October 2, 2014

This week the Staff Ombuds Office released its 2012-2014 Biennial Report.  Based on aggregate, non-identifiable data from 535 employees who used ombuds services, the report provides information about the primary workplace concerns of employees as well as new systemic recommendations for the campus to consider.

Workplace respect and civility continued to top the list of concerns brought to the Staff Ombuds Office.  In addition, the data showed an increase in employee concerns about job/role clarity and work styles.  This is likely the result of organizational change as many employees’ jobs or reporting lines changed as the campus centralized services.  The report also identified several systemic issues and accompanying recommendations regarding the staff complaint process, equity in compensation, awareness about medical leave and reasonable accommodation, and the role of work lead positions. 

On a daily basis, the Staff Ombuds Offices works with employees to increase their conflict resolution capacities by providing conflict analysis, conflict coaching, and exploring options and strategies enable employees to effectively handle workplace problems.  The Staff Ombuds Office was pleased to report that satisfaction with its services remained high.  Assessment of services survey results showed that 98% of employees stated that the ombudsperson helped them identify and evaluate options to address their concerns and 96% stated that they would use the Staff Ombuds Office again or refer others.  “Meeting with the Ombuds Office was extremely helpful.  I was surprised by how much time and care the ombudsperson took to listen to my issues.  I left with a sense that things were more hopeful,” wrote one survey respondent. 

The Staff Ombuds Office will be discussing its data, systemic issues, and recommendations to enhance the work environment with the campus groups and leadership.  Any department or unit that would like a presentation about ombuds services or its report can contact the Staff Ombuds Office at (510) 642-7823.