Friday, September 7, 2012

DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSIS: Organizational Management Spring of 201

Mr. Valerian B-K. Masao II

Instructor: Dr. Bruce Johnson American Public University (APUS) July 2012
I work for a not-for-profit organization that was established in the year 1800, as the Benevolent Society of NY Capital District to assist indigent women, children and orphan asylum. Currently, the organization cares for children and adults with developmental disabilities (special developmental, emotional, and behavioral needs) with their families. It is the multi-service organization i.e. providing residential programs, group homes, behavioral juvenile school campus, a day treatment program, clinical services, crisis intervention, respite services, and in-home parent assistance programs. Although, over duration of time the faces of the organization and programs have transformed since its establishment, the needs of the youth, individuals and families remain continuous to feel safe, to receive quality care, to receive comfort and to grow and thrive. Thus, the goals have transformed and diversified due to new community demands and the mission remained the same. The overtime organizational transformation on goals, structure and design is the proof of what Morgan, (1989), illustrated as, “today’s solutions shapes tomorrow’s problems” (35). 

The organization is licensed and certified by the New York State Education Department, New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, New York State Office of Children and Family Services and New York State Department of Health. It also has Memberships with Child Welfare League of America, New York State Association of Community Residential Alternatives, The Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies, The 853 Coalition and The New York State Coalition of Mental Health Services for Children The organization is responsible for and runs a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), a registered secondary campus school, a crisis bed unit, (for emergency and diagnostic services, hospital diversion, planned and crisis respite Diagnostic unit), supervised Independent Living Program (SILP) (for in and out of home respite, skill building, life skills training and community habilitation), six Individual Residential Alternatives (IRA), a supported living IRA (apartments located throughout the greater Capital District), the community services IRA, and two group homes. These programs are located throughout the greater Capital District in different counties, cities and towns. The organization’s employee have to be trained during orientation, must pass medical examination, physical, Purified Protein Derivative (PPD) test, Criminal background and possess valid driver license before are to work with individuals at the programs. Also, as per state compliance training, employees must pass Strategy for Crisis Intervention and Prevention (SCIP), Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and Medical Administration Course.
The organization is caring and serving the vulnerable people who cannot advocate for themselves on important Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Its employees are responsible and assume partial custodian of the individuals’ daily life from medical appointment, food, community recreations, clothing, shelter/bedding, bathing, transportation, school/work correspondence, and family member/guardian correspondence. Because these programs are scattered all around Greater Capital Region and not centralized at the main office at campus there is a great deal of management present and monitoring the daily activities. This is the single major issue of this organization. Since, I was hired working for the organization I have not seen a single HRM personnel staff at my program. To my opinion, the organization has positioned itself as a self-fulfilling prophecy because the fallacy is that employees are trained and knows well than them, office staff. HRM Department is like ceremonial department and not performing well with to its basic strategic functions of staffing by hiring qualified employees, training and development by preparing employees, motivation by stimulating and empowering employees, and maintenance keeping the productive employees (Baird & Meshoukim, 1984). Thus, HRM Department should be supporting employees by managing, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling all the organization’s employees, environment and resources that will facilitate their daily job.
In this diagnostic paper, I will analyze the organization’s management style that is fragmented and disconnected assisting employees in achieving their daily goals, organizational goal. This starts from Chief Executive Office, Department Directors, Program Coordinators and Program Manager who are responsible for formulating and enforcing the organizational policies. The policies issues the organization is facing is how to staffing and managing quality care and services that the organization offers. Staffing and employees’ assistance is not sufficient something that affects employees’ morale, employees’ relations, production, quality care and services and low employee retention. The organization need to transform and put more emphasis on the policies that reflect the culture of employees support. For example, Leslie, Loch & Schaninger, (2006), on their research, found out that organizations do perform well when the management utilizes specific practices to make employees responsible, to establish goals and priorities, and to create a performance culture; and when organizational managements undertook these three practices concurrently achieved the greatest results. This finding could be a good recipe for my organization’s management resolving the underlying employees support problem that is causing other problems.
My observation is that CEO’s office puts so much emphasis on raising funds and reshaping the public image of the organization than internal issues such as employee assistance. This has trickled down to departments and programs respectively. In result, Human Resources Management (HRM) is not carefully planning, determining and organizing well the organization’s human resources needs (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2010). In retro respect Program Manages are left out without coordinated effort and support tackling the growing number of understaffed programs and sometimes unqualified or undisciplined employees who are tenting the production, care and services, and overall its public image. The use of what Fitz-Enz, (1997), called a strong culture, a system of informal rules that invokes out how employees are to behave with the management follow-ups could help employees feeling worthy about their job and could boost production.
As per union contract, we have disciplinary guidelines, but it has gotten so bad that they are no longer effective because management has painted the inconsistency image that it is viewed as double standard to many employees. The disciplinary guideline is the hierarchy, which starts with verbal warning for minor issues, supervisory memorandum for major policy breach, followed by first and second written warning notice, 10 days suspension for repetition of policy breach, third written warning and termination. Any written warning is active in the file counting as concurrent for a period of one year, then dropped to just achieve document. However, any warning related to major policy breach and or safety to the individuals during probation period, first 6 months of employment with organization, will result to automatic termination. These are just words in the books because organization barely enforces them consistently. In the unionized organization, like ours,  HRM practices is primarily to follow the union contract procedures and policies such as wage rates, hours of work, working conditions and terms and conditions as stipulated by the contract entered between management and union leadership (Turnbull, (2003).
For example, I had an employee who had a serious policy breach during his probation period, refusing to take the Medication Administration Course twice, when he was disciplined he attended the course and failed on purpose. Upper management was notified by Program manager and all paperwork was forwarded to the HRM as policy states. Nothing happened, in result, two other employees who have been working for the organization over a year followed the trend. Also, the compliance requirement for a new hire, in the probation period, is to pass all training. This issue became contentious and an infection on already depressed staffing affecting scheduling and staff morale due to upper manage inaction on such serious policy breach. DeCenzo & Robbins, (2010) said that, “not firing someone who is underperforming or insubordinates sends the message that the employer accepts bellow-standard performance” (103). Thus the productive employees perceive that their input in the organization and tireless effort to meet the organizational goals does not mean anything to the management. Also, it sends a loud message that the organization does not differentiate between hard working and productive employees with the underperformed and unproductive workers.
The scope of the management to enforce accountability that trickles down from the main office to all operating units across the Greater Capital Region where it operates is not at the required level for the nature of the organization. The organization’s management style is disconnected and fragmented because not everyone is on the same page and can come to the same page. The major problem is the ability of CEO Office, HRM Department, Quality Assurance (QA) Department and Information Technology (IT) Department, as organizational knowledge base leaders, don’t coordinated their efforts and use the new technologies already installed and benefit management to connect the dots, transformational information system that will help the management in decision making process. The above departments collaborating with all other departments and program leaders should instead utilized what Yiannis, Ioannis & Nikolaos, (2009), on knowledge management, called the framework that comprises systems, procedures, and culture to manage organizational employees. Instead, when it comes to employees support, each department operates on its own uncoordinated toward employee support policies, then department directors are and manager are left to fend for themselves on employee support. Overall, the organization is severely understaffed, employees cannot meet the individuals’ supervision parameters assessed by the Treatment Team and the presented level of care an individual program need to provide to its individuals.
When I started to work with the organization, I questioned the culture of management by not punishing major policy breach right away and reinforcement of the employees support because I happen to believe management not doing that will affect staff retention, morale and production. I was told that since we were understaffed the management was cautious using harsh punishment to employees and result to lose more that the program can handle running its daily activities. I objected that not punishing the mediocre employees will affect the management perception as strong, employee morale, production, staff retention, and employees support. But this culture is rooted so deep to the organization, union politics and contracts that one person can change it and it us resulting in the staff retention rate. Therefore, the understaffing as the underlying cause is not the cause of the mediocre employees’ safe haven, but vice-versa the culture of management tolerating the mediocre employees is the underlying cause of understaffing and staff retention. As Morgan, (1998), on the limitation of culture metaphor said that this, “metaphor can be used to support ideological manipulation and control” (144).
The organization can be recognized as managed by presence of both culture and flux and transformational metaphors.  Its culture is to empower youth, adults and families to build a brighter future within the communities it serves. Whereas its value is to continue the work of providing life-changing care to the youth, adults and families in the communities it serves. Employees, affiliates, kids, individuals, families and the Greater Capital District communities that it serves are the proof of its vastly diversification by serving as one culture yet with countless sub-cultures. Morgan, (1998), illustrated that organizational culture is host culture that is generally not uniform because organization is made up with different people who often have different backgrounds, personalities, beliefs, traits and sometimes languages, are often becoming sub-cultures, but, do share much in common with the organization. In this analysis, the organization leadership is failing to balance between the public images, which is as important as employee support to accomplish their daily goals, which, collectively are the organizational goal.
The organization as culture metaphor uses special events and public causes as symbolic significance on raising funds and advertise the importance of the organization to the communities, and care for the vulnerable in the community as the meaningful thing in the communities.
Thus employees and volunteers who value helping the disabled and least advantaged feels obligated to assist the individuals in all they do. I have seen employees who dearly symbolize the theme of working with our individuals as their obligation both as employees and community members. They go an extra mile from using their personal resources to personal time helping the individuals. In this respect, the organization’s management should use such courageous venues by recognizing them as important symbols and punish the mediocre employees. In the culture metaphor, action speaks louder than words. Thus, it is important for the management to see how their actions are affecting the employees’ production and morale. Here management needs to gain new understanding of its impacts and roles and to manage creation of shared meaning, employees support culture, as the culture metaphor that offers a new perspective as organizational change and can pivot the environment of management and employees to the organization’s success (Morgan, 1998).
The organization as a Flux and Transformation metaphor is instrument that gives the organization fundamental nature of generational change that deepens the systemic forces that are lock the organizations into a status quo of obsessing about its public image, unbalanced culture; on the hand driving the fruitful transformational change on financing and technological advancement (Morgan, 1998). The flux and transformational metaphor here is the organization’s emergence from the turmoil caused by the financial 2008 meltdown and ongoing global anemic recovery since then. It has used drastic cuts, reorganization, enhanced technology and resizing some crucial programs as tools to stand still and competitive. The consequences brought by this metaphor could be as well the cause of the theme of this analysis.
This metaphor gives a framework for understanding and managing organizational change and improvement that is traced over period of time where changes can be seen as results of two fundamental view-points, whether the organization transformed over period of time or maintained its status quo. Morgan, (1998), is referring Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela’s autopoiesis theory derived from the premise that a living system (organization) is categorized by autonomy, self-reliance and circularity principles that tend to facilitate organization to self-create or self-renew. In this case, the organization needs to use the autopoiesis theory by mimicking its public image culture to employee support practice that always benefits both the organization and employees.
Since, the 2008 economic meltdown the organization has had a new CEO is viewed as transformational figure in the public eye. Practically, he has held an attitude of, “my way or high way”, and many employees believe that she does not listen or emphasize their main concerns i.e. employees morale, employees support, understaffing, to study the chronic employees retentions and the issue reinstating of the raise and benefits cuts that took place during initial stages of economic meltdown. Publically, the CEO has painted a very colorful defined picture of the organization that we are a diversified change. We work for the community needs, fit into the environment and climate of the region, in spite of leaders, substantively not creating or developing fit theory in their management strategically (Daewoo, Chinta, Lee, Turner, & Kilbourne, 2011). To balance internal and external operations is the quality of a successful management because one influences the other. We don’t know how long the public picture the CEO painted will be tainted by grown discourse of internal matter; practically it is just a matter of time.
My recommendation to the organization is to reinvent the management style by redesigning the current process. In this process, there must be incentives for management to constantly innovate accountably. Leaders must set performance goals for everyone, enhance value to individuals, family members and community members, execute strategic change, hasten the improvement rates, and promote learning and cross-pollination among employees (Pande, Neuman and Cavanagh, 2000). This process should be aimed to enhance these changes to the organizational culture of also fostering employees support base as major attribute the organizational growth. Starting by providing relevant training, links to the real world events, emphasis on hands on learning and building knowledge base by obtaining feedback with responses report on initiative taken to each particular issues, will be a plausible thing to do. Also, by HRM developing and outlining each position in the organization with its specific job description who is to answer to whom will create the new environment of everyone to become accountable. This means no policy breach is going unanswered and punished by the management. There should be a standardized framework for response to matters that can be perceived as double standard, and management can strengthen employee’s positive responses by reestablishing an employee excellence reward system. All these should reflect on the standardized employees’ performance appraisals, as knowledge base framework for decisions making process.

Baird, L., & Meshoukim, I. (1984). The HRS Matrix: Managing the Human Resource Function Strategically. Human Resource Planning, 7(1), 1-30.
Daewoo, P., Chinta, R., Lee, M., Turner, J., & Kilbourne, L. (2011). Macro-fit versus micro-fit of the organization with its environment: Implications for strategic leadership. International Journal Of Management, 28(2), 488-492.
DeCenzo, D. A., & Robbins, S. P. (2010).  Fundamentals of human resource management (10th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Fitz-Enz, J. (1997). The 8 practices of exceptional companies: How great organizations make the most of their human assets. New York, AMACOM.
Leslie, K., Loch, M. A., & Schaninger, W. (2006). Managing your organization by the evidence. Mckinsey Quarterly, (3),
Morgan, G. (1989).  Creative organization theory: A resource book.   Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications.
Morgan, G. (1989).  Creative organization theory: A resource book.   Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications.
Pande, S., Neuman, R. and Cavanagh, R.  (2000). The six sigma way. How GE, motorola, and other top companies are honing their performance. New York:  McGraw-Hill.  ISBN:  0-07-135806-4.
Turnbull, P. (2003). What Do Unions Do Now?. Journal Of Labor Research, 24(3), 491-527.
Yiannis, T., Ioannis, S., & Nikolaos, K. (2009). Learning, a Critical factor for the Performance Management of an Organization. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1148(1), 913-916. doi:10.1063/1.3225467

The Fatherhood Life Reader(s) Signature and Disclaimer. Content of this Blog (The Fatherhood Life) is intended for reading use only and may contain privileged, confidential, or proprietary information that is exempt from disclosure under law. Reader(s) discretion is required of essence. If you have received this link in error, please close the window and inform us promptly by profile e-mail and or comment line. Content of this blog are protected under the privacy, 1st amendment and private property laws. Do not distribute, print, download and or copy content of this Blog without Blog Administrator’s permission or proper academic references to Fatherhood Life Blog. Also contents of this Blog are personal opinion, views, perception and private or Public observations of the Blogger(s). Thank you and may God bless you and The United States Of America. "In God we Trust" and "United We Stand".

No comments: