Action plan, new management in place to address problems, college says
There are problems with morale and leadership at the College of the North Atlan-tic’s Qatar (CNA-Q) campus, according to an independent workplace assessment report obtained by The Telegram.
The review was done by Hill Advisory Services Inc. and dated April 25, 2010, the day before Education Minister Darin King told the House of Assembly some employees of the Qatar campus were overpaid by an estimated total of $5 million.
The workplace assessment was commissioned after the implementation of a respectful workplace policy.
Consultants interviewed 25 people at the campus, including managers and senior executives during their review.
Here are some of the findings:
• 83 per cent ranked morale at the school at four or lower on a scale of one to 10.
• 68 per cent felt a change was needed at the senior management level.
• 67 per cent reported favouritism and unequal treatment.
• 77 per cent said management meetings were top-down and non-consultive.
• 50 per cent felt concerns raised during surveys were not dealt with, at least not in a timely manner.
• Some of those interviewed “felt non-renewal of contracts was used as a way to ‘get rid of them’ if they were not liked or not in favour.”
• Some of those interviewed said they were “losing good people because of these issues.”
“Our general observation was that participants expressed worry over how CNA-Q was functioning because of favouritism, micromanagement, internal politics and fear of reprisals,” states the report.
But it also issues this caveat.
“It is important to note that feelings, perceptions and assumptions are not always factual — but nevertheless, heavily influence the interpersonal interactions with others in the (work) environment,” it states.
That’s why the consultants are recommending a further study to find out if the results are fact or just perception.
The report says everyone involved must co-operate with and commit to any plan to improve the situation.
“Failure to do so may sabotage any positive outcomes that could result from changes to the (workplace) environment,”
College president Bruce Hollett told The Telegram Friday that he went to Qatar to meet with management to discuss how to solve some of the problems identified in the report.
“We took the issues that were identified in that report ... quite seriously,” he said.
“We talked about some of the issues that were there and we talked about possible solutions for them.”
From there, said Hollett, an action plan was put in place to address the issues.
That action plan is being implemented and Hollett said officials will keep watch on how the plan is working.
Hollett also said that as of this fall there is a new president of the Qatar campus as well as a new vice-president of finance and administration — who is also responsible for human resources.