Part A- Findings Report: Summary of Project Findings and Future Recommendations
The aim of this thesis is to research the conditions of the healthcare staff in Abu Dhabi. It describes the organization responsible for the healthcare of the residents of Abu Dhabi, and then from a Human Resource Management viewpoint, describes the conditions under which the healthcare staff, work.
To acquaint ourselves with the healthcare in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the following is a description of the organization responsible for the healthcare and the scope of its activities. Established in 2007, the Health Authority- Abu Dhabi (HAAD) is the body that regulates the Healthcare Sector in Abu Dhabi. The task of the HAAD is to ensure quality healthcare services for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by overseeing their health welfare.
The tasks of HAAD vary greatly and range from regulating the Abu Dhabi healthcare system, endorse the embracing of healthcare practices practiced by developed nations to inspecting the regulations imposed on the healthcare providers (Trevor, 1982). It is also upon the HAAD to endorse awareness on the residents of Abu Dhabi to adopt healthy living standards, controlling the range of the medical services, quality and settlement charges of the healthcare system in Abu Dhabi.
The task of dealing with the legal affairs and the internal audit falls squarely on the shoulders of the chairperson of HAAD who is the most senior leader of HAAD. Below the chairperson is the CEO, whose task is to control the strategy, financing of the healthcare system, management of emergency and disaster, and customer care services and corporate communication (Michigan, 2009). There are five units that are headed by the CEO namely: the administration and finance sector, compliance of healthcare system sector, public health and policy sector, health regulation sector, and the corporate performance and operation sector.
The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) finds ways on how to reduce the pollutant levels and the human exposure to pollutants more so indoor pollutants (Goyal, 2005).This is don-e through enforcing the compliance with recognized ventilation guidelines and standards to control indoor contaminants and human exposures. The HAAD caters for emergencies in the form of purchasing emergency vans or airplanes that ensure even the remotest areas are accessed within short time.
It is reported that Abu Dhabi has the highest rates of injuries that result from road accidents. The HAAD coordinates with the Abu Dhabi government to ensure that all the vehicles are installed with the highest safety standards and punishments imposed on the offenders of traffic rules. This ranges from imposing fines for over speeding, education programs on safety road measures, child safety seats and extensive insurance coverage in case of road accidents or injuries.
The HAAD cooperates with the international hospitals to enhance specialized and advanced healthcare abroad. It also seeks ways on how such specialized medical healthcare can be performed locally without the need of the residents travelling abroad for treatment by offering luring offers and allowances to the expatriates to attract them to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The HAAD has the responsibility of ensuring consistent healthcare to its residents. However, in its bid to offer innovative services to the residents of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, it subjects the less than enough healthcare staff with lots of workloads. The healthcare staff may deem the much workload burdensome since they have to juggle both the workloads and other life commitments such as caring for their relatives and marriage. Thus, it is up to the HAAD to come up with ways of how it can lessen the amount of work of the staff while at the same time maintaining the provision of consistent services. Moreover, the organization should not substitute quantity for quality.
Future recommendations based on the visions that the HAAD strives to achieve. `The two problems faced by HAAD are staff retention and the problem of annual performance appraisal. In addition, the employees do not understand why they get raise or not. Here is the recommendation of tackling those problems.
The following recommendations are reflections of and as described in various theories. (a) the Retention & Selection & Retention Theory which gets its basis from the success of the organization in hiring and retaining valuable and competent staff and (b) contingency theory: explaining staff nurse (courtesy PubMed) retention which increases the staff retention by the designing of the organization using various techniques of technology in nursing.
The organization should use the Helzberg Motivation-Hygiene Theory, which emphases on the researching of the reasons in the workplace lead to dissatisfaction ( such as the organizational policies, compensations, association between the workmates, the work environment) or the factors that lead to contentment (such as the accomplishments, improvement, growth, being recognized). Using the Herzberg two-factor theory, there is the recommendation of hygiene factors. This, as stated in the theory, will help shun unpleasantness and discomfort in the job. Factors in this category include reactions of the security of the job, financial compensations (Riley, 2010). The other theory of the Herzberg two-factor theory, is the personal issues regarding personal development such as class, advancement chances, being recognized, a exigent job and a consciousness of individual growth.
Staff retention is the process of encouraging the employees to work in a particular organization for as long as possible or until the project is complete. Different employees vary greatly. Employees may “hop” from one job to another if they feel dissatisfied with one job (Group, The Report: Ajman 2008, 2008). However, it is upon the employers or the organization to retain their desirable staff or they will be left with undesirable employees. The bottom-line effect on retaining quality employees is that they lead to increased productivity and staff morale while in the meantime; lowering the affiliated turnover costs (Eric, 2010). Therefore, for the success of a company, managers need to make sure that their best employees are retained for (as stated in the Retention and Motivation theory) : the satisfaction of their customers, satisfaction of the workmates and ensure the things that bring positive changes to the workplace. There are critical importances of staff retention since with the retirement of Baby Boomers; they are lesser Generation X employees to replace them. Here are some of the recommendations that can be suggested to the HAAD.
Offering both fair and competitive payments
The loyalty of the employee cannot be guaranteed by only offering fair compensation, but it is worth noting if the staffs are offered payments that are below-market compensations, they will resort elsewhere. For the company to ensure that it retains its employees, it must strive to have habitual reviews of the salaries that it offers at all levels of its jobs, to the experienced employees and to the supervisory job-entries. As 2004 ASRT Wage and Salary Survey aptly puts it, the organizations salaries should be evaluated with statistically consistent averages. Courtesy of Human Resource Management Association, 20.4% of health care employees one in five quit their jobs every year…” As reported by American Society of Radiologic Technologists,” if there are significant discrepancies, you probably should consider making adjustments to ensure that they are in line with the marketplace.”
Show your employees that they are valuable
The organization should promptly and overtly recognize the achievements made by the employees including the small accomplishments. Stated from the perspective of the Equity Theory, which the recommends on parity and fairness, the organization should also give incentives so as to inspire them to meet the set standards, increase their job retention or insists on a increment of their wages.
In most organizations, supervisors are not well liked depending on their expectations from the employee and how they enforce and exercise their power. Therefore, the organizations need sear into the minds of their organization’s supervisors on the need of not making things that would make their employees feel undervalued (Esveld, 2009). Also the organization need to look unto the main areas where their employees complains most such as: failure of the organization giving feedback regarding their performance, lack of clarity regarding their expectations and failure of the organization to give clarity regarding their earning potential.
Defined roles and responsibilities
The organization should design clear-cut positions whereby every staff not only knows what is expected of them but also making their own decisions and to who they should report to.
The organization should lessen the burden of paperwork that the employees endure since it can be burdensome and stressful (Christopher M. , 2003). Instead, the organization should convert paperwork to electronic format, do away with unnecessary work or hire non-clinical staff to do much of the paperwork.
Have an organization’s mission and vision
The organization should have a mission and vision statement so that the employees can have the feeling that they are working toward a particular and meaningful objectiveb (Shane, 2008). In this way, the way can feel that their contribution is worthy.
The utilization of talent and their skills
The organization need be aware of the motivation of employees in wanting to contribute to fields that are out of his or her field of profession (Fund, 2006). Thus, the organization needs to get acquainted with their skills, talents and experience and then have the urge to tap them.
Designing a career ladder
In order to secure staff loyalty, the organization must have opportunities for career advancements. This involves searing in to the minds of the employee what they can do in order to be promoted (World Health Organization, 2005) Also the organization must assist them in the areas that are may lead to job promotions. When this are tackled they ensure that the staff stick around.
The organization must understand that the employees are bound by other life commitments such as caring for their children, siblings or old parents and other personal issues. The organization could squeeze hours where the health care employees can work and at the same time spare ample time for their parents.
Importance of benefits: the organization should also know how to retain the employees in the company need to give the benefits offered by other competitors such as pension plans.
The organization should offer retention bonuses
Retention bonuses such as paid memberships after a particular period of time like say one year. Some of these memberships may be in the form of gym membership. These retention bonuses (packages) may also be in the form of salary increment to health care employees who work in certain specialty fields. A great contrast between retention bonuses and sign-in bonuses is that retention packages offer the enticement for staying at one job while sign-on packages motivate the employees to hop from one job to another.
The organization should have regularly surveys conducted regarding employee satisfactions but conducted anonymously. Questions regarding the welfare of the employees should be asked such as what they would like reduced or increased.
The organization should make teamwork of employees so as to increase the productivity, boost morale and improve the customer care (Shane, 2008) This can be done through: endorsing team members to appreciate and have an enthusiasm on remarkable accomplishments or performance by their fellow team members. The organization can include the employees in making of the decisions such by censoring. Another way is the organization ensuring that all the employees understand the function, mission and vision of the organization. The organization also needs discussion, involvement and sharing ideas. Teamwork can also be motivated by having rotational leadership roles according to the capabilities of the individuals and the requirements of the team.
Room for fun
The organization should have room for fun as the age-old adage soberly pipes it, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The organization should celebrate when particular accomplishments are achieved. This could be through lunches, parties, conventions, staff picnics and other forms of contests. These celebrations should sear in the minds of the staff the importance of that organization.
Recognizing individual talents
The organization should identify the talents portrayed by the employees and find a way of improving them (Dennis. 2011). This could be through the provision of various challenging assignments or assigning to work in challenging environments.
The organization should create opportunities for the staff to improve their knowledge. This could be through seminars, discussions of recent journal publications, meetings or any conferences involving medical field.
The organization should have a plan. This would involve designing who will succeed them in the organization. This can be by investing in coaching and mentoring, cross training and cross-experience.
The organization should design training programs for the employees so as to improve their productivity bearing in mind that they are the organization’s greatest asset.
The organization should look more attentively for factors that may make the employees to leave the organization prematurely or that lead to organizational satisfaction (Dennis, 2011).These triggers include life changes such as divorce, marriage, pregnancy among others.
Performance appraisal is the course whereby a manager examines and assesses the staff performance in comparison to the preset conditions, gets the comparison results and then in turn settles on a feedback based on the compared results.
The main objective of performance appraisal is to establish the staff(s) that requires training on specific fields, those who deserve promotion, being fired, demotion or being retained.
Recommendations of job appraisal
The credibility of the appraiser
There is dire need for the appraiser to be well acquainted with the job of employee and the performance of the staff. The appraiser must also have credibility. With these factors in place, the staff will regard the appraisal as precise and reasonable and may recognize the feedback of the appraiser and have great enthusiasm to adjust.
According to surveys, it is recommendable for an organization to give the employees the privilege of discussing freely about their performance (Diana, 2002). The employees will feel there have been given just appraisals if given a chance to tell their side of the story. If such chances where they are allowed to discuss, they may challenge and appeal against the assessment of the appraisal and their may be in a better position to meet future performance goals.
Have performance goals
Where there are set performance goals in an organization, it becomes motivation element (Fund, 2006). The performance goal inspire the staff, make them have focused attention, improves their endurance and it motivates the employees to seek better and fresh ways of working.
It is upon the organization to make the staffs understand negative feedback. Also, make them understand if it’s done with a positive intention such as assisting them triumph over the hurdles that they may be present in order to advance their performance in the future, and if the appraiser’s criticism is helpful and constructive, the staff will find the criticism to be useful (Group, The Report: Sharjah, 2008). However, it is up to the organization to shun, destructive criticism in the guise of appraisal since it may bring negative reactions such as tension, bad performance, workplace disagreements, resentments and in some cases, it may lead to anger.
Part B. Learning Report
When I was doing this project, I was a psychologist at the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. I had the professional post in Abu Dhabi as a expatriate. Therefore, I had the knowledge regarding the health range and quality of health offered in the Emirate Abu Dhabi. I was aware that the medical providers and doctors were subjected to lots of workloads whereby the ratio of doctor to patient was overwhelming. To cap it all, I was aware of the harsh environment that was even more uncomfortable for those who Abu Dhabi is not their motherland.
I found out that staff retention in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s health care sector is a pipe dream: it is a hard-won prize. I’ve spent a long time there and so have I witnessed the situation. Scanning the vista, I have seen many health care staff, mostly from foreign countries, come and go. In fact, many have come but few have stayed as they put it literally. I have seen dedicated staff strive to work to their best, only to throw in the towel and take off for “fresh pastures”. With the “job hopping” becoming a norm, more staff is “jolted” and joins the endless throng of the “job hoppers” merely to suit their example. The reasons that I deduced as the root causes of the poor retention cannot be said as a block but to make it crystal-clear, I will follow the format as highlighted above in the recommendations section.
Payments are what determine the loyalty of the employees and it plays a major role when it comes to staff retention. When the staff is offered below-market wages, they will seek “fresh pastures”. Most of the expatriates who come to Abu Dhabi are staff that are young in their professional and lack experience (Michael, 2006). When they come to Abu Dhabi most take the opportunities to advance their career in the various fields that they perform. Most of the expatriates are either sought after or seek application to join other health care providers which are either private or located in the adjacent countries. It beats logic when one is offered much more than the previous post and turns down the offer. If the organizations don’t adhere as 2004 ASRT Wage and Salary Survey soberly pipes it, an organization should the compensations with statistically averages and where discrepancies should be adjusted, I realized that staff will always be enticed by market offers that are more appealing than in the jobs that they work in.
The staffs do not get compliments for the small accomplishments that they do. This leads too little morale for accomplishments in the staff.
During the hiring of the expatriates, the company is supposed to hire them based on the principle of “hiring the best and leaving the rest.” I found out that due to the workloads in Abu Dhabi, any potential expatriate got employment. Most of them were employed because they hailed from reputed and developed nations but the organization did not delve and dig deeply into their knowledge in the field. Most of the expatriates, even though they were qualified, they had little experience in the field. Most of them were on attachments recommended by reputable medical institutions.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s HAAD can be likened to the saying that goes, “no pain no gain.” The organization was reluctant to dig deeper into its pockets, though literally saying. Even if the organization had the urge to employ expatriate from overseas, it could get more experienced because the money would make the employees buffaloed. Thus if the HAAD offered compensations that were appealing, it could have got experienced overseas’ expatriates rather than novice who merely accepted the offers for attachments.
The HAAD has made little strides in converting paperwork to electronic format. The staffs get strenuous paperwork. Since the HAAD has no non-clinical staff to take care of the paperwork. Therefore the medical staff are forced to juggle to both their input in the healthcare and the paperwork. I have witnessed such strenuous work make the staffs resort to the employment of other healthcare providers in the neighboring regions.
I have seen many staffs seek employment opportunities or are lured to organizations whereby there are chances to progress their career. Since such chances are few in the HAAD and are hard to escalate, many staffs have followed logic upstream.
With the tight schedules in the HAAD, there is minimal job flexibility. Considering that the staffs are bound by other life commitments, job flexibility has made then sought other options. I found out that staff had to sacrifice their commitments such as caring for their siblings and children. I found out that in situations where it became extreme, the staff opted out of the straining job to seek employment where job flexibility was guaranteed.
There are limited bonus packages in the HAAD and I found out the staff being lured to where they are offered more so in the private sectors.
A satisfaction survey in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is non-existent and this makes the staffs tend to think that their welfare isn’t regarded. I have witnessed many staffs opt out of their jobs to seek employment in places where their welfare is an interest to their employers.
In the HAAD, the staffs are mostly assigned individual tasks rather than as team work. No matter the complexity of a task, team work builds psyche and morale. I found out that in HAAD, most tasks are assigned individually and therefore the staffs are left to tackle them using individually.
With the staffs being subjected to tight schedules there is little room for fun (celebrations). Except during national holidays, the clinical staffs spend most of their time in the workplace going about their tasks. With accomplishments not celebrated or recognized publicly, the staffs do not see the importance of the organization and more and more are compelled to seek other places where such fun exist.
In the United Arab’s Emirates, UAE, discrimination is rife. Racial prejudice more so to the foreing expatriates, always lead to an unfriendly environment because of some hostile colleagues. I found this to have a major contribution in the lack of staff retention inn the HAAD.
Like in most organizations, where there are reporters who inform the managers beforehand on the rumors they pick that are circulated by their fellow workmates of impending throwing the towel of an employee, I found out there were no such loyal employees. If such staff existed, the organization could have the information beforehand before the employee officially announces on his or her interest in leaving (Myron, 2010). Thus, I found out that the organization could not have the capability to thwart such a thing or convince the employee otherwise.
The staffs are always up and in their work and so for those who are aspiring to advance their education may not have the chance (George, 2006). With the lack of seminars, conventions and other articles that the staff could use to advance their knowledge, more and more employees are opting out of the organization to others where such functions exist.
When the organization’s staffs compare training programs in their other organizations and lack of them in their workplace, employee loyalty can’t be vouched for in their jobs since they are enticed to seek employment where such chances exist.
The organization does not look into the factors that make the staffs leave it, for example, the life changes (such as divorce, marriage) and how they can avert them in future. I found out that the organization did not delve into the reasons that make the staffs leave their employment. If found out that the organization never found ways that could be used to avert such future incidences.
The organization had a poorly managed performance appraisal and it could be another causative of the lack of employee loyalty. I found out that there was no credibility of the appraisers in the organizations. The staffs had no privilege to express themselves. Thus, they were compelled to opt out the organization due to their dissatisfaction in the organization.
During the performance appraisal there was a lot of destructive criticism directed to the staff and it caused workplace conflicts and disagreements and angered the staff. Such tension and resentments, always led to lack of dedication in the staff, which in turn led to bad performance. Upon criticized during the next performance appraisal, it sow more anger and the staff that could not take it any more opted out of the company.
I found out that the causes of the lack of employee loyalty in the organization were attributed by avoidable factors that were overlooked or were given little attention. Employee loyalty could be made if: the organization adhered as it is described in the2004 ASRT Wage and Salary Survey. I also found out that if the performance appraisals were done in constructive ways could increase the employee loyalty. I also found out that if at all the employee loyalty was to be attained, the organization had to suit the example offered in similar fields.
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