Don’t Change Systems for Personnel Problems

I recently encountered an issue with the way employees are being paid in one facility.  It seems that at one point, the Nurse Administration team members other than the DON – ADON, RN supervisors, MDS, support staff, etc. were all paid hourly. 

That’s fine.  They simply need to manage their hours to avoid unnecessary and unapproved overtime.  However, one of the Nurse Admin team members ended up having to work the floor in a charge nurse slot to fill a hole in the schedule.  She ran into 2 hours overtime due to this. 

The administrator lost it!  Not having any emotional control, he decided to change the whole pay system for all of these people.  It created chaos and  upset a lot of individuals.  All the Nurse Administration team went to salaried exempt positions that did not receive overtime compensation.  He neglected to write new policies on what happens to the their benefits, i.e. paid days off which is different for salaried than it is for hourly.  He neglected to check with the labor board for clarification on several issues which leads to me having to clean it up.

Actually, I see this a lot.  I see entire companies change the way they’re doing things, change systems, due to employee problems.  Why not just address the root issue?  If the employee is at fault, don’t change the system, address the employee.  If there is a scheduling snafu, don’t change the system as a first response.  Look and see what happened.  Otherwise, you could be creating more problems for yourself.

Knee-jerk reactions like the one described above usually do little to fix the actual problem and often create other problems to boot.  As a leader and decsion-maker, we must get our emotions in check, manage issues as they arrise, and think about the best possible solution that addresses the root cause of the problem.  The answer is not always to tear down a system.  It’s more often to do the uncomfortable and address someone that needs to be talked to or shown a different way of doing their job.

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2 Responses to “Don’t Change Systems for Personnel Problems”

  • night goddess on

    well, duh!!!!!!!!! so dont go changing our payroll company, & then quit & leave us to clean up your mess!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mark on

    Lol – that’s exactly what happened!

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