Why we should not be “doing more with less”

What are the programs that are most important to us? What ways of doing things are most efficient? What will we stop doing? The latter question can be the most difficult to answer. Many of you worry that with position eliminations, those who are left behind will be left to do more with less. These are significant and possibly legitimate fears – that staff reductions to date have resulted in additional workload on those left behind.

As leaders, we must make difficult decisions and we must stop doing some important work in order to focus on our priorities. It is the responsibility of leaders across the university and at every level of authority, to ensure the work they assign is aligned with the university’s priorities for learning and discovery. We strengthen our priorities by putting our resources more squarely behind them. It is equally important to make focused decisions about what to stop doing. If we don’t make clear decisions about what we will stop doing, we risk losing this opportunity to focus on our priorities. In the short-term, help your leaders and yourselves by identifying and discussing work that could be stopped in order to focus more on higher-priority work. In the longer term we must work together on our shared services initiative to create a better designed organization that provides a better way to organize our work, creates more specialized support services and steps into a better support service model.

Greg and Brett

One thought on “Why we should not be “doing more with less”

  1. I would be curious about the feedback recieved following the adjustments/terminations back several months ago. I know leadership talked about the cuts meaning that some tasks would need to be scaled back/eliminated. But I wonder at whether those task/service changes actually happened or whether all the tasks are simply piled onto fewer shoulders? That is a very common result of workforce cuts – creating more stress and workload on fewer people who may already be feeling some degree of survivor guilt/stress.

    Has there been any amount of feedback on this topic from the people who were tasked with activities formerly performed by their co-workers who were terminated? Has there been any proactive effort by the leadership teams to assess the impact of the changes on the workload of the remaining staff, before it leads to stress related illness and people voluntarily leaving the organization for better/less overloaded positions with other employers?

    I suggest that a proactive effort should have been initiated early after the adjustments were made. In lieu of that, perhaps a check in now would be valuable. Perhaps going forward a plan to have this type of check in on a regular basis following the upcoming changes from TransformUS would be useful.

    A short survey could accomplish this – but if it is done as a one time only or annual survey I would suggest that it would not be of much value. My personal belief (especially after reading some Balanced Scorecard materials) is that this could be a valuable tool to identify concerns early in the implementation process. Hopefully, something like this can be worked into the TransformUS implementation.

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