This case study is based on a hospice by the name of Omega House. Due to financial distress, the Omega House was closed for several years. Thankfully, the Social Action Consortium (SAC) assumed responsibility for the Omega House; and it was able to reopen for those terminally ill patients who were in need of the best care during their remaining days. Ellen started off as a full-time nurse at Omega House who was deprived of sleep. Although the position as a nurse was exhausting, Ellen was able to go home from a day of work and leave any problems she had right there.
However, three years into working at Omega House, Ellen was given a temporary position as the program director there. As the program director at Omega House, Ellen took on the managerial responsibilities as well as clinical oversight of patient care. At the time of being given this position, Ellen had no managerial experience on her. When she agreed to the position, she also agreed to managerial training by the Social Action Consortium. Unfortunately, two years later with this “temporary” position still in tow, Ellen still awaits that training.
Luckily, Ellen had a strong clinical staff, a devoted kitchen crew, and a dedicated volunteer coordinator. The one thing Ellen always found herself discomforted taking on was her managerial duties when it came to her Social Action Consortium relations. Before the Social Action Consortium took responsibility of the Omega House, many employees remember the structured hospice; when mandated changes come about, these very employees are skeptical and tend to hesitate. However, they are left with no choice but to follow the orders of the Social Action Consortium.
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Ellen took great concern about the Omega House’s financial history, which is why she thought George, Omega House’s new development officer, would be of great assistance to the hospice. George came with an expertise in professional fundraising, which obviously could be of great use to the Omega House considering they still suffered from financial distress. Ellen felt that since George had been hired with money from a development grant previously given to the Omega House, he should spend most of his time serving the needs of the Omega House.
However, that was not the case once Ellen decided to take interest in what George had been doing for the Omega House. Ellen found it difficult to completely trust George when she found out based on gossip that George’s past job history involved a personal indiscretion that had led to his termination with another employee. After learning from a fellow employee, Dan, that George comes into work at different hours every day, Ellen took it upon herself to confront George later on that day.
Moreover, Ellen felt that need for a talk when she came to an understanding that the numbers in fundraising efforts hardly changed from the last year. Being that Omega House employs George, these numbers need to be showing significant change. As Ellen went to approach George, she finds him at the photo copy machine making his own personal copies. Although he provided his own ream of paper, the three hundred copies were still costing Omega House. Even though Ellen does not enjoy putting on this tone, she felt the need to mention that very fact to him.
George was nice enough to offer a reimbursement for the copies. As they sat in the office to discuss George’s work for the Omega House, Ellen started by complimenting George on the “casino night” fundraising event that took place a week ago and went very well. Ellen felt the need to change the mood from the disciplinary one it was just in. George was supposed to be leading an internal committee formed by Ellen in order to advance fundraising tactics for Omega House. Lisa, the temporary intern, was taking on the leadership role more than George even attempted.
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This was a problem considering George was assigned to Omega House for the purpose of raising money so Ellen can fulfill her facility needs. When Ellen asked George to participate more in the committee meetings, George said that he needed to focus his energy more on SAC’s needs rather than Omega House. At the end of the conversation, Ellen made it very clear that George’s salary comes out of Omega House and not SAC’s, hence he needs to reconsider where he’d like to invest his energies. Issues/Factors Issues at hand of this case study would be in regards to employees knowing their positions.
George, in my opinion, seems to think due to his expertise, attending those meetings and completing work-related duties at his workplace are unnecessary. Some may describe this behavior as arrogance, and I happen to agree with that. Furthermore, George is displaying more loyalty to the Social Action Consortium rather than to the actual workplace that provides his salary, Omega House. He also lacks respect when speaking to ones above him. Ellen clearly did not appreciate his tone when she approached him.
As an employee for Omega House and working under the orders of Ellen, George should not have the ability to question where his loyalty lies or whose orders he should be following. I feel that George thinks he was assigned to Omega House as a favor to Ellen and he doesn’t need to follow her orders. George has the idea that he only has do what the Social Action Consortium tells him versus what Ellen at Omega House orders him to do. In any workplace, ethics plays a hefty role. Knowing right from wrong is something George needs a better understanding of.
All in all, both insubordination and unclear loyalties are the problems. Furthermore, Ellen is still unsure of herself as a program director and the managerial functions that come with that title. In order to carry through her duties, including disciplinary ones, Ellen must have full confidence in herself. Despite walking into this position with no experience and no intentions on doing it for a long period of time, Ellen seems to be doing a fairly good job and should always remain rest assured of just that. Strategies/Recommendations
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If I were in Ellen’s place, I would conduct an extensive meeting amongst myself, George, and Lisa. At this meeting, everyone’s position will be made crystal clear including me. George will grasp a better understanding of who pays him, what duties he must complete, as well as, what tone to use when speaking to those above him. Ellen did not approach him with an intention of disrespect, she just wanted to know why attending those committee meetings were not happening for George. He claims his energies needed to be more focused on the needs of the Social Action Consortium rather than Omega House.
George needs to understand that he was assigned to Omega House to help raise funds to facilitate needs of Omega House; if he cannot show improvement in numbers from the last year than he needs to step his game up. If attending those meetings has proven to be beneficial to Omega House’s financial aspect, then George should do so considering he’s the expert in fundraising. Lisa, the temporary intern, should not be attending those meetings as the leader. Lisa should also be aware of her duties and whose orders she should follow.
It’s great that she wants to take on a bigger role and it’s an even greater learning experience for her; however, because of that George does not display cooperation in these meetings. As for Ellen, Ellen needs to always be sure of herself and her managerial responsibilities. It seems that she is doing a pretty good job as the program director at Omega House, she should be confident. She knows where she stands in the business; she just has to reassure others of their positions every now and then. At the end of the meeting, neither harm nor disrespect should have been relayed to anyone.
If anything, everyone should have a clearer understanding of their positions at Omega House and what they should be contributing to the success of Omega House. Insubordination will no longer be tolerated. Unclear loyalties will now be crystal clear. Considering that George’s salary comes from Omega House’s budget, his time should be well invested into Omega House’s fundraising activities. Ellen has proven to be a good program director and should continue to do so. Conclusion I feel that meetings where everyone brings their issues to the table and contribute to finding ways to resolve them are always resourceful in a business.
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Ellen needed to make sure George knew his place at Omega House and with a meeting she had the ability to do so. George had the ability to learn where he should focus his energies. Insubordination is defined as defiant of authority or disobedient to orders. That is exactly what George displayed to Ellen and Omega House. George being more concerned with fulfilling his duties for the Social Action Consortium rather than Omega House is an example of unclear loyalties. Insubordination and unclear loyalties were the issues at hand with George. Hopefully a meeting set out strictly for clarification helped in eliminating those issues for Ellen.