Veterans Administration Department: Organization Problems

Description of an Agency

The Department of Veterans Affairs is an American governmental organization that aims at developing benefit systems and special programs for veterans to provide required health and financial help and emotional support. Its main worth is the possibility to cooperate with people who want or just have to remove all their negative experiences and memories connected with their military past. Today, not many organizations are ready to cooperate with veterans and offer them appropriate working and living conditions.

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is based on the ideas developed by President Lincoln to serve and honor the men and women who are the veterans of the United States (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2015). There are three administrations in this organization with approximately 310,000 employees performing their functions and duties in regards to the VA system, policies, and properly stated core values.

Organizational Problem in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Regarding the scope of the work performed by the employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, its long history, and the expectations of the US population from this organization, there are certain organizational problems its leaders and workers may face. One of the common organizational problems in modern organizations is the inability to comprehend the importance of learning. In such a facility as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, many employees demonstrate poor knowledge of veterans’ history.

They are good at managing, performing their tasks, and meet numerous organizational goals. Still, many veterans admit that not all people truly comprehend their experience and their sacrifices. Ineffective promotion of knowledge and poor training among VA employees is the problem that has to be solved.

Managerial Problem Description

The Department of Veterans Affairs is a helpful facility in society. It has clear goals and demonstrates certain results in work with the men and women who are in need of emotional, financial, and health support after their military experiences. However, regardless of a number of positive aspects of this department’s work, there are some organizational problems that have to be discovered and solved in order to avoid the development of misunderstandings, inconveniences, and frustrations.

Gulick (2016) mentions that coordination plays an important role in any organization, and if there are some challenges or problems noticed, the relations between executives and subordinates have to be studied thoroughly to clarify. Such poor organizational relations may not be based on the shortages or drawbacks of certain people. The roots and peculiarities of this problem may vary.

Today, organizational problems bother different companies regardless of their size, goals, and core values. In most cases, employee or team issues arise because of different reasons, including the lack of open-mindedness, poor communication, and wrong organizational management. Sometimes, employees are ready to discuss the shortcomings of their working conditions with their employers in order to find out a solution. However, it happens that people do not have enough skills, knowledge, or a simple desire to change something and achieve certain improvements. They prefer to wait until everything is clarified.

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The main purpose of this paper is not only to investigate possible organizational problems in the Department of Veteran Affairs but also to identify the main organizational frames and discuss the development of the company in terms of these frames. In order to understand the nature of the problem the employers of the VA Department may face, it is necessary to exclude all insignificant factors that may prevent the evaluation of the company’s work and focus on real challenges.

In the Department of Veterans Affairs, employees have to cooperate directly with veterans, recognize their needs, and investigate the ways that can be used to help those people in need. Many department workers understand their goals, use their corporate knowledge to solve problems, and evaluate various resources. However, there is no confidence that every employee knows what it is to be a veteran, what makes people connect their lives with military affairs, and why they cannot arrange their personal and professional lives as soon as they return home.

Executives put definite goals for their employees and the department and follow how they are achieved. Still, in many cases, employers fail to recognize the role of knowledge and training for employees. Veterans enjoy the support they can get from the managers of the Department of Veterans Affairs, appreciate the level of financial help, and use health services to cope with current problems. However, due to poor coordination and training, veterans observe that not all employees understand their choices. Such a problem is not a question of professionalism. It is a managerial problem that is rooted in a poorly developed human resource frame and insufficient training.

Regarding the necessity of cooperation between employers and employees and the importance of training in terms of which employees can improve their knowledge and develop a professional treatment to veterans, the identification of this problem can be used as the main topic for the paper. There is a thought that insufficient training is offered to the employees of the VA Department. The goal of this paper is to discuss the conditions under which insufficient training exists to introduce several recommendations on how to improve the work of the human resource management department that is responsible for such challenges.

Problem Development and Growth

There are several reasons for the development and growth of the chosen organizational problem. On the one hand, it is possible to admit that leaders are able to set the goals and determine certain organizational rules and values. However, they are not mature enough to identify the importance of comprehensive education. Employees have to be professionals in such fields as management, health care, communication, and resource search. They should stay compassionate with veterans, definite in their statements, and strong in their decisions.

In the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are such facilities as the VA Learning University, the VA Electronic Health University, and the VA Acquisition Academy. Employees can be properly educated according to the existing Talent Management System. Employers take care of their workers and offer them enough sources for education. However, there is no direct communication between employers and employees in this department so that they do not know what effective coordination is. Employees remain to be poorly trained in regards to their personal attitudes to veterans. Their leaders fail to focus on one simple but crucial aspect: a personal understanding of veterans’ affairs.

After the evaluation of the work of the Department of Veterans Affairs and its organizational problems, it is necessary to apply one of the organizational frames that may cover the problem of poor training, search for a solution, and develop several recommendations for the company.

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Organizational Frames Application

A core of this problem is the impossibility to understand what actually causes all those challenges in communication with veterans. On the one hand, it is clear that poor training is the cause. However, VA employees have a chance to be properly educated and develop their talents. On the other hand, employers set goals and identify core values. Veterans receive help and support. However, there is a barely visible problem with human resources when the relations between the organization and its members are not as close professionally as they should be.

To understand organizations and the possibility of new problems’ creation, it is possible to use the four-frame model developed by Bolman and Deal (2013). They explain that a good organizational frame, as a window on territory and a tool for navigation at the same time, is a possibility for a company to know what its employees are up against, and what they can do about it (Bolman & Deal, 2013). There are four mainframes for consideration: a Family that includes all human resource activities, a Factory that involves all structural changes, a political system that is also called as jungles where such issues as power, competition, and achievements matter, and a cultural system, also known as a symbolic frame or temple and which aims at the promotion of meaning and frame. In this paper, a Family, or a human resource frame is defined as a problematic one because of the impossibility to promote effective training and knowledge about veterans.

According to Bolman and Deal (2013), human resource assumptions have to be recognized. It is necessary to comprehend if employees are ordinary pawns who have to sacrifice their needs and interest in order to meet collective purposes, or there is a chance for employees to demonstrate their talents and skills and be personally engaged in organizational development (Bolman & Deal, 2013). Organizations, as well as people, have needs. The human resource frame is a possibility to find out the way when the human side of an organization can be fulfilled.

It is wrong to say that HR management in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Still, it is not perfect but contains several organizational problems. There is a need to change the nature of the employment relationship in order to improve the quality of employees’ work, succeed in coordinating people, and increase the level of veterans’ satisfaction with the services and communication in the department.

According to human recourse theory, any organization should not be introduced as one independent variable with a number of rules and obligations (Shafritz, Ott, & Jang, 2016). An organization is a combination of skilled and experienced people with their own needs and suggestions. To become a successful organization, people have to learn how to recognize and share their needs and interests. Employers have to learn how to guide their employees and train their best skills. Employees should inform about their weaknesses in order to make necessary improvements. At the same time, they should not impose their opinions. Poor training and the inability to cooperate with veterans in the best possible way are the causes of a problem that has a solution.

Regarding other organizational frames, the Department of Veterans Affairs demonstrates rather good results. First, there is a definite structure according to which the work of all employees is properly divided. The political and symbolic frames are also characterized by a number of successful achievements due to the absence of evident conflicts and the possibilities to introduce and support effective organizational culture. Therefore, the human resource frame is where a managerial problem should be solved. Employees are instructed by their leaders to honor and serve US veterans offering the best available health, financial, and personal help. Still, the quality of training and coordination is doubtful. Therefore, some problems may occur in HR management.

Rectify Attempts

The Department of Veterans Affairs is an organization with a number of smart and professional employees who know what they should do in order to achieve the goals set. Despite the fact that certain organizational problems occur, the attempts to solve them prove the readiness of employees to cooperate and develop new ideas. For example, the creation of specific academic institutions for the employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs may be regarded as one of such attempts. It is not enough for the department to hire people using their past knowledge and experiences. It is necessary to educate them. However, the inability to explain the nature of military actions and the intentions demonstrated by veterans prove that new solutions are required.

Besides, the Department of Veterans Affairs has the Office of Human Resources and Administration (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2015). This attempt to stabilize the work of employees is successful and leads to a number of positive results. The workforce has been improved, new employment programs have been offered, and work safety has been promoted. However, there are no clear goals on how employee training should be organized. Employees, as well as their employers, fail to clarify what kind of knowledge is really important for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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The main assumption of the human resource frame developed by Bolman and Deal (2013) is to create a strong family where the relations between the organization and its employees have different forms, where it is possible to ask questions and get answers without being afraid of being judged, and where personal experience is not a chance to get a promotion, but an opportunity to help employees.

Conclusion

In general, the Department of Veterans Affairs is a governmental organization with impressive potential and a number of opportunities to help men and women who are the US veterans. However, like any organization, the Department of Veterans Affairs has certain problems and challenges the solution of which is a priority that cannot be neglected. In this paper, the managerial problem of inefficient training and knowledge of veterans as a part of the human resource frame is identified and discussed in order to understand what strategic plan can be effective for the chosen organization.

There are two ways of how the offered managerial problem can be addressed regarding the chosen human resource frame. First, it is necessary to understand that the human resource department takes responsibility for developing the necessary knowledge and skills among employees (Bolman & Deal, 2013). Managers have to spend certain time and money on the promotion of such knowledge. It is wrong to make employees improve their knowledge independently. Professional instructors and experts should share their skills and approaches. As soon as time frames and efforts are properly defined for change and training, it is recommended to focus on some personal issues.

Sometimes, people may resist change due to the impossibility to control their feelings and anxiety. They have to be supported. Training is not only the provision of new knowledge. It is a communication and combination of different goals, including cooperation, respect, honest relations, and fair treatment. The Department of Veteran Affairs should be ready to find new people who can instruct employees on how to cooperate with veterans.

References

Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T.E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Gulick, L. (2016). Notes on the theory of organization. In J.M. Shafritz, S. Ott, & Y.S. Jang (Eds.), Classics of organization theory (8th ed.) (pp. 84-92). San Francisco, CA: Wadsworth.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, S., & Jang, Y.S. Classics of organization theory (8th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wadsworth.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2015). About VA. Web.

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