Actueel Van de OR: In the eye of the storm

Van de OR: In the eye of the storm

Fred Duijn 12 september 2017

With all these hurricanes dominating the news, I wonder about a relative calm in our organization after the Summer break. Or is there? So many changes are ongoing and being prepared at our ministry: are we perhaps sitting in the eye of our own storm?

The most visible change is the move to new office spaces in The Hague. Not only have we moved location, we are also taking a quantum leap in the use of open office spaces. How is this working (or not) for you?

On your minds are surely also your experiences with the new personnel policy. Are you now more in control of your own career, as intended? In addition, do you believe that because if it, our ministry is now better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges?

What about the centralization of management support units from our missions to The Hague? Does this look like a step forward? Or are you amongst those who doubt the expected impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of our work?

Much depends on leadership. On 15 March 2017 we had our parliamentary elections and on 5 April the joint works councils of the different departments asked the ‘informateur’ (the person charged with facilitating the formation of a new government) to slow down the pace of changes that are that are being loaded upon the civil service.

I sincerely hope that message comes across. Sure, we must adapt and improve as an organization. Perhaps change has always been ‘the new normal’, but piling change upon change comes with a risk: the overview of its effects gets lost. Moreover, we need to be careful with people. I like to see stress related sick leave reduced immediately.

The Netherlands needs a foreign policy with impact. At every level and in every corner of the world our employees must be the best they can be. This askes for a personnel policy and working conditions in which talent can flourish. Years of cutbacks have not been helpful to say the least. To achieve results it is time to make investing in our ministry the new normal.

At the Works Council we are constantly assessing what is best for you, your family and our organization. Would you agree with this sense of sitting in the eye of a storm? Are we at a critical turning point? Please let the VDBZ know what you think, experience and need.

Fred Duijn

OR-voorzitter, VDBZ-fractieleden in de OR