How To Improve University Leadership
High education is now facing many challenges. Leaders are needed in order to motivate staffs and make sure universities actually remain relevant in modern education. Most people employed by universities lack the leadership needed for future developments. Improvements are needed but how can they be done? Kevin Rolle highlights important advice to remember.
Build Development Opportunities
It is important to have opportunities in place for people that have potential and ambition to progress. Those working in universities right now believe formal leadership position pathways are not clear. Leaving the university to progress a career is much rarer than in other industries.
Leadership opportunities need to be proactively communicated and highly accessible in order to prevent having a leader deficit and a high staff turnover. What can be used is introducing formal mentoring schemes. 90% of those that had mentors in the past did benefit from it.
Proactively Improve Diversity
We can easily notice an under-representation in management and leadership positions for women coming from minority and black ethnic groups, just as with women. Staff did report a high awareness of difficulties these groups face when referring to senior level progression.
Universities have to understand BME and women experiences as staff. The truth is that diversity increases through sector leadership can clearly be improved. It needs to be a priority to jumpstart overall leadership change.
Officially Address The Balance Between Work And Life
Dealing with a heavy workload will put high pressure on the personal life of those that occupy a leadership position. One clear gender difference does appear though. Around 2 thirds of the female academic leaders are unhappy with the work-life balance they have. Only 1 third of the male academics have the same feeling. It is quite clear that women see work-life balance changes as a deterrent to look for leadership positions.
While universities do stand out as really good at developing flexible policies, active implementation and a systemic monitoring of workloads at an individual level would improve them. All leadership teams have a role in influencing the culture of the organization but few actually address what is happening and what staff needs to face.
Attracting Leaders That Have Outside Experience
The leaders that have a wide professional background range offer universities brand new experience and insights. This helps to tackle the evolving challenges, especially around areas like reputation risk management. There is a current increase in how many appointments happen in services from businesses. The move can be mirrored in academics through the creation of leadership opportunities coming from people that have management experience.
Analyze Potential Leaders And Their Motivations
Last but not least, it is always a good idea to have a proper understanding of motivations behind aspiring to leadership positions. Understanding motivations is necessary to create the proper development opportunities. Research shows that challenging work engaging, growth opportunities and autonomy exercising are all important motivating factors. They are needed for potential leaders, together with a desire to be more active and contribute even more to education.