UC | Leadership, a reason for OBP to stay


Working at TU/e is awesome! You're part of something bigger than just yourself. We're talking cutting-edge technology and high-tech research which means you could contribute to a major breakthrough that could change society as we know it. Plus, we have a collaborative environment, supportive colleagues, and plenty of opportunities for training and growth. No wonder we came here. But here's the thing: why do we see so many colleagues of the support and management personnel (OBPs) leaving?

I mean, if TU/e is such a great place, why are so many valuable people walking out the door? Sure, TU/e cannot pay as much as ASML, but it can't just be about money, can it? After all, we all want to be recognized and rewarded, to have a sense of purpose, to be seen, feel safe, to be trusted and supported (Love IQ).

Sure, some personnel rotation is normal and healthy, but there's a common thread among the reasons people give for leaving: lack of leadership. When we don't feel like our leaders care about us or our growth, it's hard to stay motivated and committed. And that's a shame, because our OBPs are just as important to TU/e's success as our scientists and researchers.

TU/e's motto is ‘Where people matter,’ but unfortunately, the values and vision of TU/e do not always extend to the OBPs due to a lack of leadership. Leadership is not about being in a superior position; it's about caring for your colleagues, seeing the big picture, and doing what is necessary to ensure their wellbeing. It's about making complicated things simple to ensure their happiness and growth alongside you and TU/e.

We've all heard about TU/e's SQUAD process which aims to improve services and it certainly will. But let me ask you this: do you think that employees will be patient enough to wait for the process to be fully implemented and take effect? Are we willing to take the risk?

And get this: there are plenty of OBPs working in various departments, such as secretaries and technicians, who also need to be looked after. What happens when someone in a leadership position fails to step up and create concrete career development plans for OBP? Who has the mandate to ensure that their careers are not obstructed?

TU/e already has tools in place such as a development matrix, interdepartmental panels for promotion, and the PI model to assist our scientific staff in controlling their career. So why don't we have similar tools for our OBPs? Don't they deserve equal opportunities for career development? It's time to ensure that all our staff has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and not be held back by supervisors who may not have their best interests at heart.

Creating a fair and equal system may be challenging but investing in employee growth and development is worthwhile. Concrete development paths with actionable steps for career advancement (vertical or horizontal mobility) and identify leadership positions that impede colleagues' growth without cause.

People hate to be managed but love to be led. Let's create concrete development plans for our OBPs, and let's make sure everyone feels valued and supported. When we work together and feel part of something more significant, there's nothing we can't accomplish. Let's make sure that people who come to TU/e for our vision and stay for the leadership.

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