On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 1:38 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Anna Stillwell
> <astillw...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>>  +1 to what Oliver and Vibber said.
>>
>> The situation is still delicate, Jimmy.
>>
>> Staff are being extremely kind to one another. I was blown away by the
>> respect and care that staff showed toward *the entire situation yesterday 
>> *when
>> we met as a group*.* We were mature, measured, civil, reasonable and
>> supporting and trusting of one another. Last but not least, we were forward
>> thinking.
>
> This is great! I am glad to hear it.
>
> One thought. Given that it is a complex situation, with many
> individual reactions and experiences as Brion points out, I wonder if
> it would be good for the organization to appoint a temporary, but
> on-site, omsbud who could listen to staff needs (...and those of
> contractors, and those working closely with staff).
>
> I'm imagining someone who could both be a sounding board outside of
> current structures, and who could assist any interim ED -- who
> themselves will likely not have enough to time to do all of this and
> also run the organization. An omsbud could triage issues: from those
> requiring changes in process or even Board attention to those that can
> be dealt with in other ways. And they could provide a place for those
> who simply want to vent or discuss can do so. Ideally it would be
> someone respected, empathetic and open, and with channels and
> influence at a high level, but not someone with too much history at
> the organization -- especially not recent history.
>
> I suggest this because I worry about the emotional load on people at
> the WMF who others turn to the most -- people who are respected and
> empathetic and thus have no doubt gotten a lot of extra work to do in
> listening to their colleagues in recent months. I worry about people
> who don't feel like they have anyplace to turn.  And I worry that the
> official structures in place to report areas where change is needed
> may not be sufficient given large-scale dissatisfaction.
>
> I think Jimmy's heart is absolutely in the right place for wanting to
> listen to staff and I commend him for it, and for doing what many of
> the other trustees are likely logistically unable to do right now. But
> even he doesn't have enough time or energy to be at the WMF for a few
> months, and calmly help facilitate the organizational processing that
> seems like needs to happen. I think that needs to be a separate,
> actual position, even if just for a brief period. And ideally, such a
> position would not get in the way of but rather be able to facilitate
> and sustain the self-generated group dynamic of support and energy for
> forward momentum that Anna describes.

I think this is a fantastic suggestion. We currently have an Employee
Relations person, but an Ombudsman (who was actually promised to staff
last year) has yet to appear.

To perpetuate Anna's pattern of thankfulness, I am very very thankful
that internally these are issues we have actively begun to discuss:
both the need for specialist help with recovery (HR has been very good
at this) and the emotional cost of people taking on the role of "toxin
handler" without it being in their JD, and without it being recognised
as real work.

>
> -- Phoebe
>
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