We must not forget the SDDs despite COVID-19!
Even though many of us are again working from home due to the COVID-19 situation, the annual staff development dialogues, or SDD, are still important. These dialogues are absolutely central to ensuring our continued development as employees – and thus AU’s development as well.
We’re most likely heading into an unpredictable autumn: due to the COVID-19 pandemic , we may need to work from home much more than we had ever expected at the beginning of 2020. This is the reality we have to work with for the rest of the year – and probably also in 2021.
It’s very important to me that the development of the administration must not come to a standstill, even though we are challenged by the circumstances. And the SDD dialogues have a key role to play in this connection: this is where employees have a chance to reflect on and plan their professional development in dialogue with their manager. It’s both about developing personal and professional competencies and aligning expectations with your manager about your tasks and well-being. All of this is an important precondition for our ability to contribute to the university’s activities and to AU as a workplace, not matter what our job function is.
Unfortunately, the 2019 WPA showed that not all employees are offered an SDD, which is mandatory. It also indicated that employees and managers could probably get even more out of the dialogues. I said it last year. And it bears repeating: We have to do something about this.
SDDs are a shared responsibility, and I strongly encourage both managers and employees to set aside time to prepare for and carry out the dialogues. Quite simply, doing so increases the likelihood that both employees and the organisation will develop, even though COVID-19 has created new framework for our everyday lives.
In preparation for the SDDs, teams and units should consider holding so-called group development dialogues (GRUS). These can also take place online, and can provide groups with a shared understanding of goals, tasks and division of responsibility.
I hear more and more positive reports about GRUS: that this kind of group discussion provides a better framework for the SDDs and a better overview of how best to develop in a direction that creates value, both for the individual and the unit you are a part of. HR is ready to help if you need help to get started.