You have probably seen several invitations to fill in a survey organised by the University of East Anglia on the EU institutions and its staff. The survey is about our organisation and
about our working methods. It is part of an important study that provides an insight into how our organisation functions and is managed today.
Your contribution by filling in the survey would be important in order to give rich and diverse information to the researchers from all corners of the Commission.
Generation 2004 is thus tempted to encourage you to fill in the survey and to promote it among your colleagues, with 2 caveats though:
- The survey is rather time consuming. The invitation indicates 30 minutes, if you are not familiar with the questions expect rather 60 minutes.
- The intention of the survey is good, what HR will do with it might not be so good. Just looking at the results of the previous University of East Anglia survey: link
it looks like their recommendations have been put in the dust bin by DG HR. See for instance page 24 which stated that (in 2014):
- A large segment of staff are dissatisfied with the current appraisal system. Although the system has been reformed several times over the past decade, a further change may be necessary if staff are to feel confident that appraisal provides a genuine assessment of their achievements and performance. In devising a more satisfactory scheme, the Commission may be able to learn from systems used in other international organizations and public administrations.
- The Commission may wish to re-examine the opportunities for staff employed on fixed-term contracts as temporary agents or contract staff to become permanent officials. Where such employees have demonstrated their abilities, investment in their recruitment and training will have been wasted if the possibility of continuing to work in the organization remains a remote possibility.
- given the high percentage of assistants who are recruited with qualifications that are higher than the threshold educational requirement, the Commission should consider whether the expectations of staff in this group need to be better managed and should review pathways into other roles.
Ms Souka and the senior management of DG HR could not care less about the recommendations above, so the idea that the East Anglia study will “inform reflections on the Commission’s development during this mandate and beyond” as announced in the invitation sounds like wishful thinking.
So our take on the East Anglia Survey: fill it in if you have an hour to spare but do not work overtime for something that will most probably have a very limited impact.