Friday, January 26, 2007

‘If morale does not improve the sackings will continue’

This is what the NHS has come to.

Managers are now encouraging staff to work a day for nothing to save jobs and reduce the overspend of the NHS Trust – click here for details.
Even though Trust officials say these ideas 'came from staff' we have to understand the context. People who have a guillotine hanging over their neck are likely to suggest such things. I have to ask why the Trust is so overspent. That is not the fault of front line staff.

Is it just my suspicious mind or is there some sort of blackmail to staff in this?

Why should cleaners, porters and nurses at the front line, who have nothing whatsoever to do with how the organisation got itself into debt, have to even consider bailing out management?

I also wonder if the same Trust managers would so willingly accept a suggestion from staff having double pay for one days work if the Trust was in the black.
I somehow doubt it .


Marilyn said...

Dear Trevor,

'Brilliant' thinking here :(

I have another example of this kind of inept management. Local health system staff were recently asked to fill out an online anonymous survey rating, among other things, management performance. Many who had legitimate concerns were reluctant to do this, thinking their responses could be traced back to them and they feared retaliaton.

That wasn't the case due to how the software is designed, and responses can't be individually traced. Step two of this porcess is the live staff huddles, now planned, where staff are encouraged to speak up to management.

Now I ask you, would you risk criticizing management in person if you feared reprisal? Why do they ask for anonymous opinions when the real purpose is to uncover who is saying what? The response rate to the online survey was 64%, quite good I think.

Guess how much system improvement we can expect with this kind of approach?

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Marilyn - Sounds like the American management in healthcare system is just about as screwed up as ours. I think it is ironic that in a service (healthcare) where the reason for being is to look after the health if its customers most health provider organisations cannot look after the emotional health of its staff. If we were better at caring for our staff maybe we would provide better care to the patients. Simple I know but so true in my opinion. Let me know how the process works.

Dan said...

I love the double-pay idea... of course, the management's answer would be "No, we have to save that money in case things go south and we get low on funds..."

Sad, sad, sad...

Trevor Gay said...

Well said Dan - If it were not so sad it would be funny.

I am sure you - like me - remember well the song - 'when will they ever learn?'

Simon Dodds said...

Interesting dialog. This is a good example of a game called "Ain't it awful". One we all play because it makes us feel better (?). Problem is that it is a lose-lose game. No doubt those same managers are playing the same game, only the subject matter is different "Why don't they see that if they don't communictae we can't help!". Games People Play was written by Eric Berne in the 1960's - the lessons are as true now as then. So, the question to ask might be "Do the managers/workers think they are inept or do they think it's the other one?" - Who is OK and Who is Not OK? Who is blaming who?

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Simon - the blame game has always been a feature of the NHS. We need leaders with integrity who make staff at the front line feel they are working for people who have the staff welfare as an equal priority to hitting government targets.

Communication is most effective when people feel equal – ‘adult to adult’ I guess is what you would call it :- )

I suspect you will like this GBS quote;

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” George Bernard Shaw