With contract negotiations still two years out, newly elected Professional Management Association (PMA) President Melanie Molnar will instead focus her attention on improving a performance review process, she said, many of her members feel is falling short.
“I’ve reached out to other universities that have similar organizations such as PMA, and perhaps we can put a task force together to find out what it is about the PDG system that isn’t working to the best of its abilities, and see how we can improve it,” said Molnar, Director of the Master of Professional Education Programs.
PDG, or Performance Dialogue and Goal Setting, is an annual feedback process for PMA-eligible employees and their leaders to discuss performance, work goals and professional development plans.
“We’ve heard from leaders, and our members, that it’s a broken system. That is something I want to be looking at,” she said.
Molnar took over the president’s role of PMA, which represents 1,233 full-time employees engaged in managerial and professional roles at the university, earlier this month. Previously, she served on a variety of PMA committees and posts, including the last two years as Vice-President. That position, she added, was a great springboard into her new role.
“Chris (Thompson), last year’s President, helped me learn the ropes before I jumped in this new position,” said Molnar, who has spent six of her nine years at Western as part of PMA. “The association was a great way to get involved and meet new colleagues from across campus I might not of otherwise met. Once I got involved, and started to see the benefits it afforded the members, I kept involved.
“The ability to make a difference, being involved and having our say in how things are run is what I enjoy. Our voices are being heard and it’s a matter of continuing to build that relationship and foster it. Being honest and approachable, making sure we share our message and that we listen to what our members say and bring any concerns forward, leads to our success.”
Membership in the PMA has grown steadily the last few years, said Molnar, with 60 per cent, or 730 of eligible employees, being part of the group. While solid participation, more is even better.
“There is always room for improvement,” she said. “We do want to have greater involvement, but it’s voluntary. So we are always looking for opportunities to reach out to those who haven’t signed up yet and let them know about the importance of their involvement, the opportunities for networking and the learning sessions we offer members.”
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To learn more about the Professional Managerial Association (PMA), an organization representing 1,233 full-time employees engaged in managerial and professional roles at the university, visit uwo.ca/pma, email any questions to pmaoffice@uwo, call 519-661-3005 or stop by University Community Centre, Room 351.