University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Does the UCPH workplace assessment of 2022 reflect the real world?

Workplace assessment — Did you read that news item on KUnet about the University of Copenhagen’s latest (UCPH) workplace assessment? Did you feel that it did not reflect your own local workplace assessment and the working environment that you know personally in your daily life?

In the HK trade union chapter at UCPH we could not recognise ourselves in the management interpretation of this year’s workplace assessment. So we question whether UCPH has chosen the right tool to assess how things are going in this workplace.

We agreed that the design of the questions leads to a fuzzy image of the working environment at UCPH. There are no real options to answer the questions precisely, just like Associate Professor Lars Holmberg from the Faculty of Law said on the University Post previously.

Is it okay for UCPH to have a red-tagged, bad, workplace assessment in some units? No! This is unacceptable in such a large workplace.

The questions are written in such general terms that they are difficult to answer specifically. When you, for example, are asked whether you encounter difficulties in your work, and whether you generally feel secure in being able to handle them — well, everyone can probably answer both yes and no depending on the type of task. This is generally the case for almost all the questions, and when it is not possible to explain yourself in text, and you choose a positive response, the workplace assessment becomes misleading.

Everything is boiled together into one soup, regardless of units, departments and faculties. From groups in local units where the staff well-being is at danger-level red, right up to the bright-green management assessment of their own ability to manage. Such a general overview means that you can say nothing specific about the working environment at UCPH. A result in the yellow centre of the scale is interpreted by UCPH as positive, like in the news item on 30 May.

We ask rector whether being in the middle of the field is good enough for UCPH. He apparently does not think so in terms of the administration, which now has to go through a service check.

Assessment in the red – no gloss on this

As staff representatives and as colleagues, we do not feel that the UCPH interpretation of this year’s workplace assessment reflects reality in all areas. And we fear that excessive optimism on behalf of UCPH will have employees becoming disillusioned with their own experiences.

As employees, what do we get out of answering the questionnaire? Some colleagues find it difficult to see where their input and influence is. They wonder how there will be changes to all the negative aspects that are hidden behind a whole series of fifty/fifty responses, and which are not given a place in the full picture.


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If employees cannot relate the workplace assessment, we risk that any involvement of employees in finding solutions will evaporate. After all, who wants to spend time and effort on a workplace that you feel is, at best, a sham, because here everything is about keeping up appearances? Who wants to seriously take on the issues, if the boss can just say that it all looks very good as a whole?

The individual manager and the staff liaison committees cannot – as we see it – use these results to rectify the problems that are found out in the units.

Is it okay for UCPH to have a red-tagged, bad, workplace assessment in some units? No! This is unacceptable in such a large workplace.

For ordinary employees, it feels as if the workplace questionnaire is designed to present a nice, glossy picture of UCPH. You could ask: Does management want the employees’ honest opinion or is it more satisfying to be able to say that everything is going fine, and then sweep everything else under the carpet?