This week was really interesting, learning about conflict resolution and bargaining from the bottom level employee stance. I think conflict resolution is so important for every employee because there will be tons of little conflicts that we will have to deal with, and we should be able to deal with them without escalating them to higher management. I also think the bargaining assignment was important because it helps to show that raising wages and changing benefits is not as easy as we might think and that sometimes it is a short term loss, but long term gain. All of these principles are important to have in mind while working as a floor nurse and also when potentially moving up into higher management positions.
This week was really interesting thinking together as a group of what we would do as CEO’s as far as expansion of a medical system, recruiting employees and advertising. It was interesting to learn about leadership in these kind of situations and also to see what ideas the other members put forward about the UVU MSN program. I think the information learned will be useful if we are in future leadership positions. I think the information learned was interesting.
On this unit I learned a lot about nurse staffing and how difficult it is. It is an ongoing, ever changing discussion between staff and administration always trying to optimize money and scheduling, while still having enough staff. I also learned about career development as a nurse, and researching articles about it was really helpful in learning about things I should be doing now to further my career development. Team activities are always great because you get a chance to work with your team and see different perspectives. I will utilize this information in my continuous career development and as I hope to charge nurse someday I will use the scheduling techniques in the future.
This week I learned a lot about budgeting about what kind of expenses the hospital has and what kind of budget cuts management has to make. The group activity was great and really taught me that when budgeting it is so important to have many eyes on the budget because people see things differently and having multiple people look at something can be helpful in cutting budgets.
For this assignment I interviewed Jill Rigoli of Danji Designs. Jill is the co-owner of her business.
- How many disciplinary write-ups can an employee receive before they are dismissed? An employee will be dismissed after they have received 3-5 write ups, depending on the nature of why they are being written up.
- Are verbal warnings given? If so, how are they recorded and how long are they kept? Verbal warnings are given to employees first informally and then more formally if needed, and documented when, what and why on a form that is put into that employee’s file.
- When terminating or disciplining an employee, do you have to include personnel from HR? I handle HR so yes I am there.
- During verbal or written warnings, is it made clear that the employee’s job is in jeopardy? Once we get past 2 written warnings, it is made clear to the employee that their job is in jeopardy.
- Do employees have the opportunity to respond to allegations and if so, is it a verbal or written response? Employees have the opportunity to respond to issues when being discussed with them and we take the time to discuss with them what is contributing to the problem and how we can work on it together.
- How comfortable are you with disciplining or firing employees? If you are uncomfortable, how do you manage doing it? I have a close relationship with all my employees and feel comfortable talking to them if there is a problem and letting them know if something is not acceptable and hearing them out about their behavior.
- What rules and regulations exist to protect employees from being wrongfully terminated? Before firing employees we talk to our business lawyer who makes sure that we are legally covered to fire that employee.
- How frequently is someone actually fired rather than just disciplined? We have very rarely had to let anyone go.
- How do you go about firing an employee while attempting to remain on good terms? I think that spending the time to talk about why that particular behavior is occurring and discussing how we can fix it makes it much easier to let an employee go down the road if needed because we can both feel that fair warning and assistance was given.
- Who is present from the company when an employee is getting officially fired? How does that meeting typically play out? Myself and my husband who is co-owner are present and simply discuss with the employee our issues and why we feel we now need to let said person go.
From this interview I learned more about how discipline and firing come about in a smaller business that does not have many employees, a separate HR department etc. I think there are good an bad in that employees may feel more supported in a small company where they work side by side with the owners and have a close relationship with them, vs a bigger company where they probably have never even met the owners, but I also think a bigger company probably has hard and fast guidelines to discipline and firing which make it easier in the long run because the rules are cut an dry.
This week was fun, I liked looking into ethical dilemmas and was comforted in seeing that I saw things in the same way as nearly all my class mates. The team activity was good and we all basically felt the same about the issue, so my opinion did not change, however it was good to see similar thinking in other nurses. On this unit I actually learning what ethics committees do, and who is on them which is great knowledge to have now that I am actively in the nursing field. I plan on utilizing what I learned by utilizing my resources, one being ethics committees if need, and by using nurses around me to discuss ethical dilemmas if needed.
I interviewed Danica Katz at Amgen. Danica talked about continually evaluating employees unofficially each day and with each project. She typically will informally keep and eye on the people in her team and step in when she sees a potential issue, also informally. She said that her company puts forward specific evals to be done each year that are formal and give a good chance to sit down with each team member and discuss certain expectations laid out by the company, but she feels that these evals are also very vague and rare(yearly), so she likes to give praise and possible warnings as often as is needed or deserved. She said that pay increase is tied to these yearly evals and so she takes them very seriously and truly uses them to give good feedback to the team member and feels because they are tied to pay she is responsible to give honest feedback to the company. This is part of why she likes to give encouragement and feedback all throughout the year so that employees have the opportunity to improve before evals, but this is also helps her feel fair in her yearly formal evals because she knows that any potential problems had already been brought to the employees attention. Formal evals are sent to HR and kept on the employees file. Danica does feel the there is ample time for employees to improve performance and she tries to be a good resource and supportive team lead so that her team members feel they can come to her for support if needed. Amgen also has lots of resources for employees to use to improve their quality of life, maintain balance, maintain mental health and employees are always encouraged to talk to HR if they feel they cannot discuss something with her.
Student learning: I really like Danica’s leadership style and what she said about constantly watching and giving feedback to her team. I feel like every manager or leader is watching their team all of the time and I would be upset if I went un-notified that I was doing something wrong until my official eval when they decided to tell me. I definitely appreciate someone who will take a moment to informally talk with you and let you know that you are doing a great job or that you need to step it up. That’s their job and I think as an employee we need to be able to appreciate that constructive criticism. This interview helped me see that as a leader that is the kind of feedback and support I would want to be giving my team.
This week’s assignments gave me the opportunity to research famous leaders that I haven’t studied in years. It was interesting to see my team’s point of view on who great leaders are and to see how many of us thought of the same people. It’s helpful to see what characteristics others look for in great leaders so that we can harness those qualities when we are in leadership positions. The group discussions really help me to see how everyone thinks and feels about issues that pertain to nursing, in a setting where we are all equal and honest.
This week revolved around team building and working as a team. I really liked this unit, and feel it would be very beneficial to do this unit as week 1 or 2. A lot of people do not like to be put into teams and forced to work together in certain ways or do certain “getting to know you” activities (myself included), and most of the time when teams are assigned to post a get to know you it really doesn’t help anyone get to know them at all. The group project for this week was great in this aspect because all the members of the team researched team building activities and the benefits of them, and personally if I were on a remote team at my job I would actually enjoy doing most of the activities that were written about in our paper and feel they would truly be beneficial in building a team relationship and actually getting to know the people on your team. This week’s activities inspired me to remember that everyone in tea projects probably feels the same way I do, but if we think out of the box and build team relationships that are deeper than “get to know you” blips, team work can be extremely beneficial to you and, in the medical field, to your patients. I plan to use the information learned to help build my nursing team at work and encourage my co-workers to utilize some of these ideas as well.
From this unit I learned about what leadership can mean, different leadership styles and my own leadership style. The team activity was interesting because leadership doesn’t always have to be someone doing something positive, and a strong leader can be really good or really bad depending on their own views and agenda. I will utilize this information by respecting leaders when they lead, and being a leader myself when it is warranted. I will exemplify the characteristics that I think a leader should have all the time and not just when others are watching. I feel like in nursing leadership is so important because anyone can become a leader at any time and nurses need to be able to be strong leaders at a moments notice because often a life is as stake if they can’t.