Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
In effect, the system you've designed breaks the support staff into
three teams of four people each. Whenever a team member is gone, the
team meets at the beginning of the workday and decides on the staff
member who will cover for the absent person. The system isn't working
and there is a great deal of passive-aggressive behavior and blaming others
for the failure of the system.
You decide to have a pep talk with the staff members complete with
team names, symbols, and coffee mugs with inscribed names of the team
and the person. You even include a morale-boosting speech from the
agency director who explains that he knows how hard everyone is work-
ing, but that covering for one another is the only way the agency can
make it through these perilous times. You overhear one of the support staff
members, who makes $25,000 a year and has to pay $200 a month for
medical insurance, say to a friend that while the support staff is working its
tail off without salary increases, the director gets 15% a year salary increases
and, according to the agency's bookkeeper, makes $125,000 a year. The
speech falls flat and the problem intensifies. When a staff member is gone,
the professional staff suffers and productivity falls. What used to be a sick
leave system that wasn't misused has now become a mental health day sys-
tem where staff members take sick leave to miss going to work and believe
that if the agency isn't going to treat them well, that taking unneeded sick
leave is a way of rewarding themselves while getting back at the agency.
Do you believe that salary increases would improve morale and lead to
better cooperative efforts on the part of staff?
Is there a way to stop the use of sick leave when staff aren't sick but
feel they deserve a mental health day?
The approach used by the supervisor failed to get at underlying issues.
What might a better approach have been to help staff deal with the
reasons staff coverage has become such a problem?
How would you deal with the type of passive-aggressive behavior
described in the case?
The lack of a cooperative spirit suggests a problem of agency identity
and loyalty. Should we expect support staff to feel the same loyalty and
identity to the agency as the professional staff?
This chapter discusses teamwork and other cooperative efforts and
whether teams provide the benefits we often think they do. Ways of orga-
nizing teams are discussed and impediments to effective teamwork are
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