Culture change a focus
A ‘‘refreshing’’ change in leadership and focus on ‘‘fostering cultural change’’ is helping rebuild the Otago Regional Council, the chief executive says.
It was revealed at a recent council meeting the ORC has paid out $236,750 in personal grievance cases since 2014, amid claims of a ‘‘bullying culture’’ and ‘‘lack of leadership’’ by the executive team.
The majority, $180,500, was paid to four staff with individual claims of $55,000, $50,000, $45,500 and $30,000 in the financial year to June 30, 2016.
Anonymous letters were sent to councillors in 2015 claiming there was a lack of leadership and bullying culture, and a staff survey conducted in 2015 revealed widespread staff dissatisfaction with the executive management.
Chief executive Peter Bodeker said the council had made ‘‘progressive and constructive improvements’’ following the survey.
‘‘I think it is important to note that the make-up of our executive management team is different to when the survey was carried out and this in itself has brought about different perspectives, approaches and styles to the ORC leadership team, I believe this has been refreshing.
‘‘In any organisation, there will invariably be a minority who struggle to embrace change, and although it can be difficult to see long serving staff members leave the organisation, change in personnel over time is not uncommon to any work place.’’
Bodeker, who was appointed chief executive in 2012, said it was ’’natural and expected’’ a new chief executive in any organisation would bring a fresh perspective, new approach and their own leadership style. Fostering cultural change had been a priority of his, he said.
‘‘But this is not something which happens overnight. ORC is fortunate to have a high calibre and professional staff, who I believe enjoy working for ORC.’’