is held, but it is a joint task to hold the dialogue in the spirit intended: an open and free dialogue between a manager and an employee which ensures that individual competencies remain in line with the organisation’s development.

I hope that there’ll be a lot of positive talk in all corners of our university over the next few months, when the SDDs are being held. Of course, you can always talk to your immediate supervisor on a daily basis about anything under the sun, but this annual SDD is an opportunity to take a step back together - to look at the big picture and figure out how we can each contribute to the future of Aarhus University.

I wish you all a fruitful SDD.