To adjust to greater competition and pressures of obtaining increased organizational efficiency and cost containment, many organizations have begun to examine strategies related to restructuring and downsizing to maintain organizational viability. These processes have included mergers and acquisitions, and redefining occupational roles of workers within the organization. Consequently, successful management of the structural change process can be daunting and overwhelming if not handled in an organized and thoughtful process.
Those who are responsible for the process must recognize the barrier that may be hindrances to conception and implementation of the change process These barriers include: (a) lack of concise and coordinated planning/goals, (b) resistance to change within the organizational workforce, (c) failure to consistently evaluate the progress of the proposed change within context of the entire system, and adjust methodology as necessary.
Thus, in order to achieve a balance between achieving organizational goals and addressing the uncertainty that may occur in the workforce, organizational leaders are tasked with the responsibilities of finding creative means to facilitate the mandated objectives while at the same time finding vehicles to maintain adequate levels of employee satisfaction and productivity in order to facilitate the ability to service their respective consumer base.
It is the purpose of this paper to re-examine the fictional organization created in the week number four Culture Case Study I, and determine the means to facilitate a redesign in workforce brought on by a mandated reduction in work force. This paper will examine the concept of the universal worker as part of the proposed redesign, with further evaluation of the communications and organizational process that will have to be implemented in order to facilitate successful achievement of administrative goals and employee adoption of their new roles.
Case Study In an attempt to achieve increased cost containment, six months after the merger of Charles Drew and Florence Nightingale Hospitals, the managerial hierarchy has proposed a significant reduction in workforce. Subsequently, a decision was made that the best way to facilitate continued safe patient care was to redesign the patient care delivery workforce. As recommended by the administration, the initial proposal for redesign was that of the universal worker.
As understood, the paradigm of the universal worker would allow remaining employees to be cross trained in different job duties; thus, allowing more flexibility in staffing and personnel assignments (web. Answers. com, 2011). Through examination and implementation of the concepts of the universal worker, along with consideration of other strategies, the thought is that assigning additional duties to remaining personnel would allow continued adequate delivery of many support services.
Past experiences in attempt to implement this type of change has proven to be met with resistance by personnel, and difficult to implement when introduced at other organizations; nevertheless, the administration has charged the mid-level management team with successful achievement of the proposed redesign in order to meet organizational objectives. The Change Process
When beginning the process of job redesign within this organization, it will be important for those who are responsible for implementation of the change to understand the overall mission and goals of the organization and the global ramification of the change within the institution. It will be important to understand that a change in one area can have either a positive or negative impact on other areas within the organization (Leadership and Motivational Training, 2012).
Thus, in viewing the potential upheaval that a reduction in workforce can create, and the subsequent potential for feelings of job insecurity that may be experienced by the remaining workforce, it will be important to allay these fears and allow enhanced empowerment of employees being affected by this process. This can be facilitated through inclusion of employees in the redesign process (i. e. implementation of work teams) and establishment of clear channels of communication within the system.
Managing this process of job redesign and change can be successfully implemented through the initiation of a defined process to guide the change and an assigned change leadership team (Resnick, 2012). Through this process not only will the affected employees be allowed to have input to the process that will affect the their individual stake in the organization, they will also have the opportunity to implement substantial and lasting change for the overall system and the culture of then organization.
As described by Peter Senge in his postulates regarding organizational culture, this inclusion, empowerment and open communication among those in leadership and front-line employees will work to facilitate what he described as the learning organization and systems thinking (Smith, 2001).
Inclusion of work teams into the change process, and the subsequent implementation of the cross training of employees into various departmental roles, the concept of the universal worker among the care provision staff will allow the reshaping of the organization into one that has the flexibility to adapt to the rapid change that may be incurred, and foster an atmosphere of collegiality – where people are continually learning to see the whole together (Smith, 2001).
Measuring Processes and Expectations Post Redesign Once the redesign process has been completed it will be very important to implement measures to review the process of performance and if the predetermined goals of the change are being met. Since employees will potentially be relied on to increase performance and acquire additional employment duties, it will be important to examine how the implementation of change will impact employee satisfaction. It can be said that if an organization can meet the need for a satisfying work environment, then the employee will have a greater propensity to be more motivated and productive.
As a consequence the satisfaction will have a greater correlation to improved outcomes and patient satisfaction. Examination of outcomes can be achieved through the “utilization of the creation of a balanced scoreboard-or dashboard- of the key internal and external measures that provide a comprehensive view of the organizations performance, with as much insight as possible regarding the implication of the change for the future” (Resnick, 2012).
Examples of these tools could include utilization of employee satisfaction surveys, provision of strategically placed employee eedback boxes to solicit employee input to parameters for ongoing improvement, and implementation of employee councils to examine how to best meet the needs for improving overall workplace satisfaction and employee morale. With completion of the tools for review of performance, the organization will have a balanced understanding as to how the implementation of the job redesign has impacted organizational goals and desired outcomes -i. e. decreased attrition rates of employees, decreased sick leave utilized, increased patient safety and patient satisfaction scores – (Ugboro, 2006) . Creation of a Learning Organization
As the paradigm begins to change in the organization, and implementation of change becomes manifest within the organization, it will be important to foster structures that will provide for a cohesive and well-rounded workforce. As a result, it will be important that all employees have a thorough understanding of what is meant by a learning organization, and how this concept will be imperative e to the ongoing success of current and future change. As described by Peter Senge, the learning organization can be viewed as a structural environment in which the employee is empowered to create the outcomes that they truly desire.
In this type of environment, the employee is allowed the room of creativity to redefine not only themselves within their organizational role, but also the organization itself. This paradigm shift differs from the previous downstream constricted organizational structures in that it moves the process for acquiring new organizational traits and skills from learning a means of survival to one that embraces learning that enhances the capacity to create and innovate (Smith, 2001).
As such, this paradigm allows progress of the employee to have a greater role in obtaining self-actualization through growth of objectively understanding how change and the end-results of proposed change will affect the organization and the system as a whole. Additionally, it changes the view of management from one of overseer, to one of fostering learning opportunities and helping employees develop systemic understanding (Smith, 2001).
In relation to the mandated job restructuring that will take place within this merged organization this change will be facilitated through the creation of interdisciplinary teams of care providers that will comprise the teams that will be responsible for the redesign of the care delivery model. In context of the proposed reduction of staff, it can be assumed that the employees affected by the ensuing change will be instrumental in facilitating this change if allowed to be part of the redesign of priorities and duties.
Consequently, with each group bringing their individual and collective spheres of knowledge, there will facilitation of the exchange of ideas, expansion of personal mastery, enhancement of mental models, and a building of a shared vision. All of which are characteristic of the described learning organization. In this case, enactment of the concept to the universal worker will require cross training of employees into potentially new areas of responsibility, or areas in which personal mastery has not been achieved.
As such, training can be perceived by employees as a measure of the organizations commitment to them. Subsequently, training is one of the most powerful vehicles for an organization to create change. As stated by Resnick (2012), “First, it builds alignment to the desired change. Second, it provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to implement the change. Third, it creates the opportunity for cross-functional communication in the implementation of company-wide initiatives”.
As this process evolves, management can ensure that continual educational opportunities exist for employees to grow technically and professionally in their respective duties. As these opportunities are allowed, evaluation of individual mastery should be evaluated and opportunities for individual employees to become mentors or resources for fellow employees should be encouraged. By facilitation of this process of collaborative self-management, satisfaction within the process will be enhanced and peer-to-peer sharing can take place.
This will allow greater cohesiveness among the teams and a greater sense of inclusion among all team members. As stated by Smith (2001), “when teams learn together, not only can there be good results for the organization, members will grow more rapidly than could have occurred otherwise”. Measurement of Individual Satisfaction Measurement of individual employee satisfaction can be facilitated through many means. Standard traditional measurement tools could include employee surveys, employee feedback solicitation, and input gained during annual performance reviews.
Although these means may allow the management team to gain greater insight to employee satisfaction with change, they are primarily founded in anecdotal response, and may be difficult of quantify. Thus, alternative measurements of satisfaction can be employed. These include monitoring of employee retention rates, review of utilization unscheduled employee leave, and patient provided satisfaction surveys. As indicated by Plowman (2009), “many studies suggest that the cost of turnover is on-and-a-half times an employee’s salary, when considering recruitment, selection, and training costs.
Therefore, to monetarily measure the impacts of reduced turnover, one can calculate the expected cost of replacing employees who chose not to leave as a result of increased employee satisfaction”. Furthermore, enhanced patient satisfaction and outcomes may have a direct correlation to enhanced satisfaction in that increased individual productivity may be a sign of an employee who has taken ownership of his or her role in relation to change. Conclusion In today’s environment of organizational change, and redefining of traditional job functions and roles, it is imperative to create new paradigms within the organizational structure.
Along with the changing responsibilities for employees, management must provide the means to promote atmospheres of renewed learning and assist the empowerment of employees in actualizing the larger systemic needs of the organization, and their role in the facilitation of making lasting change. Successful implementation of these concepts, along with meeting the needs for maintaining employee fulfillment and satisfaction will be essential for the economic longevity of all business organizations that provide essential services to the public.
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