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Dean's bulletin, 8 March 2021

Dear all,

Sometimes relationships are a major problem.

In connection with the first management council in March, the heads of department and deans participated in a workshop on victimisation. This is a course we decided to run in the autumn of 2019, but due to all the other items on the agenda this was the first opportunity to hold it. Managing victimisation is a difficult area and requires good communication above all else. It goes without saying that these problems are not lessened by the fact that we are in a pandemic; Covid-19 may not have created these problems, but it has made them more difficult to manage. In order to heal wounded relationships, more contact is needed, not less.

It was a good workshop and I think we all took something very useful away from it. Most importantly of all, perhaps, is an understanding of the formal processes that are activated when reports of victimisation are made. This is necessarily a long process. We should not expect any quick results and the purpose of the process is to heal, not to judge. The employer's responsibility is to create the conditions for a good work environment and these efforts focus on how this can be achieved.

I am convinced that we need more training in this area, more knowledge about what we can and cannot do and more insight into how these problems grow silently and can only be handled and solved through an open dialogue. This is a difficult topic and many of us are a little overwhelmed at the challenge. There is a lot of room for improvement at all levels of our organisation and we need to start at the top.

Sometimes relationships are a fantastic resource.

As we are now entering the second year of the pandemic, it is clear that what constitutes an item in short supply can change over time. In the early spring of 2020, it was difficult to find pasta, yeast and toilet paper. Next there was a shortage of healthcare spaces and we now have, despite fantastic efforts in research and development, difficulty in obtaining vaccines at the desired pace. The biggest shortage of all, however, is now enthusiasm. In the working life that we considered normal until 2019, we had constant access to other people and we could draw strength, joy and enthusiasm from the flow of influences. Much was unplanned, unforeseen, random. A discussion over coffee or a meeting in the corridor could elevate a day to a whole new level and make us happier, stronger and more open people – everything we want our workplace to represent.

I sometimes have a hard time generating the energy and enthusiasm needed to drive work forward now, but fortunately I have people around me who have that energy. I am constantly impressed by those who manage to convey that vital energy, the contagious enthusiasm that penetrates right into the soul of a sceptic. It could be at a virtual conference, a meeting with employees or during a walk in the park that it happens – that magical meeting that fills you with enthusiasm. I am infinitely grateful for the energy that others give me on a daily basis and that helps me endure and persevere. To all of you who have the energy for that little extra: a kind word, a nice suggestion, a good laugh, a smile – thank you! Your concern for the rest of us means more than you can ever know. Keep sharing your enthusiasm. You're saving lives.

Sven Lidin, dean