HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT AT DOUGHERTY 1
Description of the Company Profile
Located on the Prince of Peace Campus, Sioux Falls, DoughertyHospice House offers 24-hour medical service and care for theterminally ill and the elderly. It is staffed by skilled nurses andpatient care technicians to focus on personal care, spiritual care,bathing, meal delivery, medication administration, transfers, andadditional services. The hospice provides specialized services toindividuals and their treasured ones to deal with the diagnosis ofafatal illness by attending to the needs of the spirit, mind, andbody. The level of hospice care offered include 5-day respite careunder Medicaid and Medicare, acute care for intense pain and complexcare needs, and residential or extended care (Avera Health, 2016).The hospice has a peaceful, unique, and home-like design, which givesthe peace of mind and warmth to patients. Moreover, the facility hasa kitchen, dining room, resource library, child play room,four-seasons sun porch, beautiful reflective garden, and a linkingavenue that connects the house to the Prince of Peace Facility.The house has private patient suites with connecting family areas toallow the terminally ill enjoy with their families peacefully andconfidentially. To convey the messages of joy, spirituality, concern,comfort, hope, and dignity, the house has approximately 90 pieces ofart. The facility also delivers care in patients’ homes or homes ofrelatives. The facility also has the gymnasium and other physicalexercise facilities, which are located around the hospital to benefitpatients and the public. The hospital has an elaborate communicationand transport service system to support the efficient care of allpatients, including those with disabilities and in need emergencyadmissions. The infrastructure such as lifts and telephones has alsobeen installed in strategic locations to enhance movement andcommunication between the clients and the staff (Avera Health, 2016).
Benefits of a Healthier Work Environment
Efforts to make a healthier work relationship and the situation willbenefit all the stakeholders greatly. A good work environment allowsthe employer, administration, patients, and employee to rely on each,which guarantees an effective flow of operations. The situationallows all the parties involved to communicate positively and createforums for discussion on enhancing care. Furthermore, the developedforums allow the parties to comprehend any existing problem andnurture each other (Lerner, Rodday, Cohen, & Rogers, 2013).Bycultivating a healthy, safe, and positive environment, the facilitycan increase morale, productivity, and staff work-life balance, whichin turn positively impact the organization. Anitha (2014) posits thata healthy environment not only engages employees effectively, but italso ensures the well-being of the staff thus, increasing retentionand reducing employee turnover rate. A healthy laborforce is inspiredto stay in work, is less danger of long and acute illnesses, andrecover easily from sickness. Moreover, a healthy relationship savesthe organization money by reducing costs associated with absence andsickness. Diminishing staff turnover, recruitment costs, and healthcost improve performance, productivity, employee engagement, andmorale thus, ensuring increased profitability or enhanced medicalcare. Therefore, patients will profit from the increased performancethrough enhanced care, services, and employee support.
Satisfactory communication channels for passing information betweenthe client and the staff has played a crucial role in supporting anadequate care. Ideally, when customers and employees communicateefficiently, healthcare services are delivered in an efficientmanner, avoiding costly delays. Indeed, according to Gangwisch(2014), opening up, promoting, and maintaining communication enhancesservice delivery that eventually translates to equitable careservices.
In addition, the availability of reliable and safe equipment has alsobeen noted to motivate the staff working at the institution. Theinstitution understands that acquisition of equipment and machinerythat meet health specifications are vital in ensuring employees workefficiently and minimize medication errors. Assuring the safety ofthe employees by providing all the supportive equipment in workingcondition creates the allowance for them to shun apprehension andstrain (Bellieni & Buonocore,2015). A strong organization culture is also appraised to becritical in enabling the organization to realize its long-term goals.The employees abide by organizations rules and regulations, ensuringthat their operations align with the organization’s mission andvision. The institution appraises the fact that creating anenvironment that assures the integrity and values will increase theorganization`s reputation and discourage employees from engaging inunethical practices such as abusing resources (World HealthOrganization, 2016).
Lastly, the health institution acknowledges that teamwork is crucialfor service delivery and seeks to promote it. Indeed, as the WorldHealth Organization (2016) notes, teamwork is integral inspearheading increased productivity in healthcare settings. Teamwork,for instance, helps in aligning the values of the employees withthose of the organizations. To achieve these results, the institutionis always seeking to foster consistent dialogue among employees tocreate openness and harmony. This effort has played a crucial role inenabling the employees to give the best to the organization (WorldHealth Organization, 2016).
Efforts in Improving Employee Growth and Development
The development of employees through training, education,engagement, and improved services is a significant process fororganizations especially those that want improved performance andmorale. Dougherty Hospice values continuing education forprofessionals (Avera Health, 2016). The facility provides events,conferences, and educational classes for experts to allow them todischarge their duties effectively. Moreover, the hospice offerstraining modalities, programs for emergency services, and labsessions, which help promote employee development and growth. Theseefforts are imperative in creating a healthy working relationshipamong patients, employees, and employers since the staff are engagedand trained to handle even the most challenging situation.
The provision of educational courses, lab skills, and trainingmodalities allows the institution deal with the issue of turnover.Anitha (2014) asserts that employees are highly likely to continueworking for firms that appreciate continued education and employmentengagement. The institution will benefit greatly from engagingemployees, as it will incur fewer expenses in recruiting its staff.Retaining workers allow an organization focus its energies on otherissues. Furthermore, training workers instills the comprehension ofhealth and safety issues thus, the organization will spend lessmoney in developing programs to identify and solve hazard issues.During events and conferences, employees engage and interact withworkers from other firms, which allow them tobring such experiencesto the workplace.
However, the provision of courses, training, and lab skills has itsweakness especially in terms of the money spent and the fact thatsome educational programs may not be linked to health issues. Thehospice can use the money spent on events and conferences on otherissues, for example, paying the professionals for overtime andrecreational services for both patients and employees. Furthermore,the efforts may proof detrimental to the organization if the trainedworkers resign, as the offered education will not benefit the firm inany way. In this regards, it is critical that the organization linksemployee training with other services.
The institution should also acknowledge that learning conferencesbetween different health facilities could benefit it by supportingthe process of sharing new ideas on innovations. Innovations andcreativity have played a crucial role in assuring quality servicedelivery.
It is also noteworthy that the management has not provided enoughsupport to the employees through sponsorship for further studies.Therefore, by addressing this area of weakness, employees will beable to acquire relevant knowledge concerning innovative healthcaredelivery. The institution should liaise with other institutions ofhigher learning and create a reliable framework to enable the staffto advance their studies and increase the capacity of deliveringequitable care. Besides, the facility does not have a properdevelopment and educational plan for the junior staff. In thisregard, there is the need for the junior staff to get sponsorships toenable them to acquire new skills that are commensurate with theneeds of the economy. For instance, cleaners may be trained in thedusting methods to shun the hospital-related infections that havebeen reported to be rampant at the facility (Gangwisch, 2014).
Efforts in Improving Health and Safety
It is the responsibility of the employee and the employer tomaintain a healthy and safe environment. A safety program and healthmanagement system can help an employer focus on efforts to enhancethe work situations. For example, Dougherty Hospice House shoulddevelop comprehensive health and safety programs and systems toidentify safe processes, as well as, ensure that patients receive thebest care possible. However, the organization should ensure that thedeveloped systems are compliant with OSHA regulations, involveemployee’s commitment, encompass continuous improvement, and havecontrols(Lerner et al., 2013). Efforts to improve health and safetyinclude the development of safety systems, identification of safetyfailure and underlying values, and the assessment of risks.
The application of systems, wellness programs, and assessment ofhazards will have a long-run impact on the organization. The hospicewill benefit from theconsistency of the structures and the awarenessof ascertaining risks before they occur. The most fundamentaladvantage of these efforts will be the decrease in costs associatedwith care. The organization will easily recognize wellbeing issuesand gaps thus, greatly improve health and safety. Gangwisch (2014)opines that care and management systems are beneficial to firms, asthey help identify hazards and ease operations. The organization willmanage to integrate wellness program successfully into the lives ofpatients and run background checks effectively. This will not onlyreduce care time, but it will also greatly enhance the wellbeing ofpatients.
Dougherty goes beyond employee management to assuring workplacehealth and safety. The institution is actively engaged in promotingbetter health to avoid injuries and apprehension towards theemployees, thereby enabling them to contribute effectively. Forexample, the institution has been particularly involved insensitizing both the employees and the public to raise healthawareness and liaising with relevant government and non-governmentalministries to improve health outcomes. Dougherty has always beenencouraging and ensuring their workers are protected from workplacehazards. Moreover, it has been encouraging employees to seek regularhealth checkups and screening to detect infections before they becomeserious. The facility has also been involved in promoting initiativesto counter lifestyle-related diseases, encouraging employees toengage in regular physical exercise and have a balanced diet to befit to work (Gangwisch, 2014).
It has been carrying out an initiative to prevent damaging harmfuleffects to employees working in radiography department, as well asfatigue associated with working for long hours. More employees havebeen recruited to reduce workload and lessen fatigue that is linkedto compromised workplace safety. Security systems have also beeninstalled to assure support a safe environment for employees andclients (Genaidy, Salem, Karwowski, Paez & Tuncel, 2015).Dougherty has been sensitizing employees against the use of drugswhile at work, especially when operating machinery and using thedelicate equipment. To accomplish this goal effectively, theorganization also has rules and regulations in place (Gangwisch,2014).
The most significant weakness of these efforts is the failure of thesystems. Dougherty Hospice may use safety and health managementsystems and processes to manage chronic and communicable diseases,but any failure may create unreliability and medical errors.Therefore, despite their dynamism in enhancing health and safetyamong patients and employees, these systems may harm them if theyfail. However, themajority of the processes’ errors originatefromhuman factors, such as, violation errors or non-compliance, lapses,and decision-making errors. Anderko et al. (2012) posit that healthsystems are essential in easing medication and care of patients, butthey failure may lead to misfiling of prescriptions, transcriptionerrors, lack of capacity to identify risks, and gaps amongdepartments. The installation and maintenance of health andmanagement structures may proof costly for most medium-sizedorganizations. Health and safety concerns with work-related hazards,wellness programs, prevention strategies, and identification ofhealth issues thus, the implementation of systems dealing with allthese aspects may become unfeasible for most firms. The high costs ofapplication mean that Dougherty may find itself developing incompletesystems.
The facility should also identify all the relevant occupationalsafety and health administration (OSHA) regulations and comply withthem. The management can use yearly safety classes and openconsultation programs to enable employees to familiarize with safetystipulations.
Efforts in Improving Work-life Balance
The institution has been proactive in supporting employees achieve awork-life balance. The report by Carayon (2014) provides adescription of the core elements of innovation strategies ofsupporting work-life balance at the institution. One of its importantareas of focus is how to increase the human resource capacity toimprove productivity through by enhancing the quality of work life.The institution acknowledges that regardless of whether improving thequality of work life is demanding or catalysts of individualdevelopment, it remains relevant an important process of achievingorganization productivity. The facility practice acknowledges theimportance of autonomy in assuring improved work life and groupproductivity. It considers that the course of improving work lifealso tends to be an obligatory responsibility rather that discreteone. In general, the facility acknowledges the problems facingemployees in contemporary workplaces and expresses a commitment tosupport all the efforts made in an attempt to motivate employees toincrease productivity (Carayon, 2014).
Dougherty has a team of dedicated nurses, social workers, physicians,specialists, dietitians, spiritual counselors, and volunteers toallow easy operation of services. It has recreational services whereemployees can relax and exercise. It also allows them to interactwith each other, as well as, with patients and offer them work leave.These aspects enhance work-life balance, as workers manage to balancework and family time. Other than enhancing this balance, the effortsensure that employees are engaged and motivated to work effectively.The strength lies in the fact that employees interact closely andfind it time to deal with their own issues. Doing so allows them towork tirelessly in caring for the patients.
However, the efforts have a significant weakness in that theavailable recreational services my tamper with the usual operation.When workers are allowed too much time, they mostly end up takingadvantage of the situation for their own gain. Gangwisch (2014),Lerner et al. (2013), and Anderko et al. (2012) contend that creatingscenarios to enhance work-life balances may proof ill-advised forsome firms particularlythose that fail to supervise the offeredservices. Workers must be afforded thetime to interact with theirfamilies and accomplish their personal projects, but during work timesuch moves are risky since they interfere with the normal managementand operations. Furthermore, the establishment of some recreationalservices involves spending money that can be utilized in other areasof concern to the firm.
Even as this step is done, employees need to be well trained toachieving work-life balance. Elaborate content should be incorporatedinto the training for the employees to make them aware of theelements that are critical for achieving the balance. The staffshould be trained on how to balance their work and avoid stress.
A balanced diet has been one the areas of concern for thechallenges for employee productivity. Employees have had a hard timemanaging their diet because of work pressure. Some are compelled toopt for the least nutritious, fast foods that are readily availableat the kiosks. In this regard, Dougherty should come up with a workprogram that will accommodate every employee and enable them to havea balanced diet (Genaidy, Salem, Karwowski, Paez & Tuncel, 2015).
Dougherty has also not done enough in addressing parking concerns ofemployees. For instance, parking amenities for have not been providedfor employees who use bicycles. Addressing such areas of weaknessescan help in motivating subordinate employees and make them feel theyare part of the organization (Masanotti & Griffiths, 2015). Otherareas of weaknesses have also been noted.
First, the management of Dougherty has been relatively strict aboutthe dress code of the employees, requiring them to wear formaloutfits that do not necessarily suit their interests. This issue hasbeen a concern for the generation Y employees working at thefacility. Therefore, adopting different procedure such as those thatallow employees to wear jeans on specific days can create somefreedom for employees to enable them to exercise their fashion andstyle preferences. This can be beneficial to motivate employees(Muylaert, Beeck & Broek, 2014). Organizing social events andparties can also help employees of Dougherty get to know each otherwell, build respect and help open up communication channel amongdiverse members working in the facility. For example, the managementshould organize dancing and dinner parties to create an environmentthat enables the staff to socialize freely.
Secondly, the institution does not have childcare facility foremployees with young children that require daycare. Parents ofnewborns who work at Dougherty Hospice have strained in executingtheir duties at work and finding time to breastfeed their babies. Inthis regard, the management needs to come up with more friendlyschedules to accommodate members. It is recommendable for the hospiceto provide childcare services inside the facility to be inclusive tothe needs of parents with young children (Carayon, 2014).
Recommendations to Enhance the Health and Well-being of Employees
The institution should undertake various measures to support thestaff to contribute effectively to employee needs. There is a needfor the organization to strive and fulfill the psychological needs ofemployees to increase overall organizational productivity. This stepis necessary considering the alarming statistics of stressed anddissatisfied employees working at the facility, a scenario that oftentranslates to poor service delivery and poor productivity. Indeed,workplace stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction are an issue ofconcern in the institution and needs to be addressed. For example,Straker and Mathiassen (2013) have noted that workplace stress is nowa serious impediment to organizational productivity and employeewellbeing, and this is largely linked to limited autonomy, jobinsecurity, job satisfaction, and the increase in the cost of living.Straker and Mathiassen (2013) have reported workplace stress is nowan epidemic, with as many as 65% of employees reporting anxiety,stress, and depression, among other indicators of work-lifeimbalance. The management of the Dougherty Hospice needs work on anderadicate the causes of anxiety, workplace stress, anddissatisfaction by increasing the salary of poorly paid employees,including maternity leaves, hiring enough workforces to minimize theworkload and rewarding and recognizing good performance.
Nevertheless, according to Muylaert, Beeck, and Broek (2014), someprofessions have a high prevalence of work-related stress anddepression than others, for instance, ambulance driving and teachingrecorded the highest percentage of stressed employees (87 percent and80 percent respectively). Many employees have been reported to quitjobs or seek sick leave because of work-related stress (Straker &Mathiassen, 2013). Several studies have further noted incidences ofemployee stress are rising and are having significant healthimplications for the well-being of employees. In particular, thisincreasing prevalence of stress among working professionals isescalating physical and mental problems, resulting in social issuessuch as suicide and premature deaths and even divorce cases becauseemployees are unable to balance between work and family life, or copewith work-related pressure. The institution has acknowledged thecriticality of the situation and is striving to embrace measures tosupport employees to overcome stress, and part of the effort has beendirected to work-life balance.
Performance and quality metrics are often developed based thepotential possessed by teams and individuals. The possessedpotentials translate into dedication and passion for the tasks androles at the workplace. However, the ability for employees to expresscommitment and passion for work roles is constrained by many otherfactors, notably the psychological wellbeing of the employees. In theorganization, human resources are rarely utilized effectively becauseemployees are unable to balance between work and personal life. Sometheorists and researchers have avowed existence of a link betweenindividual performance, organizational productivity, and work-lifebalances. In this regard, the Dougherty Hospice management team needsto adopt objective life-work balance measures to increaseproductivity. For example, the management needs to include childcareservices, allow employees to choose preferred dressing code forspecific days, offer guiding and counseling services to employees andeducate the employees specifically on work-life balance practices(Masanotti & Griffiths, 2015).
The organization should put in place processes and systems that willhelp prevent the transfer of communicable diseases. The systemsshould include a clinic within the organization for employees, whichwould help in diagnosis and possible procedures in case a diseasebreaks out. Anderko et al. (2012) assert that firms should undertakeholistic approaches by offering wellness programs to their staff in abid to ensure they are healthy. These programs allow organizations toaddress chronic diseases thus, their utilization will greatly helpin enhancing the well-being of employees. Secondly, the facilityshould regularly conduct stress survey, screening, and seminars toidentify chronic diseases. Medical checkups and screening helpgreatly in diagnosing heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes thus,enhancing the well-being of employees, as well as, ensuring thatworkers lead healthy lives. Moreover, the hospice should cultivatesafe workplaces with numerous recreational services, such, as bicycleracks, gym space, and changing rooms. Doing so will allow the staffto exercise daily and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Training andexercise are significant health aspects in a person’s life, as theyenhance a healthy living (Anderko et al., 2012). The fourthsuggestion is that the facility should issue a work wellness thathighlights the best nutrition, fitness, safety, and preventiveapproaches especially in diminishing the spread of communicablediseases or the progression of chronic diseases. Finally, the hospiceshould incentivize smoking to allow smokers to stop the habit, hostemployee field day, initiate walks or runs, and subsidize or promotewearable technology to allow workers to track their activity.
Collaboration between Health Professionals and HR with Managersand Employers
Collaboration between various stakeholders will help enhance thewell-being and health of employees at Dougherty Hospice. Theprofessionals should help the facility develop an effective EmployeeAssistance Program that will offer problem resolution and preventiveservices to workers and their families. The programs allow a firm todevelop a situation that considers employees’ well-being (Lerner etal., 2013: Richard, 2014). All the stakeholders will cooperate insetting up the program first by appointing leaders from each group toform a committee. Then, the committee will cultivate procedures toidentify experts that will work in the program.The developed programwill include practitioners who will provide consulting services tothe management concerning the performance of the employee. Moreover,the practitioners will act as behavioral advisors to the managementwhen issues pertaining to workers’ productivity arise. Experts willalso partner with the facility and health associations to providefree events and medical checkups for the employees. Thecollaborations will be enhanced along confidentiality and dynamism byinvolving all workers.
In conclusion, the purpose of this paper has been to explore theDougherty Hospice facility on its ability to meet its long-termgoals. It is established that Dougherty Hospice has been implementinginnovative techniques in managing its staff to foster productivity, amove that has made it famous. Indeed, satisfactory employeemanagement practices related to work-life balance, health and safety,and employee training and development have been evidenced and areobjective in enabling it to realize its goals.
However, certain key areas still leave out a lot to be desired. Inparticular, employees’ development and more work-life balanceattributes need to be improved. In particular, issues concerningchildcare services, staff’s social events, and dress code issuesfor Generation Y employees need to be addressed to prevent turnover.It is hoped that such steps will go a long way in enabling theinstitution to reach great heights of success.
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