When two companies merge, upper management has many decisions to make about the organization, from what the mission statement will be, to what type of goals they have in mind to how many employees will be necessary to accomplish the goals. In the beginning, it is important to blend the two cultures and create the new organization. Six months after the merger of Cypress Creek Hospital and Clovis Community hospital, it was important to determine if the goals are met or if changes need to be made.
In the instance of the organization from the first case study, it was decided that further change had to be made. To make the desired changes, administration has decided to reduce the current workforce significantly and to change how patients are tended to. Because the change is so detailed, the administration has recommended that a new position of a universal worker be created. The term “universal worker” generally refers to a person who is trained in multiple positions in the workplace and therefore has a little more assignments flexibility.
Universal workers are often used in call centers and hospitals to alleviate staff shortages and provide better service without the difficulties of processing so many referrals or dealing with call transfers (webAnswers. com2013). It is imperative that in the role of universal worker, ways are found to redesign the current set up of the organization and make the necessary changes within the organization to meet the needs of the administration. Historically, organizations were set up where each person had a set task.
When an organization incorporates universal workers in the workplace, it creates an environment in which few do a variety of tasks. In health care, this means that patients deal with fewer faces, and get used to their caregivers. For the organization, it means that a staff that can perform different roles and are even more valuable than they would be in traditional roles. Process of Redesigning Because the organization has decided that patients care delivery needs to be redesigned, it must be determined how to begin that process. The first thing that must be taken into account is that change in an organization often disrupts operation.
In the instance were significant changes will be made in the size of the staff, adding more change typically will not be received well in the beginning. It is very important to plan accordingly so that productivity is not affected for a long time. One way to accomplish this is to make changes with staff involvement. If staff is allowed to give ideas and be part of the changes, it will fill their needs for learning, change, and variety. One way to do this is create different committees so that staff could be part of an even smaller team and be able to express their ideas and contribute to the change.
Encouraging staff participation in planning how change is to take place, and the timing of that change appeals to the need for control that people innately have. “Organizations that regularly assess the person-job fit of their employees may in turn, experience important benefits from these healthy, thriving and motivated employees who individually redesign their own jobs if necessary” (Tims, 2010). Redesigning in this way, by allowing staff to assist in it, allows the organization to go from being a series of smaller fragmented parts to being a group of fewer parts that function well together.
In creating universal workers, the new management needs to go among the staff and see what each employee excels in and in what areas need further training if necessary. Management needs to get an idea of what the pulse is within the organization, have an idea of who is good at what, what jobs are not as necessary, what can be consolidated, what new positions need to be added and feel confident in his or her decisions so that the job redesign can be put into place. Work Processes and Performance Expectations When redesigning is done, the organization can expect to have their employees more satisfied in their work.
People are more satisfied internally with their new responsibilities and are more satisfied in general. However, it sometimes makes people more dissatisfied with their current pay and benefits because they believe that they are doing more and that their pay and benefits should reflect those changes. Also the negative is that because people are given so much say in what they are doing when redesigning the workplace, they often become dissatisfied with their direct supervisors and management if something is not done to continue the autonomy that employees achieved with assisting in the redesigning.
Job productivity goes up and goods produced tend to be better quality the pride that staff has in what they do. To ensure a more satisfied staff after redesign is complete, it is important not only to change the jobs of subordinates but even those in middle management so that everyone feels more satisfied and angry feelings do not develop among staff. If change happen were people are more satisfied, the organization will better for it. Further, change cannot happen and just come to a halt. Change is never constant; it has to continue to keep a learning organization on track.
Steps and Structure to Change a Learning Organization Peter Senge, (1990), a learning organization is organization “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expensive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspirations is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together” (Senge,P. , 1990). According to Senge (1990), a learning organization excels in five different disciplines. A learning organization looks at long-term solutions, not necessarily the first solution that comes to their head.
This is important because often organizations think of short-term benefits, and do not consider what changes will do to the organization long term. Because of this, a universal worker would do best to keep from making hasty decisions, and rather would create groups where people gather and look at things more on a long-term direction and see how the organization could be affected. Another thing that can assist in change would be encourage workers to continue learning, whether it be a seminar held for staff or encouraging people to continue with their education on their own time.
In workplace today teamwork is encouraged in the workplace. People are no longer given tasks, and expected to do them on their own. Rather, working together, sharing ideas and being a team help an organization to grow. Another step that needs to occur is that leadership roles need to be looked at differently. Instead of leaders being seen in the traditional role of being “better than” their subordinates or thinking for the staff, upper management roles need to changed to suit the changes in staff. Management needs to encourage learning, share the vision that leaders of the organization have.
Management also needs to “create and manage creative tension especially around the gap between vision and reality. Mastery or such tension allows for a fundamental shift. It enables the leader to see the truth in changing situations” (Smith, 2001). To create change, the entire organization needs to change, not just the subordinates. Change takes time but the benefits long-term are well worth the efforts. Satisfaction for Universal Worker The universal worker approach seems to enhance job satisfaction. Feedback from the staff indicates that they enjoy being responsible for the patients as whole rather than one aspect of care.
It is a feeling that undoubtedly enhances the caregiver’s sense of job importance (Widdes, 1996). Training staff to assume responsibilities across departments and even more challenging, reshaping their attitudes and approach to care is an undertaking that requires a commitment to training, retaining and diligent follow up. To keep a universal worker happy would require giving such staff opportunities to continue growing. In healthcare, allowing staff to be responsible for different aspects of patient care, rather than doing just one simple, respective role brings satisfaction.
People get bored doing the same thing day in day out. Allowing staff to do different things, creates an excitement for the job that they are doing and creates a feeling of responsibility, and pride in their job. However, because a universal worker does so many different tasks, the staff should be given incentives be it through raise or benefits or other methods, it is imperative that management be very much in tune with this philosophy. Otherwise, staff will begin to feel overworked, and underappreciated. Conclusion In conclusion, merging of two organizations into one organization can be a very difficult undertaking.
If not done correctly, it can fail completely. Even if a merger is successful, it does not mean that changes will not have to be made to operations to bring further success down the line. Sometimes, staff needs to be cut, and new positions be created. This can create some turmoil within the organization if not handled right. It is important to communicate with everyone throughout, and allow staff to assist in building ideas, and making the changes, allowing them to share in some of the responsibilities that the organization will undertake.
Creating autonomy, particularly when creating universal workers, is important to keep staff satisfied. Along with bonus, raise, benefits, or other incentives would be wise. If staff is satisfied, the organization runs smoother and is more profitable. Satisfaction from employees radiates onto the customers and creates the type of environment that one would prefer to do business with. Change can work correctly if the needs of staff throughout the change are kept in mind.