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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 06:40

Council of Governors management and staff switch roles

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Mahtma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”. Acquiring knowledge should not be something meant for those in school alone but for everyone. Spread your wings by learning from others and even those in a different field from your area of expertise. That way you are able to understand what other professionals do or go through.
On Friday 24th October, the Council of Governors Secretariat embarked on a ‘Departmental Switch’, an exercise that is supposed to allow the staff to have an experience of working in other departments and equally to allow them experience what other colleagues in the other departments go through. Everyone had to move away from their comfort zones and explore areas of improvement on service delivery.
Picture this, ‘being served a hot cup of tea, with nicely buttered bread and to add icing to the cake, an apple to complete your breakfast, and guess what? All of it free! Isn’t that wonderful? Now, let’s go a notch higher, the person whose serving your tea, is the Head of HR in your institution and her wonderful team,’ well that, actually happened. Well that’s not all, imagine, being left in your department as the ‘Head of the department’ and you have to give guidance to the CEO of the institution because, this is not her ‘usual’ working day, and she gets to experience your typical day as a procurement officer. What do you imagine goes through your head? ‘May be she will now understand the work I do on a day to day basis’. This actually happened and the CEO actually attended to suppliers, issued supplies to the various departments, received memos, followed up on memos, you name it. While at it, a Governor walks in and expects to find the usual face of the CEO seated on her desk, shock on him, it’s someone else, a familiar face but not the CEO. He went like, ‘Where is the CEO?’ the response, ‘I am the CEO for the day,’’ he nods his head, and walks away, on his way out, he asks for his secretary and is told, that she is operating from the administration department, ‘Why?’ he asks, ‘There’s a Departmental Switch and everyone today is not in their usual department,’ the CEO’s new secretary responds. ‘Well, that makes sense, I was beginning to wonder what was happening to the institution, well can I talk to the CEO?’ he inquires, ‘Yes, the CEO is in the Procurement department and your secretary is in the Administration department.” He moves to the departments and after having a chat with the CEO and his secretary, walks away impressed noting that he must initiate the same concept in his County.
The day goes by as the technical team becomes Communication & ICT experts, lawyers become programme officers, programme officers become lawyers, communication people become finance experts and so much more.
At around lunch time, there are departments that still have very busy schedules and they have to complete their tasks before the close of business but all in all, it turns out to be a very educative, productive and fun day for all the participants and they had something to share and talk about. At the end of the initiative, one of the managers decides to give a treat his new support staff and buys pizza for the team.
As Mrs. Mogeni, the CEO always says, ‘A good organization must operate like a well-oiled engine, the smoother the parts the better it works and as an institution, we play the supportive role of ensuring that County Governments receive the best support and by and large the development of the Country is dependent on the hard work we put.’ In a top down organogram, the ‘Departmental Switch’ allows all the staff to understand and bear each other’s burden, to foster team work and appreciative norm among the staff. The initiative is conducted on a quarterly basis a knowledge sharing activity that enables the staff to learn and understand the connectivity, functions and importance of each department. It also positively enhances communication between departments and between colleagues because it gives people an opportunity to wear their colleague’s hat and their jurisdiction that assures better operations in the institution.
The members of management also need to understand the environment and resources his/her staff have and the lengths they have to go for them to be able to deliver what they do. The employees that have the privilege to interact with the CEO’s office have the opportunity to understand why and how the CEO’s job can be taxing. With good adherence to the recommendations given from the feedback forms, it can be projected that service delivery from the Secretariat will only get better and better

Read 2389 times Last modified on Monday, 06 November 2017 07:57

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