A Care Clinic, hereinafter known as CC is a healthcare facility operating in Summerville, Florida. As part of the management and improvement of the said facility, the administrator and investors established the Executive Team, hereinafter known as ET. The ET’s primary function is to perform an annual review of the CC’s performance. Using a particular client benchmark, the ET discovered a “decrease in client satisfaction scores related to courtesy and friendliness of the staff at the said Care Clinic”, and it was not a welcome development. The following pages describe the strategy that will be implemented to reverse the trend and increase the client satisfaction rating in terms of staff courtesy and friendliness.
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Identify Why the Low Scores Have Been Attained
Two scenarios were analyzed to have a deeper understanding of CC’s reported low performance and decreasing client satisfaction in terms of courtesy and friendliness. The first scenario focuses on the interaction between a patient named Mr. Hawk and an unnamed nurse (Whitemouse Productions, 2016a). In this sequence, the nurse was supposed to get Mr. Hawk’s vital signs. However, she did not have the skills to make the patient comfortable and willing to cooperate with her, to get the needed health measurements. Also, the nurse was distracted by the things that she needed to do and she forgot to get the patient’s vital signs.
Complicating the scenario was the presence of a senior nurse that also seemed to function in an administrative capacity. The superior did not exhibit any semblance of a relationship-based care type of leadership. There was no warm and friendly relationship between the nurses as exemplified by the fact that the more senior nurse seemed to monitor the situation using her computer. When she confronted her subordinate she did not elicit the appropriate response. The expected response was for the subordinate to provide accurate information and report that the task was done and that the protocols were followed. On the contrary, the subordinate lied, and she said that Mr. Hawk’s vital signs were already encoded into the computer. At the end of the video clip, it was made clear why the head nurse did not inspire excellence from the support staff. She did not have the prerequisite skills to perform her expected duties as revealed by her unprofessional actions.
The second scenario focuses on the interaction of a nurse and a patient suffering from obesity and medical complications related to obesity. The physician on duty did not behave in a way that communicates that her undivided attention was for the benefit of the patient (Whitemouse Productions, 2016b). Her questions seemed hurried and she did not make appropriate follow-up questions. When the patient answered one of her questions she did not acknowledge it, she did not make additional comments and she did not make any clarifications. This gave the impression that she was extremely busy and she wanted the consultation to end so that she could attend to her other duties. This was confirmed at the end of the exchange when she told the patient that she will assist him in their next meeting provided that she was not working on other important things.
The reported decrease in client satisfaction scores related to courtesy and friendliness of the staff was rooted in three major factors. First, there was a problem in this area, because of the absence of an organizational culture that promotes excellence in the workplace. Second, there was an absence of an organizational culture that promotes relationship-based care. Finally, there was an absence of an organizational culture that promotes the importance of improving client satisfaction ratings. To affect change, it is imperative to establish specific components of an appropriate organizational culture.
The Leadership Dynamics
It is important to point out that any significant changes that must be achieved in the next few months are dependent on superior leadership. It is imperative to appoint someone with the necessary skills to initiate changes and motivate the health workers assigned to the CC to make the necessary adjustments to improve the said benchmark for change. In this regard, there is a need to provide an overview of the six values of the system leadership framework: 1) the mindset that “we” are all in this together; 2) significantly decrease the importance of superiors and subordinates in terms of working together and providing excellent service; 3) the need to access reliable information; 4) need for honest and open communication; 5) the need to focus on the process; and 6) the concept of no success or failure, focus on the process because change is a journey.
With regards to values 1 and 2, there is a need to break down the walls between superiors and subordinates, because of the need for greater collaboration. This mindset also promotes the fair sharing of the workload and inspires people to give more than expected. Value number 3 requires training and empowerment of the workers so that they get quality information on how to perform their duties and upgrade their skills. Value number 4 encourages health workers to make clarifications and make suggestions creating a free-flowing stream of ideas that helps improve the system. Value number 5 promotes a long-term commitment and inspires people to be patient and not get easily discouraged along the way. Value number 6 prevents the establishment of a culture of blame and prevents subordinates from reporting and admitting mistakes due to the fear of reprisals.
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Aside from having the right mindset fostered by the six values leadership framework, it is also critically important to develop and apply key leadership skills, such as, foresight, visioning, developing partnerships, and the ability to motivate CC’s healthcare workers. Change begins with a realization borne out of foresight. In other words, the leaders see the problems down the road and make the necessary changes before the organization reaches that problematic area. Visioning or the ability to cast a strategic or corporate vision is an ability that allows the leader to illustrate a mental picture of the goal and the change process required to achieve that goal. The leader also needs to develop partnerships or collaborate with key personnel to accomplish stated goals. Finally, the leader must possess the capability to motivate CC’s healthcare workers and support staff to help them endure the challenges up ahead and prevent a high turnover rate.
The skills described earlier are useless if these are not applied in the context of a relationship-based care framework. In other words, the leader must not demand change and force corporate-wide adjustments as if he or she is a military officer issuing stern commands. It does not mean that the leader must refrain from being strict and stern, but the mode of communicating and inspiring change from within requires a diplomatic approach that values workers as important resources within the organization, and not as mere tools that are utilized to achieve a certain goal.
The Change Model
Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model provides an appropriate framework to improve CC’s client satisfaction in the aforementioned benchmark for change. Applying the model can help improve client satisfaction in the context of courtesy and friendliness. Lewin’s model for change is comprised of three major phases. The first phase is the “unfreeze” stage. The second phase is the “change” stage (Connelly, 2016). Finally, the third phase is the “freeze” stage. Lewin’s model was selected due to its practical applicability (McCalman & Potter, 2015). Consider for instance the model’s three stages that quickly identify the starting point, the things that needed to be done while in transition, and how to develop an exit strategy or a termination phase.
The so-called “unfreeze” stage of the model requires the deliberate decision to make the necessary changes. It paves the way for self-examination and the need to honestly acknowledge mistakes before the process of change may take its course. This may cause conflicts and disorientation as the organization is forced to examine every facet of the group’s business processes or client-related services. Thus, it suggests the idea of unraveling or unfreezing of something that was inadvertently established as the current organizational culture or the company’s status quo.
The second phase requires the implementation of change. The most important thing to focus at this stage is the elements of transition, making the people aware that they are applying changes to certain areas and that they are adopting new principles or new mindsets needed to affect a positive change in their respective behavior. Furthermore, the leader must manage the expectations as well as the people’s anxiety on the perceived consequences of the applied intervention or correction strategies. CC’s workers must have the assurance that they are going through a process and not a magic formula that instantly guarantees positive results (McGrath & Bates, 2013). This type of attitude prevents discouragement and disillusionment when change does not occur at an expected time.
The third and final phase is the “freeze” stage. This final stage requires the application of principles and leadership to sustain change or make the change permanent. The second most important component of this phase is the leader’s demonstrated ability to eliminate or reduce the uncertainties and confusion that came about as the result of implementing new guidelines, new rules, and new ideas (Cummings & Worley, 2014). At this point in the process, the leader must have the ability to receive feedback and analyze the information that was gathered. The leader must know how to make the necessary adjustment to adopt new strategies or new ways of doing things. To achieve a higher probability of success, it is imperative to apply leadership skills based on the aforementioned six values framework, as well as the ability to benefit from leadership foresight, vision casting, collaboration, and inspiring co-workers.
Describe the Course of Action
To make the necessary changes and improve CC’s client satisfaction ratings in the context of courtesy and friendliness, it is exigent to implement a seven-step change process based on Lewin’s Change Management Model. The first step requires the identification of the problem and the root cause of the problem. The second step calls for stakeholder analysis. The third step involves vision casting or the illustration of the mental image of the changes needed to effect CC’s client satisfaction metrics. The fourth step compels the leader to collaborate with the identified stakeholders in implementing a specific plan to initiate changes within the organization. The fifth step requires the re-education of healthcare workers on the fine points of relationship-based care. The sixth step calls for the implementation of strategies and testing methods to apply the lessons learned through seminars, mentoring, and other information dissemination techniques. There is also the need for the leader to model the principles described in the relationship-based care framework of providing excellent care and client-related services. Finally, the seventh stage requires constant evaluation of feedback and providing feedback to the stakeholders and the key personnel expected to drive forward the expected change strategies and change processes.
The change process is translated into a 12-month program. The first month involves the analysis of the situation. This also requires interviewing the different stakeholders and developing appropriate questionnaires to determine clients’ perceptions and expectations when it comes to courtesy and friendliness. In the second month, the leader must complete an in-depth analysis of stakeholder’s participation and impact. In the third month, the leader must develop a practical plan involving the participation of the identified stakeholders. For example, the determination to involve the participation of the nursing staff and various support staff leads to the implementation of a strategy that boosts their morale, increases their collaboration and the collection of information relayed via their feedback. The plan may also include various ways of shaping a new organizational culture. The fourth to nine-month period will be spent on the re-education or the training of the healthcare workers.
The training phase involves seminars, video presentations, distribution of reading materials, and mentoring programs. During these six months the leader does not only ensure the delivery of information concerning relationship-based care, he or she must also demonstrate or model how these changes are ought to be applied in a clinical setting. It also requires the leader to develop relationships with various stakeholders, especially key personnel helping him or her drive change within the organization. The mentoring program provides an avenue for the leaders to teach critical principles and other important ideas to key personnel, and in the process developing a team that can help the leader make sustainable improvements to the CC’s business processes. The leader must develop a sensitivity to the impact of his or her actions. The leader must realize that his or her words have little value if he or she cannot model behavior that others can follow. The last two months will be spent on evaluation and the application of various “freezing” strategies to embrace and preserve practical and effective change strategies and stabilize the organization to reap the benefits of a sustainable strategy designed to affect positive change and improve a specific benchmark for change.
CC’s leadership and executive team can implement change and improve ratings when it comes to client satisfaction in the context of courtesy and friendliness. It is important to identify applicable leadership skills and a change management model. Lewin’s Change Management model is a perfect fit due to its simplicity and clarity of the stages that help leaders initiate change and implement an exit strategy or terminate the change process. It is also important to embrace the principles of relationship-based care. It is also exigent to not only teach change but also to model the principles through mentoring programs and demonstration of how to apply the said ideas in a hospital or healthcare facility setting.
Connelly, J. (2016). Kurt Lewin change management model. Web.
Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2014). Organizational development and change. San Francisco, CA: Cengage Learning.
McCalman, J., & Potter, D. (2015). Leading cultural change: The theory and practice of successful organizational transformation. Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page.
McGrath, J., & Bates, B. (2013). The little book of big management theories. London, UK: Pearson.
Whitemouse Productions. (2016a). Customer services score and staff. Web.
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Whitemouse Productions. (2016b). Customer services scores and staff – video clip 2. Web.