The Reduction in workforce paper explored the knowledge and the decision making process required to plan and execute the organizational changes at Roxboro Medical Center. The job of restructuring and reducing the workforce of an organization will always significantly impact the staff. In the setting that we were given, the CNO was tasked with reducing nursing leadership by 30%. Human resources provided guidelines and additional information to assist in the decision making process. It is especially important for key stakeholders to be involved from the outset of the process to assure organizational policy and procedure are adhered to.
The model that was chosen for this organizational staff reduction is Kotter’s change model which relies on stepwise planning and implementation of a strategic plan on a short timeline while also promising ownership for employees. Faced with the development of a plan to reduce the organization’s workforce, it is the responsibility of management to use an approach that strengthens the organizational mission and values. Transparency, sensitivity, and open communication are essential and will allow staff members to better understand the decision making process during this challenging time. To assure the buy-in of the staff, the change model that is used to research and plan for the staff reduction must incorporate proven rationales and reassurance of an improved work-life balance along with increasing autonomy and ownership. The organization must remain transparent and communicate openly and often identifying details of the plan and timeline while identifying strategies in order to execute the plan and gain facility-wide acceptance and support.
During the time that I was doing research and writing this paper, the Covid-19 pandemic was surfacing and I actually was faced with making some similar decisions at my own organization. I am a manager in perioperative services and when the Governor placed a moratorium on elective surgeries our caseload decreased by about two thirds. Hospitals face many financial obstacles today and are often forced to use an approach such as staff layoffs to maintain their financial viability (Daniels & Ritter, 2018). The first wave of cuts that I had to make was dismissing all travel staff giving them two weeks’ notice. At this time, I also took all non-benefitted employees off the schedule. Ten days later I realized that we were still overstaffed and cut everyone’s FTE by 25%. Another week passed and our CEO and CNO tasked all managers with cutting our staffing budget by another 20%. Emotions and feelings may affect the initial acceptance of the change due to misconceptions about the process of the reduction in force and when issues of trust exist (Walker & Karau, 2016). This was gut-wrenching for me, I knew how devastating this would be to many of my staff members. Feelings of guilt and being at fault is quite common for managers who are faced with making staff reduction decisions. This paper was the most difficult I have ever written, but one of the best because I was living through exactly what I was writing about.
This assignment helped me through the reductions that I had to make as I was researching for the assignment I was also researching for the real task at hand. I am so thankful that this class happened to coincide with the real-life situation that I found myself in. I had never even considered that I would ever be faced with such decisions in my organization, we are a giant 1100 bed level one trauma center with four sister hospitals within 100 miles of us. Florida is extremely fortunate to have been minimally impacted by the pandemic so far, but I will never forget this experience and carry with me what I have learned through this. Open communication, sensitivity, and transparency are a few of the most important things that a manager should remember to use when faced with a task such as this. When faced with a substantial reduction in staffing the decisions for termination must always be based on measurable metrics to keep the decisions equitable with supported rationales (Perry, 2016).
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