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Managing People

at Oxfam
Overview of your role in Managing People
Session Aims

• Start to develop a shared understanding of effective

line management

•Understand your overall roles and responsibilities in

managing people

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Leadership at All Levels

• You can be a leader, with or without authority.

• Leaders do not have all the answers.
• Leaders ask the difficult questions.
• Leadership is action: mobilizing people and resources to
solve fundamental challenges and address root causes.


ANSWERS, Harvard University Press, 1994

Leading at Oxfam America 3 Page 3

Leading at Oxfam America 3
Management vs Leadership
Complementary Functions
“We believe that leadership exists across all Management Leadership

areas and at all levels of the organization. It

exists with and without formal titles and
authority - it is a set of attitudes and
behaviors that motivate others to be the
best of themselves in serving the
organizations purpose and values.”
• Management: “focuses on operational
issues of today’s needs.”
• Leadership: “focuses on questioning
the status quo, with the aim of
improving and safeguarding the future
of the organization.”
Oxfam’s Leadership Model

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How can you manage as a leader?

1. Know yourself
2. Know the organization
3. Build relationships
4. Create vision
5. Manage the day-to-day relationships and operations of
your team

(taken from: MIT Learning and Development)

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– How will YOU do it?

Manage Resource and
change and Reward team
moving on effectively

To empower, hold
to account, develop
Promote well- and motivate
being, ensure individuals and Support new
health, safety teams to be the best starters
and security of themselves every
day in working
towards Oxfam’s
Support Manage
individual and individual
team and team
development performance

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Managing People
at Oxfam
Values and ways of working
Session Aims

• Gain a deeper understanding of Oxfam’s Values and

Ways of Working
• Identify ways in which Oxfam’s values and ways of
working inform and influence managers’ interactions with
• Reflect on and plan how you will live Oxfam’s values

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Oxfam’s Vision

A just world without poverty:

• a world in which people can influence
decisions that affect their lives, enjoy their
rights, and assume their responsibilities as
full citizens of a world in which all human
beings are valued and treated equally.

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Oxfam’s Values
• Purpose & results driven with clear line of accountability
• Hold ourselves and others equally accountable for own

• Each person’s contribution matters
• Being supported to make an impact and mobilize change

• Embrace diversity and provide space for all to participate
• Believe in individual’s talent and expertise to make a

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Oxfam’s Ways of Working
 Focus on results & do what we say we are going to do within agreed timeframe
 Work collaboratively across team & organizational boundaries to focus on results
 Take a simple approach to deliver effectively

 Understand our own limitations & seek feedback
 Adapt our behaviour & approach to current context
 Listen to others
 Hold ourselves and others to account to meet agreed standards & rules

Realism & Honesty

 Communicate openly about priorities, decisions & agreements
 Commit to actions that we have the resources to deliver on

 Recognise our differences & discuss them openly to build understanding
 Discuss & agree acceptable/unacceptable behaviour between individuals & groups
 Be open, respectful, self-aware & work effectively with people from different cultures

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Managing People
at Oxfam
Setting & Aligning Objectives
Session Aims

• Consider sources of motivation

• Recognise that role clarity is fundamental to the
success of any individual and all teams
• Think about how you align objectives
• Work through your priorities and draft a resource
• Improve your understanding of matrix

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What motivates people?

• Mastery
• Autonomy
• Clear purpose

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3 Types of Objective

• Initiate

• Develop

• Maintain

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Z Decision Making Model

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Activity – Priorities (Refine)

U Crisis Urgent
r (LI, HU) (HI, HU)
c Trivial Work to be done
y (LI, LU) (HI, LU)

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Matrix Management – Definition

Matrix Management
An approach to managing organizations that
leverages the advantages of both product and
functional units by integrating these units into
a designed dual authority system whereby
employees within the matrix report to two or
more people.

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Matrix Management – Why?

Organizations turn to matrix structure because they …

1. Need to be highly responsive to the goals of two dimensions of the

organization simultaneously

2. Face challenges that generate very high information processing and

management requirements

3. Must create economies of scale to deal with strong constraints on

financial or human resources

4. Need to be more responsive to outside demands

Galbraith, J. & Kates, A., Designing Your Organization Galbraith, J., The Multi-Dimensional and Reconfigurable Davis, S. & Lawrence, P., Problems of Matrix Organizations,
(Chapter 4), Jossey-Bass, 2007. Organization, Organizational Dynamics, 2010. Harvard Business Review, May-June 1978.

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Matrix Management – Criteria for Success
The criteria for success for an effective matrix:

1 2 3
Dual management
Effective teamwork Joint and mutual
and evaluation
and collaboration accountability

Clear roles

responsibilities and
decision rights
Ability to balance

power and negotiate
open conflict


Galbraith, J. & Kates, A., Designing Your Organization Galbraith, J., The Multi-Dimensional and Reconfigurable Davis, S. & Lawrence, P., Problems of Matrix Organizations,
(Chapter 4), Jossey-Bass, 2007. Organization, Organizational Dynamics, 2010. Harvard Business Review, May-June 1978.

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Managing People
at Oxfam
Developing Teams
Session aims

• Know the basics of effective teams

• Learn a model for team development
• Understand the qualities of highly functioning
• Assess your team in terms of the basics,
development and functions
• Share some tools and techniques to enhance
team functioning

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A team is…

A team is a small group of people

who hold each other mutually
accountable to achieve a common
purpose and set of performance
goals through a collaborative
approach and the use of their
collective talents.

Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith (1993): The Wisdom of Teams

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Types of teams
• Working Group
• No significant performance need or opportunity that would require it to
become a team. Members interact primarily to share information, best
practices or perspectives and to make decision to help each individual perform
within his/her area of responsibility.
• The pseudo-team
• group for which there could be a significant performance need but it has
not focused on collective performance and is not really trying to achieve a
desired result
• Potential Team
• A group for which there is a significant performance need or opportunity and
that is really trying to improve its performance impact; hasn’t yet established
collective accountability. Requires more clarity about purpose, goals or
work-products and more discipline in creating a common working
• Real Team
• Small number of people with complementary skills are equally committed to
a common purpose, goals and working approach for which they hold
themselves mutually accountable.

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Team basics
Why should we come
together as a team?

Collaborative Performance
Approach Mutual Accountability Goals
How do we work together Are we all committed What are the outcomes
to achieve our to work together to achieve
we will deliver as
purpose and goals? our purpose and goals?
a team?
Do we have the requisite
talents to achieve our
purpose and goals?

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Stages of group development

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5 qualities of a highly functioning

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Managing People
at Oxfam
Giving & Receiving Feedback
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Session aims

• Understand the why, when and how of

giving feedback
• Able to explain tips for giving feedback
• Practise giving feedback
• Have an increased awareness of issues
that impact on receiving feedback
• Ease in talking about performance with
direct and indirect reports, as well as with
your peers and your manager.

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Model for Effective Feedback
The process: How to apply:
Agree action plan Be ready to provide specific

Discuss possible actions for

Be ready to explain what is the
impact on you / objective work
Discuss the impact of
actions/behaviour At each step, ask open questions
such as:
• What do you think?
Provide specific examples
• What’s your perspective?
• How do you see the
Set the context situation?

Listen, and remember it’s a

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Giving Constructive Feedback
Framing the discussion
1. Set the context: “I’d like to debrief and give you some feedback on your
presentation from this morning so I can help you get what you need from
these rare opportunities to talk with key members of our community. How
do you think it went?”
2. Provide specific examples / Describe what you’ve observed: “When I
listened to your presentation I had the sense that although the group was
polite, they aren’t necessarily going to take any action. I didn’t hear you
clearly ask them to act. What’s your sense?”
3. Discuss the impact of actions / behaviour: “It’s important to that your
audience understands what you expect of them and why their help is
critical, otherwise they may not take action.”
4. Discuss possible actions for development: “How do you think you
could do differently next time? What do you need to get there? What
support you need from me? Etc.”
5. Agree action plan: “What will you do and how? What will I do to
support?” Think SMART.

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SMART Objectives

• Includes details essential to completion?
• Clearly defines success, if appropriate using qualitative or
• Can be the employee be fully responsible for completion?
• How does it support the attainment of Oxfam’s mission?
• When does it need to be completed?

Leading at Oxfam America 35 Page 35
Receiving Feedback

• Ask: if feedback is not being freely offered to you, then ask

for some
• Listen to understand -- don’t justify or defend.
• Ask for clarification or examples, turn your assumptions
into questions.
• Acknowledge agreement where appropriate.
• Offer a summary of what you heard -- be sure you got the
message right.
• Thank the giver for his/her feedback.
• Think about what you have heard.
• Consider having a follow-up conversation.

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• Frequent feedback is empowering, it motivates, develops

and hold people to account.
• It’s much easier and more effective to address issues
• Learning happens through a respectful dialogue
• Be prepared to state the benefit of having the conversation
• Ask open ended questions to deepen your understanding of the other
person’s perspective and uncover underlying assumptions and issues.
• Go for true agreement and resolution.
• To ensure progress, confirm your agreement in SMART

Leading at Oxfam America 37

Leading at Oxfam America 37 Page 37
Managing People
at Oxfam
Conflict and Collaboration
Session Aims

• Identify own preferences in terms of

dealing with conflict
• Recognise the benefits and key
ingredients for solving conflicts

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What is conflict?
Conflict is an actual or perceived
opposition of needs, values and

Conflict is manifested when two or more

individuals interact and perceive
incompatible differences , or threats to their
resources, needs or values.

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Thomas - Kilmann: what’s your strategy?
Conflict Styles
Concern for Self

Compete Collaborate


Avoid Accommodate

Concern for Others

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Managing People
at Oxfam
Session aims

• Know when and where to use coaching in the

• Understand the GROW coaching model and
have practised using it.
• Feel more confident in using coaching as one
management style to develop others.
• Identify personal development needs as a

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Managing people
at Oxfam
Situational Leadership
Session aims
• Understand why it is important to use different
leadership style in different situations
• Know how to select the most appropriate
leadership style for the situation
• Be aware of your own leadership style
preferences, strengths and development areas
• Know the key skills required to use each
leadership style effectively

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Three Key Skills of Situational

Assess Match Partner

• accurately assess • provide the • provide clarity
individual's direction and about the way you
development level support needed by are working
using the • map the individual's
appropriate progress around
leadership style the development

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Development Levels

Self-Reliant Achiever Capable but Cautious Disillusioned Learner Enthusiastic Beginner


Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1

experienced at the task and experienced and capable has low/some skill in lacks the skill required
confident the task for the task
may lack confidence or
may be more skilled at task motivation situation/task may be has the confidence
than leader new and/or motivation to
variable commitment tackle it
high commitment low commitment
high commitment

Developed Developing

Leading at Oxfam America 47 Page 47

Leadership Styles



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Key Behaviours To Direct Key Behaviours to Support
The Task the Person
• Setting goals and objectives • Listening to staff members’ problems
• Planning and allocating work (job/non-job related)
• Establishing priorities and • Showing interest in staff members’
deadlines feelings and ideas
• Clarifying roles and • Encouraging and praising staff in
responsibilities appreciative/affirming ways
• Making and communicating • Asking for suggestions or input
decisions • Communicating feelings about the
• Determining evaluation methods organisation’s values and goals
• Evaluating staff members’ work • Disclosing information about self
• Showing/telling staff how to do • Facilitating problem solving
specific tasks • Aiding team building

We use these behaviours most These behaviours help to develop

when people have low competence individuals’ confidence and
in a particular task – the aim of motivation to perform a task. –
directive behaviour is to increase the aim of supportive behaviours
competence. is to increase confidence,
motivation, commitment
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Leadership Styles




50 Page 50
Leadership Styles




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Conduct Issues
Session aims
• Re-familiarise yourself with Oxfam’s Code of
• Understand how it reflects Oxfam Missions,
Belief, and Values
• Know the difference between conduct and
gross misconduct
• Have some ideas for ways in which you can
help others to understand the content and
behaviours expected
• Become aware of safeguarding channels and
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Code of Conduct
As an Oxfam GB staff member, why do you need to know?
• Expected behaviour
• Reflects our purpose, mission, beliefs and values
• Applies to all Oxfam GB staff, regardless of location
• Designed for your guidance and protection
• Breach may result in disciplinary action (including dismissal
and criminal prosecution)
• Ensuring that staff members avoid using possible unequal
power relationships for their own benefit
• Beliefs on equality and diversity are also relevant to the way
we work

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Code of Conduct - Standards

1. Be responsible for the use of information and resources

which you have access to
2. Ensure the safety, health and welfare of all Oxfam GB
staff members, volunteers and contractors
3. Ensure that your personal and professional conduct is,
and is seen to be, of the highest standards
4. Perform your duties and conduct your private life in a
manner that avoids possible conflicts of interest with the
work of Oxfam GB
5. Avoid involvement in any criminal activities
6. Refrain from any form of harassment, discrimination,
physical or verbal abuse, intimidation or exploitation

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Scenario # 1
Q: You have come to learn that one of your Senior Coordinators in the
team has decided to hire his nephew as a Project Officer. This vacancy
has had 3 failed recruitments and the team is desperate to have the
extra help. You are not quite sure whether or not the candidate fits the

What actions will you take as the Overview Manager?

• Ask the hiring manager for the interview assessment from all panel members
• Request for a second interview where you get to meet the candidate and give your
opinion should you have any doubt about the hiring decision
• Keep in mind that Oxfam recruits individuals based on their skills and competencies
to determine their suitability for the role
• If unsure of the policy, consult your HR focal point

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Scenario # 2
Q: You suspect that 2 staff members of your team have entered into an
intimate relationship. Although they did not come forward with the
information, there has been rumors in the office.

As a manager, do you think this is a problem? What should you do?

What would you take into consideration before approaching the

•Ask to speak with both staff members to understand the nature of their relationship
•Make clear that they have the obligation to declare their intimate relationship interest in
matters of official business which may impact on the work of Oxfam
•If the relationship does have an impact on the work of Oxfam, you will need to consider
how the work arrangements can be adjusted

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Scenario # 3
Q: As a Distribution Team Coordinator, you lead the distribution of
hygiene kits and supplies to communities affected by the flood in a
remote area in the Philippines. A leader from one of the remote villages
would like to thank your team for the assistance by providing your team
with locally handmade gifts in return.
What would you do in this situation? What would be the implications of
accepting the gifts?

• Decline the gifts by explaining that it is a conflict of interest to be accepting gifts in return
of our assistance
• Oxfam is not a business and therefore we do not expect any returns on our work with
the beneficiaries
• By accepting the gifts, we could be setting the expectation that our beneficiaries will
need to return the favor next time they would like to receive any humanitarian assistance

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Scenario # 4
Q: Is there any affect on Oxfam? If yes, what are they? If you are a
line manager, what are the key questions to assess the situation?

“Oxfam works in Country A , where it has a large gender programme working

through partner organisations on girls' education issues. The South Asia region also
runs the high profile 'We Can' campaign to end violence against women. Oxfam's
Gender Advisor in Country A is a national staff member who has worked with Oxfam
for fifteen years. He took up the position of Gender Advisor two years ago. However
the local community knew that he had lots of girlfriends, and they had also heard
him hit his wife. Oxfam partners included several local women's NGOs who got
together and decided they would refuse to meet with the Gender Advisor, as they
did not approve of his behaviour”

The Gender Advisor's conduct has affected Oxfam's ability to work with its partners.
His conduct also undermines Oxfam's campaigning messages in that country.

Does this conduct affect our ability to work with the community?
Has the community lost trust in Oxfam as a result of this conduct?
Does this conduct undermine Oxfam's values and goals? For example, does it contradict a key
campaigning message we are trying to communicate to the community?
Does this conduct pose a security risk to Oxfam?

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What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about tackling...

 Sexual violence or child/vulnerable adult abuse
 Perpetrated by Oxfam staff or Oxfam associates (e.g. Partners)
 Where the victims are Oxfam beneficiaries, Oxfam staff and other Oxfam associates

By sexual violence we mean...

Sexual Abuse
“The actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under
unequal or coercive conditions” (Secretary General’s Bulletin 2003)

Sexual Exploitation
“The actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power or trust for
sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the
sexual exploitation of another” (As above)

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1. Sexual relationships with beneficiaries

2. Sexual relationships with children (under the age of 18 years old as a minimum)

3. Sexual relationships with sex workers

4. Any form of sexual exploitation and abuse

5. Not reporting incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse

6. Bringing Oxfam’s reputation into disrepute through your sexual conduct

(e.g. Use of sex workers from a refugee camp)

6. Breaking the local law on personal conduct

(note: some exceptions e.g. when the local law violates a person’s human rights)
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Display of sexual materials

Sexual exploitation



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Reporting Malpractice &
Safeguarding Reporting Line
Global Safeguarding
Focal Point
Hannah Clare
English 00441 86547
Arabic 00441 86547
2121 Regional Safeguarding Focal Point
French 00441 86547 Sirisom Sungboonleu (HR Advisor)
Spanish 00441 86547
2123 Country Focal Point
Portuguese 00441 86547 Karuna Amatya
2124 Sandhya Shrestha


People Page 65
Managing People
at Oxfam
Improving poor performance and managing misconduct
Session aims

• To understand the basic management principles

regarding a manager’s role in minimising and
addressing underperformance and misconduct
•To be able to diagnose the underlying issues and
causes of underperformance
•To be able to develop performance improvement

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Performance / Misconduct Management Procedure

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Plan meeting in advance

• Establish facts
• Reflect on what you know about the individual
• Get support
• Check your policies
• Plan the meeting
• Think about what you would like the outcome of the meeting
to be

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What happens when it doesn’t go
• Get support – move to formal process? HR support as a
• Know when to let it go – High five with one hand is not going
to be loud. Do we need a break then revisit at a later time?
Agree to disagree.
• Why didn’t it work?

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Performance improvement Plan
Action Required Date Required Method of Evidence (for
By Measuring the month) to
be completed
each meeting

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