Barbara Norris – Case Analysis Report Focused on Leadership Issues

Problem/Issues Facing the Organization

The Eastern Massachusetts University Hospital (EMU) is experiencing a financial crisis, as a result of reducing revenue and rising cost. As a result, the organization has employed strategies to cut costs by hiring freeze, and eliminating overtime allowances, and decreased shift differentials. The General Surgical Unit (GSU) which is the case focus is experiencing staff shortage as a result of hiring freeze and high turnover among other units (Groysberg, Nohria, & Bell, 2009).

Besides this, the unit experiences poor work culture that fails to value teamwork and collaboration. The unit has poor HR practices that include lack of transparency in performance evaluation and rewarding, lack of workers’ acknowledgment, lack of chances for workers to learn and develop, and general lack of support from the management.  The above deficiencies in the organization and unit management have resulted in high levels of stress among workers, low work morale, lack of job satisfaction, and high worker turnover. There is poor staff-relation where the seniors look down on the junior staff and patient care assistants (PCAs) in the unit. There is also a strained relationship between physicians and nurses (Groysberg, Nohria, & Bell, 2009).

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Possible Solutions

EMU financial crisis issues have already been addressed by cutting costs. However, this has resulted in new problems, especially in the GSU unit. Barbara Norris who is in charge of this unit needs to make changes to improve the situation. Some of the possibilities include replacing the employees that have left the unit and employing people in the administrative unit to aid in paperwork. Barbara can persuade the organization to consider workers who leave to reduce the shortage and ease the pressure in the unit. Barbara can also focus more on addressing HR management issues. This includes developing a more transparent workers performance assessment system that is easily understood by all staff, and with clear metrics that can be used to differentiate individuals’ performance. This will ensure that rewarding is proportional to the work done of the level of achievement.

Barbara can also develop a good working schedule with the input of staff in the unit. This will eliminate favoritism in offering assignments and create a balance where all staff will feel equally considered based on their skills and abilities. Barbara should also consider offering verbal acknowledgment to staff demonstrating exceptional performance or those who go the extra mile to ensure good results. Other forms of acknowledgments including offering a token of appreciation or a good performance prize, in front of other workers in the department can be adopted (Victoria et al., 2020).

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Barbara should also consider improving open communication in the unit where she can receive complaints, contributions, and share ideas with staff in the unit, and act on them accordingly. This will make staff feel more valued and represented in decision-making. Barbara may also need to invest more time and effort in changing the unit culture. A nursing professional requires a high level of cooperation and collaboration (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017). Barbara will need to nurture the spirit of teamwork, and supporting each other for better results. She will also need to introduce a better work environment where employees are allowed to learn and grow. This will include promoting regular workshops and training in the unit, coaching and mentoring among staff, and supporting staff interested in furthering their education or learning short courses to improve their skills. General human resource management strategies in the unit should be adjusted to increase job satisfaction and retention rate (Victoria et al., 2020).

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Recommended Solution

Hiring more employees would be a good thing for the GSU unit. However, this will translate to cost addition, and hence there is the possibility that the request will be rejected. Therefore, Barbara will be recommended to focus on human resources managerial strategies that are unlikely to increase the operation cost. This includes eliminating favoritism in allocating duties, enhancing open communication within the unit, ensuring transparency in workers’ performance assessment, and changing the rewarding system to reflect individual performance (Victoria et al., 2020).

Barbara will ensure to appreciate individual staffs for exceptional performance either verbally and through clapping and sheering by other staffs, or by having a symbol of good work such as a medal that one has to keep unit outshine by another person. All this can be done in the short-term. Barbara should also work to change the unit culture as a long-term achievement. This includes introducing and nurturing the spirit of collaboration and teamwork among workers and embracing diversity and inclusion management to foster respect among the staff members despite their differences. Barbara should also focus on changing the work environment to embrace more transformational culture that is characterized by learning, development, and embracing change through coaching, mentoring, and regular training in the unit (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017).

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Expected Outcomes

The above measures are expected to build a happier workforce characterized by high work morale and good performance. The measures will eliminate all aspects that currently make staff in the GSU unit feel less valued and insignificant. It will make them feel more appreciated and treasured for the work they do. Their view and input will also be considered in decision making, and hence these decisions will be more supported than before. The measures will result in the fulfillment of workers’ needs. This will increase job satisfaction, motivating them to work to fulfill the organization’s goals and objectives. Even without salary increases and workers shortage challenges, these measures will change the work environment, which will highly change the staff attitude towards their work and the organization. Consequently, the unit will record an increase in job satisfaction, which will translate to improved individual and organization performance, and an increase in patient satisfaction (Victoria et al., 2020).

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