Communication; Delegation; Leadership; Rules and Policies

To moTIvaTe The UNmovaBle

Primary Topic—Motivation

Additional Topics—Communication; Delegation; Leadership; Rules and Policies

“My hands are tied,” said laboratory supervisor Melissa Wilson. “Because of the way this place is organized there’s absolutely nothing I can do to motivate the employees in the laboratory. I should have listened when I was told 2 years ago that I wouldn’t be free to supervise normally in this environment.”

“What’s wrong with this environment?” asked Melissa’s manager, assistant administrator June Allen.

Melissa spread her hands and lifted her shoulders. “You know as well as I do, June. Goodness knows you’ve worked under it long enough—government. We’re a municipal hospital, an arm of local government.”

“But we’re still a not-for-profit general hospital,” said June. “What makes moti- vating employees any different here than it would be almost anywhere else?”

“Almost everything,” said Melissa. “Look what our governmental status and the civil service system does to us.”

Melissa bent down the little finger of her left hand and said, “First, I can’t give an employee a pay raise or a bonus for good performance because that’s not allowed.” She gathered the next finger with the small one and continued, “Second, I can’t pro- mote a good performer because there’s no career ladder structure and I can’t advance anyone unless something opens up; and third,” she said as she drew the middle finger into a bundle with the other two, “creating a new position falls somewhere between impossible and taking forever; and finally if an opening occurs or I manage to get another position approved I’m usually required to go by the results of some examina- tion in filling the job.”

June Allen shrugged and said, “Civil service has its drawbacks, that’s true, but I think maybe you’re looking in the wrong places for most of the motivators.”

“I don’t know, June,” Melissa responded. “Oh, I’ve heard all this stuff about how money supposedly doesn’t really motivate. If that’s so, why do our employees talk about money so much? As far as I’m concerned, I’ve about decided that ‘thank you’ goes only so far and that’s not far enough.”

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Putting yourself in the position of assistant administrator June Allen, prepare a response for your subordinate supervisor Melissa Wilson. Be sure to include some clear direction for Melissa to follow in seeking more effective ways of motivating her staff.

100      Case 43: To Motivate the Unmovable

© Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION. 8645

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