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Inappropriate conduct is a critical issue affecting customer satisfaction and service quality in healthcare organizations. Therefore, regulating employee conduct using appropriate human resource policies is essential. In the present case, a weak HR policy on employee misconduct resulted in repeated violations, which caused the firing of three key employees. Moreover, the rest of the staff and the residents found out about the problem, which affected the facility’s reputation. It is now critical for the management to mitigate the consequences of inappropriate conduct, ensure sufficient staffing and legal compliance, as well as prevent similar incidents in the future. The present paper will seek to assess the current needs of the facility and develop a useful HR policy for inappropriate conduct. Moreover, the paper will propose recommendations on quality leadership, quality management, and the use of Quality Indicator Survey to improve facility administration and ensure future compliance with legal and organizational policies.
Needs of the Facility
As noted in the case scenario, the management had to fire three employees for inappropriate conduct, including the receptionist, dietary aide, and the Director of Nursing. Although they appointed an interim DON, the nurse does not qualify to be in the position on a permanent basis as they are not a registered nurse (RN). Also, the facility does not comply with the requirement for a minimum number of RNs on duty each day. Even if a new DON is recruited and they are an RN, the facility would still need to hire another RN to ensure that one of them is on duty seven days a week. Therefore, the four central staffing needs are a compliant DON, an RN, a receptionist, and a dietary aide.
Hiring an RN should be the facility’s first priority, as it is critical to ensure legal compliance after the incident with the former employees. The RN recruited should be appointed as the DON to fulfill the legal requirements, and therefore should have experience in management and leadership. Next, the facility should seek to hire a receptionist, as having enough receptionists could improve service quality, reduce waiting time for patients, and relieve the workload of other staff. Recruiting another RN would be the third priority, as it would ensure full compliance with legal requirements and reduce the workload of the DON. Lastly, a dietary aide can be recruited when the other positions are filled. Although a dietary aide is an essential employee, filling this position is not an urgent task, as the facility can provide meals based on the former aide’s schemes and information.
Developing an HR Policy for Inappropriate Conduct
A formal HR policy for inappropriate conduct is a useful way of preventing violations in the future. For the policy to be effective, it must outline the process of reporting and penalizing workers who violate the policy. Peterson and Ferrell (2016) argue that a comprehensive organizational policy that specifies penalties and the processes of reporting and investigating incidents is more effective in preventing misconduct than a simple code of conduct used by most companies. After developing a thorough HR policy, the facility should provide training on inappropriate conduct and reporting to ensure adequate understanding of the new policy by the staff.
Establishing an appropriate reporting mechanism is also a crucial measure for preventing future violations. Ideally, both patients and staff should be able to report a suspected violation anonymously, as this would provide sufficient oversight. Mansbach, Kushnir, Ziedenberg, and Bachner (2014) recommend developing a reliable internal channel for whistleblowing to encourage employees to report incidents of misconduct. The facility might choose various options, such as regular staff and patient surveys, online reporting tools, or over-the-phone reporting to a designated employee. The choice of a reporting tool should be based on the organization’s structure and budget.
Consequences for violating the policy should be established based on the type of violation and be consistent with the facility’s corporate policy, as well as the appropriate laws. This is necessary because if the punishment is insignificant, some employees could still engage in inappropriate conduct; however, penalties that are too strict could reduce employees’ morale and job satisfaction (Peterson & Ferrell, 2016). Therefore, classifying possible cases of inappropriate conduct by severity and developing adequate penalties for different types violations should be among the key priorities of the organization’s human resources policy.
Based on the recommendations above, an HR Policy for Inappropriate conduct was developed to address the incident at Blumberg’s Nursing Home. The policy can be viewed in Appendix 1. The document outlines the key aspects of handling inappropriate conduct, such as the reporting process, penalties, and types of violations. For instance, the policy introduces online and over-the-phone reporting as the two reporting tools available to staff, as these options enable anonymous reporting and are inexpensive to maintain. The policy also sets penalties for various levels of violations to ensure that all cases of inappropriate conduct receive a fair punishment. Overall, the proposed policy will be useful in addressing the problem at the facility. However, it can also be expanded or altered based on more specific information about the organization’s structure and needs.
Quality Leadership and Quality Management
Demonstrating quality leadership and quality management skills could help to set and support standards for employee conduct, thus aiding the organization in preventing future incidents. One way in which the administrator can demonstrate quality leadership skills is by contributing to the improvement of corporate culture. An ethical corporate culture is a useful tool for reducing the incidence of inappropriate conduct, improving morale, and promoting excellent work ethics. As shown by Schwartz (2013), to develop an ethical culture, leaders must build and maintain a set of core moral values that are translated into their work processes and practices. Thus, the administrator should set an example for ethical behavior to other employees.
In order to demonstrate quality management skills, the administrator could focus on supporting the new HR policy. For instance, the Quality Indicator Survey can be used to enhance quality control, compliance with organizational policy, and effectiveness of administration (Lin & Kramer, 2013). In the present case, Blumberg’s Nursing Home could use the QIS to address misconduct along with other quality outcomes. Moreover, the administrator should develop a way of surveying both the staff and the patients to obtain comprehensive data. Lastly, it would be critical to study the limitations of the QIS and use it in conjuncture with other quality management tools to ensure optimal results.
Overall, the incident at Blumberg’s Nursing Home occurred due to poor corporate culture and the lack of a sufficient HR policy to prevent inappropriate conduct. The HP Policy for Inappropriate Conduct, suggested in the present paper, would help the facility to avoid future violations. In addition, applying the specified quality leadership and quality management practices would assist the administrator in improving corporate culture, raising morale, and enhancing the quality of services provided.
Lin, M. K., & Kramer, A. M. (2013). The quality indicator survey: Background, implementation, and widespread change. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 25(1), 10-29.
Mansbach, A., Kushnir, T., Ziedenberg, H., & Bachner, Y. G. (2014). Reporting misconduct of a coworker to protect a patient: A comparison between experienced nurses and nursing students. The Scientific World Journal, 2014(1), 1-6.
Peterson, R. A., & Ferrell, O. C. (Eds.). (2016). Business ethics: New challenges for business schools and corporate leaders. Abington, UK: Routledge.
Schwartz, M. S. (2013). Developing and sustaining an ethical corporate culture: The core elements. Business Horizons, 56(1), 39-50.