What can you do when you feel unwelcome? During my internship period, I was posted for a short time in a primary hospital. The previous ophthalmologist had left last year and I was assigned there to assist the ophthalmologist who will be joining in one month after I joined. Imagine my surprise when I went to the Ophthalmology department to find it in the same disheveled state as I found it when I came there before three weeks to remind the management and to check out the department before my posting. House Keeping staff and nursing assistants were reluctant to help in cleaning and maintenance for the ophthalmology department. The management turned a blind eye towards my request for new or repairing the existing instruments. It took me nearly two months to make them grant my request. Later on, I came to know about the ongoing conflicts between the management and the employees of the hospital. Many employees left the hospital since they were unpaid for the past two months. Since most were older than me, they tried to harass me with their seniority. So I reported it to HR department. However, they told me they were helpless in this situation and cannot make a big issue as the employees are less in number and advised me to compromise with the whole situation. When the ophthalmologist came in next month she was disappointed at the current state of the department and submitted a complaint using her hold and status. The management immediately took action since it was difficult to attain her to the ophthalmology department.
As I reflect on this situation, I could see that I didn’t take charge and allowed the older and senior members of that hospital to boss me around. I thought to myself that since I was just an intern I didn’t have much voice in that situation to defend myself and my reasons in front of senior people of that hospital. I didn’t find the right balance between humbleness and being assertive to elder officials. My self-esteem was below average to face this situation.
A good work environment will provide mutual respect for all the people who work for the organization.The ongoing conflict between management and employees created a rift between them and indirectly affected the quality of work done. People only like to work effectively and efficiently when they feel respected and all their basic needs and rights are met. Due to my shy nature, I may not have communicated effectively the urgent needs of the ophthalmology department. Similarly, the management may not have had effective communication with employees to boost up their motivation and allow them to work effectively and clear up any misunderstandings between them. In this incident, it is also evident that there was zero group dynamics. The housekeeping section is not coordinated with the management and hence the starting of ophthalmology department was not properly disclosed. One group couldn’t work with other department groups due to ongoing conflicts between them. There was no action taken to subdue the conflicts happening between and in the groups. The senior-level officials and management turned a blind eye towards it and expected me to do the same. They didn’t want to expose the ongoing conflicts nor did they want to settle them.
When I reflect on this situation I feel that I could have changed or improved the situation by improving my communication skills and self-esteem. In any work environment, I feel that the positive outlook and confident communication skills can work miracles. I now understand there was a great difference between my real and ideal self (Lamberton, Minor, 2014). I should understand and accept myself and work to improve my capabilities and skills. Another important factor is that the hospital is denying the basic rights of employees. They are not getting paid and the ignorance of management towards staff has created a negative impact on employees towards their outlook towards their work and ethics. Due to this, there is no mutual respect in the workplace. They feel neglected and don’t want to work in such a negative and inefficient hospital setting. A win-win strategy could be implemented where a face to face meeting between officials and employees could help to air out the false assumptions and conflicts brewing between them. With this method, we could try to satisfy each side’s needs as much as possible (Scott,1990). According to Renckly (2014),”When any company structures its employer-employee relations philosophy in the principle of genuine concern for its people, you can be sure that the company has the respect of its employees, its customers, and the community it serves “(p.23). Employees work best when there is a chance for them to excel whether it be a promotion or as payment. Providing such incentives could also help in having a great workplace environment. Whether it is individual or group performances, the right motivation can increase the performance quality and quantity (Cadrain, 2003; Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw,2006). The housekeeping team is having a silent battle against the management since they are not paid adequately and are reluctant to adjust to the changes happening in case of department addition as their workload is increasing with no profit for them. Due to this, the progression of development of a new department is delayed.
Each department was disorganized and had no coordination between each department. A hospital can only progress and have patient and employee satisfaction only when there is a well-balanced team. So steps should be taken to retrain the whole team by conducting short meetings, surveys and providing training to improve the quality of work. Employee participation and feedback should be encouraged. Providing clear and specific rules and policies also improve the functioning of the entire team (Lamberton, Minor, 2014).
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