College Essay Examples

Problem Solving: Scenario 1 Analysis – Workload Worries

Population Pyramid Analysis

The workplace is not immune to conflicts, and all roles are subject to some conflict. When conflicts occur and remain unaddressed, conflict can lead to stress, anger, and even violence at the workplace. Conflict becomes a real hindrance to getting the job done and can set the healthcare facility back in terms of efficiency and service delivery. At the workplace, people are drawn from different places and backgrounds to achieve the organization’s goal. It is hard to remove individualism even amid group-related or team activity, and as such, everyone needs to work in a place where they feel respected and safe. Conflict arises from these differences in individualities, where one party feels that their rights and wellbeing are callously being infringed. Conflict resolution should follow the most constructive path and should not be used as a patsy for petty workplace competition. 

Conflicts occur due to power plays and competition, increased workload, multiple role demands, scarce resources, cultural differences, invasion of personal space.  Conflicts due to power plays and competition are brought about by disrespect, inappropriate language, and disagreements due to professional differences. Increased workloads occur when employees are required to do more than they should within a shorter time frame. Multiple role demands cause conflict by requiring employees to overlap their core duties with other duties through inappropriate task assignments. Scarce resources due to insufficient funds, broken equipment, and inadequate supplies lead to a scramble for resources, which ultimately causes many conflicts. Cultural differences are the individual differences that arise due to personal beliefs, work ethics, race, and gender, which can cause friction in healthcare facilities. Invasion of personal space occurs when there is an insufficient workspace in the facility, and employees have to work in crowded areas (Whitehead et al., 2010).

Resolving conflict involves a series of elaborate and deliberate steps to identify and understand its causes and evaluate its probable solutions. It then implements the solutions provided and meticulously monitors the results to quantify their effectiveness in resolving the conflict. Understanding the significant causes of conflict is important because it allows one to view the problem from a deep-rooted perspective. Having a deep understanding of the conflict allows a manager to get to the root of the problem instead of treating its emanations and provide a permanent solution (Whitehead et al., 2010). 

The case study involves a newly hired nursing unit manager in charge of daily operations at a pediatric care unit. Under this manager, there are 15 Registered Nurses and 22 Licensed Practicing Nurses. The manager is aware that there are several complaints of increased workload, uncooperative teams, and an irregular roster. The manager is also aware that the previous manager resigned because they were frustrated and lacked support from staff.

Identifying the problem would be the first step. The first problem is the workload, where there are seemingly not enough people to handle the tasks. Second, it seems some employees are not doing their job as it’s supposed to be done, given by Jenny’s complaint that she does twice the work in Team 1 compared to when she’s in Team 2. The possible causes of this problem could be insufficient labor, lack of motivation or poor job scheduling and planning, and lack of coordination between the team and its leaders. Third, there is a planning problem, given the fact that Kelly has always been in Team 2 and has never been reshuffled to Team 1. The fourth problem is underpayment, where workers are not motivated by their compensation. It does not match their current workload, which has increased frequent sick calls, delays, and lack of productivity. 

  The second step is generating possible solutions to the problem (Whitehead et al., 2010). Jenny complains that she does twice the work in Team 1. A solution for this would be to examine the number of workers in that team against the tasks they need to do and seek additional workers if needed. Another solution is to re-examine the capabilities of Team 1. It might be that the team cannot perform adequately, and thus Jenny is left to do all the work.  The examination can be done through the previous performance appraisals, after which I would enforce a performance improvement plan for each of the employees (Kak et al., 2015). Another solution is to investigate Jenny’s claim and evaluate her routines while in Team 1 because it is possible that she’s lying and wants to slack on the job and inquire with the team leaders to assess the criteria for division of labor and roster changes. After the investigation, I would discuss a better division of labor criteria with the team leaders based on workers’ key competencies. I would also recommend a standardized and consistent roster for each worker to ensure that each team member is adequately reshuffled. 

When considering payment, I would have to evaluate the minimum wage, the work done, and the hours worked in a week, including the overtime hours (Byars & Rue, 2004). If the compensation is reasonable for their workstation, then the problem will be the workload and job descriptions. It is possible that the workers are being overworked due to poor planning, coordination, and a lack of a standardized mechanism for the division of labor. Already from previous complaints, I can tell that there is a problem with planning. Having better coordination and a healthier work environment might reduce the feeling of being underpaid and overworked. Implementing the roster and division of labor mechanisms will promote better work-life balance and alleviate some of the discomforts due to low salaries. The salary increment process will then be initiated as much as the executive budget will allow. Another solution involves taking disciplinary action against employees. Indiscipline, such as absconding work for unwarranted reasons, will not be tolerated, and due disciplinary action will be taken against those who willfully abandon their posts (Schell, 1998). 

For evaluating the solutions, I will include several meetings with team leaders and the staff to pick out the best solutions for mutual benefit. New suggestions will also be taken into consideration and put on the table for discussion and agreement. The solutions will be checked against their merits and demerits to find one that adequately satisfies the organization’s needs. For instance, performing performance appraisals for the entire team to determine if some lack the competence to perform some duties is a tedious and time-consuming task that may not solve the problems immediately. However, in the long run, it will help understand every employee’s capabilities and find the relevant tools to assist them in increasing their competence (Byars & Rue, 2004; Kak et al., 2015). Performance improvement plans also include training and evaluation, which raises workers’ competence levels, increases their morale, and shifts the mood of the workplace towards positivity (Kak et al., 2015). 

Developing performance improvement plans is also another long-term investment solution. Performance improvement plans are very intensive as they need to be tailor-made for each employee based on the gaps in their knowledgeable areas. Changing the roster and criteria for division of labor is advantageous because it is a simple process that can easily be achieved. In it, the problems of overworking stagnated shift changes, and dissatisfaction in the salary terms can all be addressed. The disadvantage is that changing both of these things without having a clear picture of the workers’ capabilities can cause mTheisfaction. Increasing salary would have to be done in consultation with the executive, as it would directly affect the company’s budget. Depending on how well the case for an increment is presented and the revenue generated, salary increments may be effective as the next month or in the next financial year. Lastly, taking disciplinary action against an employee can maintain order at the workplace and ensure that every worker contributes positively by doing their job well. However, given the circumstances, I would consider this the last resort because it would lead to worker strikes and walkouts and will most definitely be in bad taste. Punishing dissenting voices without heeding their grievances could even lead to unnecessary lawsuits against the organization (Byars & Rue, 2004).

The best course of action would then be implementing those solutions with immediate repercussions to alleviate the pressure. Both team leaders will have to develop a new roster that will ensure every worker is adequately reshuffled and gets time-off in between (Whitehead et al., 2010). Then, there will be a candid job analysis for every individual. By understanding the job descriptions and qualifications needed to perform these jobs, I will be better positioned to know if more employees need to be added to the teams or if there are more than enough employees and some are not doing their jobs need to be terminated. Understanding personnel qualifications is a crucial part of learning how to divide labor into the teams adequately, and this will be done parallel to the roster changes. I will initiate a performance appraisal for each employee and make regular assessments of their competence, which will help pinpoint the workers’ knowledge gaps (Van Dijk & Schodl, 2015). It will also form the basis for the performance improvement programs, where workers will be trained and evaluated to raise their competencies. 

These programs will increase the workers’ confidence and morale in the long run, which will increase their overall job satisfaction. I would then increase the number of meetings between myself and the staff and engage them more frequently on the problems they face, and work with them on better solutions. These meetings would also be necessary for tracking the effectiveness of the solutions provided and whether or not there needs to be a revision. They will also serve as essential conduits for open communication between staff and management and safe spaces for teams to express themselves (Byars & Rue, 2004). With all these mechanisms in place and fully operational, I will finally tighten the noose on indiscipline. After ensuring that all grievances have been heard and the plans to mitigate these grievances are in effect, indiscipline such as absconding work will not go unpunished. Such acts are detrimental to the working culture and create challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of the plans to revitalize the workplace (Byars & Rue, 2004). 

In conclusion, there are three major problems identified in the case study: overworked employees, low salary, and poor planning and coordination. The solutions provided include performing job analysis for better planning, measuring employee capabilities for better division of labor, increasing employee salaries, implementing performance improvement programs, and increasing disciplinary measures. These solutions need to be given time and patiently observed so that their effectiveness in solving the problems can be analyzed.



Byars, L. L., & Rue, L. W. (2004). Human Resource Management. 466.

Kak, N., Burkhalter, B., & Cooper, M. (2015). Measuring the Competence of Healthcare Providers. 1–28. papers3://publication/uuid/5D690D7B-DA4F-4EA0-9F39-25D55C1FB1DC

Schell, R. M. (1998). Organizational Behavior Management. In Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (Vol. 18, Issues 2–3).

Van Dijk, D., & Schodl, M. M. (2015). Performance Appraisal and Evaluation. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition, December, 716–721.

Whitehead, D. K., Weiss, S. A., & Tappen, R. M. (2010). Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management. F. A. Davis Company.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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