Mätsamhället has once again become the subject of discussion. In this op-ed piece (8/11) goes Claes Sandgren in the clinch with a range of commentators and researchers believe that the increasingly widespread and intrusive measurement in the public sector is likely to create a massive bureaucratic superstructure which displace the professions. Sandgren says that the criticism is sweeping, and that ”mätkritikerna” risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
In this debate, the government has Löfven has taken a clear position. Since the takeover in 2014, with the administration Ardalan Shekarabi in the lead, pushed a ”Tillitsreform”. The ambition is to reduce this detailed regulation of the management, with a view to easing the administrative burden for the civil servants and increase their room for manoeuvre. Current control and measurement system to be toned down and the steering will become more ”tillitsbaserad”. For this purpose it has appointed a Tillitsdelegation, which shall submit its final report next fall.
the Current, and at least once a week, they should specify how they have distributed their time on the 150 possible activities, distributed in 17 areas of activity. The activities to be specified at least for each hour and a maximum for each quarter. The one who works eight hours a day shall thus report a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 32 events per day, which means a minimum 168 and maximum 672 activities per month. The authority has in the day, the 15,000 employees, which means that between 2.2 and 9.1 million activities shall be recorded each month.
Every week you should then enter the including how you slept the last night, how stressed you are, how much control you have over their lives, how satisfied they are with their social life, how the atmosphere is at work and how much control you have over their work situation.
In the internal information material sets out three reasons for this increase in administration:
• first, the increase the transparency in the authority's annual report and to strengthen confidence in the budget discussions with the government.
• secondly, it's easier for managers to plan, manage and prioritise activities.
• For the third, Time be a support for each employee ”self-leadership”.
the Idea is that the head will go through the numbers each week with their subordinates and discuss in a group, sometimes individually, if the working hours are spent on the right things.
of course, It is good to know what you are doing and to periodically reflect on the working time spent on the right things. Also, it is good that the leadership and managers develop information that will facilitate planning. But any advantages with this type of system must of course also be set against the potential disadvantages. Several questions arise:
the Cost of the Time can not be determined in the internal information materials. But suppose that an employee on average spend around five minutes per day to fill in Time. Let us also assume that the managers ' weekly follow-up meetings in a group with his subordinate takes around 30 minutes. It means that the agency's employees in total adds around 60,000 hours a month at Time. And if we assume that the average wage at the employment service is the same as in the state in general – in november 2017 was 35.200 per month, or sek 220 an hour based on the åttatimmarsdagar – the total cost for the Timing of more than 13 million in the month.
We ignore then, not only from the purchase cost of the system but also from that of the managers also may have individual talks with the employees, to each general manager shall also have the conversation with their immediate manager, each manager must prepare and contemplate the information before the conversation with their child and that all information from the Timing have to be aggregated, analyzed and compiled into reports at the central level of authority. This raises the question if the system does not cost more than what it tastes like, especially as time tracking at all is needed in order to assess the performance of the business.
In the information package states that good leadership is about identifying the employees and give feedback on what they have done, and that time reporting is a good tool for this. But in tillitsbaserat leadership is visibility rather to give employees the space, to control at a distance and with the values, and put trust in the employees to act professionally and fulfill their duties responsibly without close and continuous control. The employees can be said to ”work on assignment”; it is the quality of the results that stands in the center, and that managers should give feedback on.
In the material is asserted, it is true that the ambition of the Time is not to control, but to measure the results of the agency's activities. But the ambition is not the key here, without employee experience. And there is an imminent risk that the system creates a sense of surveillance and distrust – that the employees did not take responsibility for things they are set to do will be done in an efficient way without this control. This risk becomes hardly smaller when taking into account other control that the Employment of employees previously exposed to.
for Example, they should each day, in digital instrument ”come & go”, to fill in when they come to and go from work. They are also invited to fill in the ”Medarbetarpulsen”, which already at the time of registration of their account to indicate how many cups of coffee you drink a day and if you are married, cohabiting, särbo or have a registered partnership. Each week you should then enter the including how you slept the last night, how stressed you are, how much control you have over their lives, how satisfied they are with their social life, how the atmosphere is at work and how much control you have over their work situation.
In the information package highlights that the government requires more detailed information from the authority. But the government and the responsible ministries really the capacity to reflect on how between 28 and 110 million activities during the past year have been distributed to 150 task types linked to the 17 areas of activity? Will the numbers really facilitate the understanding of the business and how to profit with good quality is achieved in the public employment service?
Numerous studies show that government and ministries have already have difficult to take care of all the information the agencies provide.
The claim that the introduction of the Timing is in line with the Tillitsreformen may undeniably make the effort. It raises the question of whether the public employment service at all familiar to reform. If not so, one might think that the minister for employment Ylva Johansson and her department should have reacted. But of course, this requires that they know both the introduction of Time as Tillitsreformen. Neither is a given. And what does the administration Shekarabi; then he will know what is going on in the colleague Johansson's paper?
the Government wanted to tone down the control in the public sector and to relieve the civil servants of different administrative burdens. This has proven to be difficult. Various systems for the examination and measurement have become so institutionalised that they are the closest to be seen as self-evident.
How obvious these systems can be seen to be illustrated in an interview with the Employment director general. When she gets the question why this new measurement tool is needed, she answers: ”We shall be like all the other authorities, we have no choice.”
If the government is serious about its Tillitsreform must realize that it is not enough with fair words about the need for strengthened trust and managers acting more ”tillitsvärdigt”. The required even – and especially – the different types of structural measures, such as balancing the power that managementbyråkraterna in the day within the administration. Tillitsdelegationen have here an important task is to provide the government with concrete proposals.Correction 2018-11-26 13:00
the Task if the maximum number of activities that may need to be recorded per day was incorrect in an earlier version of the text. It has now been changed from 40 to 32. The maximum number of activities per month and year have also changed. These calculations are based on 21 working days per month and 5 weeks vacation.