Change Management; Communication; Motivation

Primary Topic—Meeting Leadership

Additional Topics—Change Management; Communication; Motivation

As the admitting manager recently hired from outside, it took you very little time to discover that morale in the department had been poor for some time. As you worked to become acquainted with your employees by meeting with each of them alone, you soon became inundated with complaints and other evidences of discontent. Most of the complaints involved problems with administration and the business office and the loose admitting practices of physicians, but there were also complaints from the admitting staff about other members of the department and a couple of thinly veiled charges concerning admitting personnel who “carry tales to administration.”

In listening to the problems, you detected a number of common themes. You decided that much misunderstanding could be cleared up if the gripes were aired openly with the entire group. You then planned a staff meeting and asked all employ- ees to be prepared to air their complaints—except those involving specific staff members—at the meeting. Most of your employees seemed to think such a meeting was a good idea, and several assured you they would be ready to speak up. However, your first staff meeting was brief. When offered the opportunity to air their gripes, nobody spoke.

The results were the same at your next staff meeting 4 weeks later, although in the intervening period you were again bombarded with complaints from individuals. This experience left you frustrated because many of the complaints you heard were problems of the group rather than problems of individuals.

Questions:

1. What can you do to get this group of employees to open up about what is bothering them?

2. How might you approach the specific problem of one or more of your employees carrying complaints beyond the department; that is, “carrying tales to administration?”

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