Dilemmas to contemplate

28 May 2019

AKTUM The project group for the common basic values work has worked intensely for years on gathering informational material to work on and discuss at all workplaces.

"IT'S IMPORTANT TO get the chance to practise handling tough everyday dilemmas in a comfortable environment, at workplace meetings or planning days," says Anna Mothander.

She has been project manager for the work with common basic values, which has dealt with the comments received from university employees.

"A large amount of material came in up to the beginning of 2018," says Anna Mothander. "Since then, we've worked to develop a number of dilemmas — 47 dilemmas, to be precise — to try to produce a written product to discuss."

In March, when Anna Mothander and the project group decided to do an exercise with the informational material they put together, a pilot group at the Faculty Office of Medicine was picked out to discuss some dilemmas.

The path towards this exercise, however, required a significant amount of effort. The material would be put into more concrete terms, so that its intentions would be clear. This shows how employees at Umeå University can relate to the national common basic values for central government employees.

"WE'VE DEVELOPED A website, and have compiled a 'dilemma bank'. We've produced a book. We've put together tutorial material. We've made a folder that all employees will receive and we've developed four films on common basic values," says Anna Mothander.

The 47 dilemmas in the dilemma bank are intended as a support function in the training process, so that individuals can develop their abilities to handle tough situations and help build a good working culture.

The dilemmas that are discussed in the informational material are not entirely simple to provide clear and consistent answers to.

"There aren't any answers to these dilemmas. It's often an issue of grey zones. Perhaps we can agree at our workplace on how to act when a similar situation arises."
It is not enough, however, to say that you have read the book and folder, and seen the films to be prepared if there is a problem.

"We haven't previously developed products in this way, but it's also the leader's responsibility to create a role model for the common basic values and provide the opportunity to have a dialogue on values," says Anna Mothander. "This is a constant work in progress that must continue. We can't stop here."


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