The scientific management theory was developed in the early 1900’s and stated that workers were motivated largely by income opportunities, and that, by placing a non-fraternization clause in place and thus building a wall of separation between management and employee, employees productivity would increase, and with it, so would income for the employer (GCU, 2013, paragraph 4). While this theory may have identified one of the many motivating factors that drive employees, unfortunately, it overlooked the need each of us has to feel that we are making a difference, are utilizing our giftings, and are adding to our own skill sets while working. The eventual results were that approximately twenty years later, as the Roaring Twenties set in, workers found their voices to express their growing dissatisfaction, and employers noted a new phenomenon: job dissatisfaction ultimately hurt the company as it led to decreasing productivity (GCU, 2013, paragraph 5).
Using this theory as a lens with which to view the current health care routines, I would say that routines that are breeding employee irritation or dissatisfaction will become those that are inefficient. I see some of these inefficiencies when looking at the current requirements my agency has that employees will perform the same online “continuing education” courses yearly, without changing or fluctuating the course content from year to year, and then withholding a stipend from the employee if said courses are not completed in a specified time frame. To me, there is great value in promoting employee growth and affirming the value and individual skills sets / desires and interests each team member holds. I see there being a benefit in promoting nurses using a continuing education stipend to pursue courses that interest and stimulate them, and these would be courses that seasoned nurses will stay present and alert in, rather than stating that they already have all the course content and test questions memorized due to having completed them annually for the past five or more years.
My workplace employs different aspects of participative decision making at different times. Weekly, all nurses have a case-conference with their supervisor and discuss the patients in their case load; this time is used to collaboratively come to decisions about the patient’s plan of care, as well as to discuss new ideas for interventions or new barriers faced. I see in this the participative theory playing out through “Interactional Theory” where manager and employee work together to blend perspectives. Huber describes an effective manager as possessing the fine art of being able to interweave “strategy, execution, discipline, inspiration and leadership” in such a way as to actually bring unity and help draw employee into organization’s goals, while affirming and incorporating the specific value and contributions that particular employee carries (Huber, 2010, p32). I feel that my supervisor employs this strategy in leadership in that each case conference is unique and a reflection of the personalities and clinical context from that week’s occurrences. This fluidity is what causes the interactional theory to be a useful tool in helping to affirm the individuality and unique contributions each team member brings to the table, thus causing them to feel seen, heard, valued and utilized for their specific gifting.
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