Management and Employee Satisfaction
The success of any organization, more so its productivity and the quality of services delivered, greatly depend on its capacity to manage the available human resources. Traditionally, most healthcare organizations were focused on matching up with the dynamics of regulations as well as market forces. This trend has recently changed as more healthcare organizations are focused on how they can offer high-quality services. According to Bhatnagar, & Srivastava, (2012), when the levels of motivation among employees are high it helps in ensuring that the quality of services delivered matches the organizational standards. On the same note, this paper explores the ways in which a human resources manager can identify the causes of poor employees’ morale and satisfaction and subsequently address it. Information from reliable sources points out that the employee’ satisfaction, as well as morale, is slowly plunging as a result of long shifts and increased patient demands.
Part 1: Techniques of Identifying the Nature and Extent of the Problem
It is important that any information hinting at the possible challenges facing the workforce be handled with the utmost care to identify the actual problem and its magnitude. To achieve this, the human resources manager should consider one of the following approaches.
In this approach, the employees are segmented into smaller but manageable groups within the division. The most optimal approach is to use existing groups such as the different departments in the division. Using existing groups is preferred since it makes it easy to identify problems affecting each existing group in the division and whether they are common or they vary. After dividing the employees into groups the next step is to question them about the challenges they encounter. It is advisable to have a neutral person to engage the group. According to Hansen, & Sullivan, (2003), it helps employees open up and reveal important information. At this point, they are not concerned about victimization. The indicator to consider includes the number of employees who volunteered to mention the issue or those who acknowledged it affects them. The higher the number the higher the chances that the problem is deep-rooted.
Use of Questionnaires
According to McColl et al., (2001), questionnaires are very important tools when it comes to collecting feedback information regarding an existing problem. In this approach, employees are given questionnaires to fill. The questionnaires which do not capture the identity of the respondents contains both open-ended and structures questions. It gives the respondents the room to fully express their feeling making it easy to collect more information. Depending on the number of employees in the division, appropriate sampling measures can be adopted with the caution that the sample is not too small or too large.
Meeting the Employees of the Division
The last approach is for the manager to arrange a face to face meeting with the division employees. While this might be essential for the manager since it gives the opportunity to read the verbal and non-verbal expressions of the employees while expressing themselves making it easy to judge the extent of the problem, the approach can be unsuitable among employees. Employees might shy away from sharing vital information for fear of being victimized.
Part 2: A Plan to Address the Issue
With the information that the morale and job satisfaction of the employees’ is dwindling as a result of long working hours as well as irregular scheduling practices with no signs of these challenges ending, this section represents the most optimal plan to alleviate the morale and job satisfaction. The main aim of the plan is to ensure that employees become satisfied with their day-to-day job roles so as to increase the organization’s productivity and quality of services. To achieve this, there is a need to address both the short-term tactics and long-term strategies.
These are the measures aimed at immediately addressing the acute aspects of the problem so that in the meanwhile operations progress as normal. These tactics do not offer a permanent solution but a grace period in which permanent solutions can be identified. According to Bailey, Mankin, Kelliher, & Garavan, (2018), in most instances, short-term strategies employed to deal with a major organizational problem are expensive. The same consideration applies in this context. The most pressing and sensitive issues include long working hours, irregular scheduling practices and lack of communication to help employees comprehend for how long such activities will be witnessed in the organization. To deal with the problem of long working hours the manager should consider outsourcing extra services. The most preferred way to approach this is to identify the peak hours/ days/ times when the workload is high for the employees to work.
The outsourced services can be used during these times. During normal workload, the outsourced employees can withdraw their services. Despite the fact that outsourcing can be expensive it should be noted that it helps relieve the employees with extra workload thus addressing the problem of longer working shifts. On top of that, having scheduled times when outsourced employees assist helps in having even scheduling practices for the organization’s employees. Besides outsourcing, the HR manager ought to share the current challenges facing the division with employees and subsequently explain the plans in place to address the issues. According to Lazaroiu, (2015), communication helps clear uncertainties that might lower the morale of the employees. It should be noted that the technique of outsourcing workforce is expensive and unsustainable thus cannot go on for long if permanent measures are not put in place. As a result, the subsequent part explains the long-term strategies to deal with the issue.
The purpose of having long-term strategies is to ensure that the issue at hand is solved permanently and that similar instances will not emerge again, at least not soon. Thus, to ensure that the working morale and job satisfaction of the employees remain high there is a need for such strategies. There are three strategies. The first strategy is aimed at addressing the increasing patient’s demands. For this, the manager should collect relevant that can be used to identify the current demand as well as predict the demand in some few years to come at least 5-10 years. With such data, it is possible to calculate the number of employees needed to handle the extra workload. The manager should recruit new staff based on the demand on a permanent basis. The practice should be incorporated as part of the organization’s/ division’s policies.
It helps ensure that regular reviews on demands of patients are conducted and the available workforce adjusted to match the demands. It should be noted that the addition of the workforce on the basis of projected demand should only be justified by the fact that the demand is permanent, not seasonal. The second long-term strategy is for the manager to organize with near or relevant education institutions so that volunteers on internship or attachment programs can render their services at the organization. This should be executed inform of a long-term memorandum of understanding. The final long-term strategy is to adjust the communication culture and nurture one where employees can freely share their grievances in a professional manner without any form of victimization. This helps ensure that problems are detected early enough and solved in time.
Role of Stakeholders in Developing the Plan
Stakeholders in this context refer to the individuals who have direct as well as indirect correlation with the issue at hand. The most immediate stakeholders include the CEO of the organization, the employees and the managers in other departments. External stakeholders include the possible institution where the workforce can be outsourced or the institution where volunteers can be obtained from. For the internal stakeholders, their role is to ensure that the plan is in line with the organizational goal and objective and that it indeed solves the existing problems. External stakeholders’ role is to ensure that the party’s they represent have their objectives addressed in an agreement they sign as a result of the plan.
Critical Human Resources Function
According to Snell, Morris, & Bohlander, (2015), the main roles of human resources manager include the selection and recruitment of workforce as well as their training and development. Other roles include relations of the work staff, job safety and matters of compensation and benefits. From the above analysis, it has been identified that the inadequate number of employees as a result of increased patients’ demands contributes heavily to the identified challenges. Both strategies revolve around the issue of employment or addition of more workforce. This leads to the conclusion that the HR function critical for this plan is recruitment and selection.
To sum up, it has been identified that for the healthcare organization to address the issue of dipping morale and employee satisfaction there is a need to collect data that will help in identifying the nature and extent of the concern. There are three possible methods that can be used. They include group assessments, use of questionnaires as well as conducting open meetings with the division’s employees where they can air the challenges they are facing. Having identified the nature and the possible causes of the problem, the action plan to address it should include both short-term tactics and long-term strategies. To temporarily solve the problem, the manager should outsource extra employees while communicating to the employees the available plans to permanently solve the problem. For a permanent solution, there is a need to hire more permanent staff, organize regular internship/ attachment positions, and to change the communication culture.
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