I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)
Attractive campus, generous holiday entitlement, parking, working for an organisation that makes a real difference to peoples' lives
Weak management, an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation that is ignored or condoned. The central HR Department has a reputation for being a particularly unpleasant place to work with several HR Partners and managers having a reputation throughout the university for their bullying manner and having little empathy for colleagues on lower grades, colleagues with illnesses or family issues. This attitude has spread into the individual HR teams based in each Faculty or department. With HR being the worst offenders and failing to act as role models for the rest of the organisation, there is little hope that the culture of bullying and intimidation that is developing will improve.
There is little scope for progression and no defined career paths or training and progression schemes. Staff can ask for their roles to be regraded but regrades are rarely successful and need to be approved and submitted by line management.
The workforce lacks diversity with the majority being white and middle class and middle aged. Few men in lower grade support roles and few women in senior positions.
Little niggles such as a laughably ineffective system for booking annual leave, constant illthought out system and process changes all add to a workforce who are frustrated and increasingly disengaged.
Advice to Management
Provide adequate training for line managers so that they can deal with situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner. Take steps to discipline line management who are not performing or behaving appropriately. Encourage more diversity in the workplace.
I worked at The Open University (Less than a year)
Parking, nice campus, excellent pension and holidays. Excellent work life balance and flexible hours.
This has been the worst employment of my life. No recognition of any work well done (apart from the odd exception). Line management is weak and unhelpful and only interested in covering their backside. No fun to be had. Everyone is expected to get on with their work and any talking or laughing is met with heavy disdain. There is much telling off for doing things wrong but no praise for doing it right so if you are in any way thin skinned, AVOID. It's hell on earth and about as much fun as hard labour in a Victorian workhouse.
Advice to Management
Simply the organisation. Far too many stakeholders and a massive culture of mistrust and backside-covering.
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