Tip of the Week - Enhancing accountability

Published: Wednesday 6th April 2016

The importance of fostering accountability across the University was identified as a key issue by ACU’s management and discussed at the last Leading and Managing in the ACU Context Conference. Results from an Leadership Excellence Review undertaken in 2015 showed that ACU managers and leaders rated fostering the 'accountability of self and others‘ as one of the top two challenges for embedding a culture of excellence across ACU.

At the conference, Chief Operating Officer Dr Stephen Weller emphasised that good leadership relies on influence, persuasion and building a culture of empowerment, not on authority.

“If you’re going to try to create a culture of empowerment, you have to work at it constantly,” Dr Weller said.

Good leadership also requires managers to give candid feedback to assist their staff to improve and to be more effective. Dr Weller said timely feedback should be given throughout the year, and it is important to hold annual performance reviews (PRPs) with each staff member.  Alongside constructive feedback on areas for improvement, he said managers should also focus on giving positive feedback about the contributions that staff have made through their work.

“In my view, you shouldn’t ever seek to hold others accountable. You should seek to have others hold themselves accountable,” Dr Weller said.  “If you have reached a point where you have to hold others to account so that they will do their work, then you’ve reached the problematic end of a relationship.”

Enhancing accountability, fostering empowerment

ACU managers, and professional and academic staff, each have an important role to play in building a culture of empowerment across the University. Below is a range of upcoming workshops that explore the components of enhancing accountability. Register today to gain knowledge and techniques that will boost your own skills and that of your team.

Leadership and Accountability of the Supervisor Program

Module 1 - Brisbane; Canberra; Melbourne; North Sydney 13 April – 6 May
Module 2 - Brisbane; Canberra; Melbourne; North Sydney 2 - 23 August

This tailor-made program for ACU’s managers and supervisors contains four modules that will support you to respond confidently to changes in the sector, understand the organisation of ACU and make sound decisions based on robust evaluation of business needs. The program will equip you with strong leadership skills that are transportable across the sector, and participants will have the opportunity to sit an exam to obtain a Certificate in Foundations of Directorship from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the end of the four modules.  The Module 1 topic ‘Understanding the Organisation’ will cover the University’s operating environment including its legislative and regulatory environments, policies, procedures and business rules. Module 2 ‘Governance’ will cover the various laws, regulations, internal control mechanisms, committees and the association with workplace matters and issues.

Professional Staff Performance Review and Planning (PRP)

Information video conference for staff - 14 April, 25 May
Information video conference for supervisors - 19 April, 26 May

The Performance Review and Planning (PRP) process provides a key framework at ACU in building a culture of performance excellence which facilitates the alignment of each staff member's work with organisational and strategic priorities.  This information session will assist you in understanding the PRP process, and how to have an effective PRP conversation.

Academic Workload Policy

VIdeo conference: 7 April, 5 May

Are you familiar with the components of the Academic Workload Policy and how they may relate to your role as an academic staff member? These lunchbox sessions give an overview of the major components of the Academic Workload Policy and include an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.

Time Management

Video conference 28 April

Staff are faced with a number of work pressures and competing deadlines, and it can be difficult to start and finish the required tasks without feeling under pressure.  This workshop will provide you with effective time management strategies to work smarter, not harder, and to achieve more!

Having Difficult Conversations

Ballarat; Brisbane; Melbourne; North Sydney; Strathfield 3 May – 9 June

This workshop will empower you as a manager to be in control of a difficult conversation at all stages, so that you can achieve the desired outcome.

Work-Life Effectiveness

Video Conference - 16 May

This session in the Work-Life Balance Series provides practical tools for understanding how to manage the numerous and sometimes conflicting demands placed on us by our personal and work roles.

Coaching for managers

Introduction session - Ballarat; Brisbane; Canberra; Melbourne; North Sydney; Strathfield- 7 July - 1 September
Continued practice session – webinar - 20 Oct

Workplace coaching is a technique for unlocking potential and creating peak performance among your team. These workshops aim to teach the key skills of coaching to help teams solve tough problems, set goals, and learn on the job.  The continued practice session will facilitate a practical and interactive learning environment in which to refresh your knowledge and practice the skills you acquired in the introduction session.

Academic Staff Performance Review and Planning Program (PRP) Information Sessions for Supervisors
For supervisors: video conference 3 August, 13 October, 15 November
For staff: video conference 17 August, 6 October, 1 November
The Performance Review and Planning (PRP) process provides a key framework at ACU in building a culture of performance excellence which facilitates the alignment of each staff member's work with organisational and strategic priorities.  This information session will assist you in understanding the PRP process, and how to have an effective PRP conversation.

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