My job responsibilities have changed from when I was hired. What is the process for becoming compensated for these changes?
You may want to first ask for a copy of your job description from Human Resources. Compare your job with what is written. If there is a big discrepancy, you need to talk with your supervisor to see if these are permanent changes in your responsibilities. If so, you would want to fill out a PDQ form (position description questionnnaire), which can be downloaded through the University Human Resources (UHR) web page on OU Forms. This needs to be approved through the highest level of your planning unit before it is submitted to UHR.
Your position may be re-evaluated to be either a promotion or change of administrative pay grade. Salary increases are retroactive to when they were first submitted to UHR.
Call the University Human Resources if you have questions about this process. You can read more about this in the OU Policies and Procedures, Administrative and Professional Pay Plan (40.036).
Can I put the university "on notice" about my problem by telling the Ombudsman?
No. Because of the unique, informal, problem-solving role of the Office of the Ombudsman, speaking to the Ombudsman about a concern does not constitute "notice" to the university that the problem exists, nor is speaking to the Office of the Ombudsman a step in any applicable grievance process. Anyone wishing to "put the university on notice" may contact an administrator or invoke a formal grievance process. The Office of the Ombudsman can provide referral information about who to contact for anyone seeking to use administrative or formal grievance processes.
What about confidentiality?
The Office of the Ombudsman is firmly committed to maintaining the confidentiality of those who use our services. We keep no official records of client names, affiliations or grievances. The discussions, issues, concerns or problems you present to the Ombudsman remain in strict confidence. If you wish for a problem or complaint to go "on the record," the Ombudsman will refer you to the appropriate office or person. This confidentiality cannot be "waived" by users of the office because the privilege of confidentiality belongs to the Office of the Ombudsman, not to the users of the office.
The office is very tense and none of us work well. What can we do?
“Tenseness” and “not working well” are very uncomfortable sensations to have in the workplace. In general, if many people in an area are feeling like this, then the situation will not get better by ignoring the problem. No one likes to be uncomfortable at work.
If you feel it would be helpful to explore a particular situation, you need to contact the Ombudsman or University Human Resources. The Ombudsman could meet with you alone and/or with the parties involved to discuss how the work environment could be improved. UHR provides professional training and development, which can focus on teamwork and building a collaborative workplace.
Remember that each workplace has its own purpose, procedures and norms. Sometimes the issues are just as much about the workflow process or resources as it is about the people involved.
What do I do if the person I supervise and I just don’t get along?
Without knowing the specifics of each case, interpersonal relations are very hard to evaluate. The feelings you have about your situation are very real and hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to make your situation better. There are many strategies for working out conflicts. One way to address the feeling of “not getting along” is to talk with your supervisee about specific situations when they arise. Try to use “I” statements and focus the conversation on the context of the person's behavior related to the job (i.e., “I felt frustrated when I thought that we had clearly gone over the assignment and it wasn’t done the way I had asked. Try to avoid things like “you never get it right”).
Everyone has different temperaments and work styles. Sometimes just understanding those differences makes it easier to work with other people.
If you feel you have tried to discuss problems which have occured, you may be interested in trying mediation, available to all OU employees for workplace-related conflicts. As a supervisor, it may be helpful to have someone else organize and facilitate the discussion between you and your supervisee. The Office of the Ombudsman can assist with arranging mediation, or you can contact the Athens Area Mediation Service at 594-6169. Its services are free to OU work units. For further information, please see Mediation for OU Employees.
If you feel as though the reason "you don't get along" is related to race or gender, your situation may need a different response. If you would like to discuss options for how to respond to different situations which have come up, contact the Office of the Ombudsman, University Human Resources, the Vice President for Dversity and Inclusion, or the Office for Institutional Equity.