Jobs Design and Decision Making

1. The COVID19 pandemic brought a lot of challenges to our healthcare system, and we are still dealing with its aftermath. One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry is the overflow of patients and the lack of medical personnel to attend to their necessities. Filling these jobs is not an easy task, not only because of the small number of professionals willing to do the job, but because when working in health-related fields you need certain skills and preparation that cannot be ignored when looking for the right candidate. On of the best ways to make the job more attractive, that has already been implemented in some companies, is to offer better salary and benefits. People are looking for jobs that gives them flexibility and good work-life balance, so including options such as telehealth services, work from home, or hybrid options can seem more attractive. Making the job performance evaluations more empathetic can also be a key factor in keeping employees, instead of focusing on what they are doing wrong, highlight what they did right and areas of improvement. This combined with stay-interviews and paying attention to the employee feedback can help create a more satisfactory work environment. Facilitating the application process and providing opportunities for current and future employees to expand their knowledge (like completing a degree) can also be helpful. As HR managers we need to make sure the employees are performing well and finding personnel that’s a good fit for the vacancies, but also need to look for ways to prevent burn out and keep good retention rates. It is necessary to pay close attention to the employees’ mental health since suffering from anxiety and depression is one of the main reasons why healthcare workers are leaving their jobs.

My question is: In you experience, what issue has directly affected the way you receive healthcare services after the pandemic? Did it make the experience more pleasant or unpleasant?

2. During the pandemic, we are going to need a lot of help in the healthcare system. It will be a necessity to adapt some of the roles that healthcare professionals play into jobs that can be fulfilled by someone less trained but with more time available to help out. One suggestion for this type of job is “Patient Navigator”. This person would be responsible for helping patients from their initial medical assessment and being placed in one ward or another. The navigator would then follow the patient throughout the duration of their stay and help them with anything from taking care of basic medical needs to getting groceries or making transportation arrangements to get home after discharge. They would also provide a link between the patient and other health care professionals, such as doctors, psychiatrists, etc. I think this job is needed because there are going to be so many patients that need attention that we can’t possibly have enough healthcare professionals around to address all the needs of these people. I would recommend to change the way we operate health care facilities. I think that if we could reduce the number of beds we have on hand, be more efficient with our medical equipment and reduce the amount of personnel needed in these facilities, then perhaps we could free up a lot more time for healthcare professionals to do what they are supposed to be doing. I think there are going to be many people from all over the country coming back here specifically for this reason. I will recommend that we are able to increase the amount of training time that we have available to us. With the shortage of personnel and the extra load that will fall on them, I think they will need to be trained longer before they begin their professional roles in healthcare facilities. I would recommend that we limit the number of patients a single healthcare worker be responsible for. I think by doing this we will be able to extend the amount of time our personnel are available to patients, which is paramount during times like these. According to this, what will be your recomendation about the amount of time that a personnel needs to been having training?

3. Unilateral and group decision making are opposite sides of this process, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. This can mean that the advantages of the individual process can be considered the cons of the group one, and vice versa. Utilizing an individual approach can be more cost effective because there are less people involved and can be less time consuming by cutting out the time used to create groups and shorten the discussion time before a decision is made. On the other hand, using groups can lead to a more informed decision because every member can give their expertise and advice on the matter, while an individual has limited knowledge, which can be biased. Reaching a biased conclusion that is filled with personal judgements could be detrimental for the company.

In the individual process there is only one person to hold accountable for the outcome of the decision, and in the worse the person who made the decision may stick to it even when there are bad consequences, because they firmly believe on it or because of pride. Meanwhile in the group model, since there are more people involved and responsibility doesn’t fall on one person, they tend to end up taking riskier decisions. By playing a bigger role in the decision-making process, and taking ownership of what was discussed, the participants of the groups can feel more empowered and will look forward to finding ways in which they can implement what was being discussed within the staff and the organization.

As a manager, I think that it really depends in the situation and the environment when it’s time to decide for ourselves or get more people involved. Although I would prefer the group decision making because of the broad perspective that it can present on any given issue, sometimes making individual decisions can be best. Engaging in healthy conflict (faster and better informed) is one of the best ways to help the company because everyone listens to each other and try to reach a mutual agreement, which can lead to professional and personal growth. In both instances there is a need to create an environment where other people expressions are valued and respected so they can voice their concerns, being that they disagree with the decision that you made as an individual or by making them feel like their opinion matters when participating in the group modality.

4. Today’s business leaders face complex issues primarily influenced by cultural backgrounds, interpersonal behaviors, differential power of employees, and group associations. Because of that, managers should take into consideration a broad list of factors when trying to make a decision. Sometimes, decision-making can take different approaches, like unilateral or as a group. Each of them has its pros and cons. Some advantages of group decision-making models include a broader range of ideas, multiple viewpoints on the issue under discussion, varied members’ experiences, decreased biases that could influence the decision, and broader involvement that can result in more significant commitment to chosen strategies. There are also some disadvantages involved in the group decision-making model. Some cons include a discussion that can be time-consuming, off-topic debates causing distraction, potential conflict in agendas, figures of authority dominating the forum, and the dispersion of ideas that can result in reduced commitment to the final decision.

On the other hand, we have the unilateral or directive decision-making model with its pros and cons as well. Some of the pros that come with this type of decision-making style include less time needed to reach a decision, which is especially beneficial in time-sensitive cases, it shows the ability of the leader to handle situations, and does not create a division of ideas and opinions towards the issue. Likewise, making a unilateral decision without considering other people’s thoughts and feelings has disadvantages. Some of the cons involved in this model include the presence of biases, hesitation from others to adhere to the final decision, the leader can be portrayed as forcing their ideas into practice, reduced commitment or interest from the employees in the final decision, and more room for error on making the wrong decision due to missing important points.

After comparing and contrasting both, I would prefer to employ the group decision-making model. I am a strong believer in teamwork for the success of a company. Getting input from all the parties involved can help get a solid commitment to reaching the same goal. I understand it is difficult for a group of people to have the same beliefs, but a middle ground can often be achieved. I would recommend to chose a committee that represents the ideals of the employees from different areas and advocate for them at the time of decision-making.

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