Desired Culture: CLL prides itself on being a family oriented organization responsible for the care of developmentally challenged individuals in the best and most adaptable manner. This is clear as CLL was founded by a group of families looking to help and support each other in the care of their developmentally challenged children. In order to provide a calm and conflict free environment where special attention is provided to each patient’s individual needs, the support workers at CLL must work as one cohesive unit.
This is clear as CLL prides itself on the belief that the “one shoe fits all” approach oes not work as each individual suffers from different issues. This is an appropriate desired culture due to the fact that the residents have disabilities and are prone to outbreaks at any given time. Actual Culture: Throughout the last three months at the Norman House, the support workers have been working as individuals, leading to many arguments. These arguments have resulted in the workers being divided into two sides, which has caused an ‘everyone for themselves’ mentality.
This is proven through the disagreement between Davis, Neal and Jones surrounding whether or not to wake up Denny Liu. Despite Neal and Jones’ belief to let him sleep, Davis made an individual decision to wake him up. As a result of this thought process, the environment within the house has become hostile and unsafe to the point where physical abuse has been reported. This environment is proven to be hostile due to the formal complaints filed by Davis suggesting that Bennett intentionally pushed her and dropped a table on her.
Gaps in Culture: At this time, there is a clear gap between the desired and actual culture that needs to be bridged. The most pressing gap between the wo cultures is the lack of a cohesive work environment. This lack of cohesion is seen when Davis made comments to Simpson telling him that he does not have to listen to Bennett. This negative attitude from Davis goes against CLL’s cohesive atmosphere and as a result, has compromised the desired culture. Avoiding conflict is important as the residents may not understand the situation around them and believe that they are the cause of the problems when this is not the case.
Additionally, the focus of the workers in the house has shifted from the well being of the residents to the power struggle etween Bennett and Davis. Workers have picked sides, and are no longer communicating effectively with each other. Davis noted an incident where Bennett, Neal and Jones were having private conversations, which she suspected to be about her. Potential solutions to these issues involve better defined roles to eliminate a power struggle along with the possibility of increasing meeting frequency with McDonald to keep employees aligned with CLL’s objectives.
ROOT CAUSES Power Structure: Within the structure of the Norman House, there are three individuals holding power; McDonald, Davis and Bennett. McDonald holds coercive, reward and legitimate power through his role as the area supervisor. Davis holds expert power through her education and experience at CLL as well as referent power with Abreu as they are friends. Similarly, Bennett holds expert power through her extensive experience at CLL as well as referent power over Neal and Jones through her role of taking charge in the house and their friendship.
Bennett and Davis hold the same forms of power and as a result, a power struggle has formed. McDonald is not currently present enough to use any of his forms of power over the support workers. Increasing McDonald’s presence would allow him to use his power to alleviate some of the conflicts. This would be beneficial as he would have the authority to make decisions in times of disagreement, avoiding further conflicts. Cognitive Differences: Past experiences are a major aspect in perception and in this regard Davis and Bennett are very different.
Davis is accustomed to a house that strictly follows CLL protocol, whereas, the Norman House is more laid back regarding the urgency to file paperwork. This difference in procedure has caused tension that must be resolved in order for the house to un smoothly. Additionally, Davis is very stubborn and does not take into consideration the opinions of others. This causes issues as other support workers are not having their inputs valued. Having Bennett and Davis accustomed to being the house leader creates problems as both are not used to having other people challenge their ideas.
Organizational Structure: There is a clear disconnect between the support workers in the Norman House and McDonald, the area supervisor. McDonald only meets with the support workers once a month and hence is not able to resolve problems between the support workers on a egular basis. This could be solved by increasing McDonald’s presence in the house by holding weekly meetings in order to allow him to better identify and solve conflicts. Leadership: Within the Norman House both Bennett and Davis wish to act as leaders.
According to the Path-Goal theory of leadership, Bennett uses a supportive approach, as she sees her coworkers as friends, while Davis uses a directive approach, by believing in only her ideas. The Norman House requires a more participative leader, as all of the support workers have valuable opinions developed through their education and work experience with CLL. McDonald currently uses a participative approach by taking the ideas of the support workers during their meetings, however, he is not able to be effective due to his minimal involvement.
ACTION PLAN Decision Criteria: CLL prides itself on their ability to provide a unique, safe, and fun environment for residents who need special attention and care from professionals. In an ideal situation, CLL will avoid transferring or terminating any staff in the Norman House. The residents have built strong relationships with these staff, and the departure of any workers would be devastating to the residents. Additionally, the relationships between the staff must be improved.
The decisions being made to fix this issue should ultimately break up the cliques in the house and allow all staff to get along. A great way for the staff to co-operate is by ensuring each of their ideas get considered when discussing house operations. Based on this outlined criteria, potential actions have been given to resolve the issues in the Norman House. (See Exhibit 1) Immediate Plan: Following the day of the formal complaints, Little will contact White, Bennett and Davis in order to arrange individual eetings at the head office.
The meetings will be spaced one hour apart to ensure that workers do not see each other, avoiding awkward interactions. Following the individual meetings, Little will meet with Davis and Bennett together to permanently settle the conflict. In order to convey the seriousness of these meetings, both McDonald and Little will be present and dressed in business attire for all meetings. When conducting these interviews, White will be first to ensure that management receives an unbiased opinion of what issues are occurring in the house. During the interview Little will inform
White that she has specifically been chosen to be interviewed due to the respect management has for her as a result of her significant experience with CLL. Furthermore, Little will explain to White that her opinion is of value because she has not chosen a side in the Bennett-Davis feud. Also, White will be informed that anything she says during the interview will remain confidential, allowing her to express her thoughts freely. The tone used during the interview will be calm and friendly in order to make White feel as comfortable as possible.
Finally, Little will sk White to report any further issues to McDonald should they arise. In doing this, it will provide White with the sense that the company truly values her, which will translate to better lines of communication throughout the organization. Following the interview with White, Davis will be called into Little’s office to discuss the formal complaints as well as the recent issues surrounding the Norman House. The meeting will start off by discussing how valuable Davis is to CLL and how her excellent work for the company has not gone unnoticed.
Beginning the meeting in this fashion will likely make Davis more receptive to he forthcoming discussion. Unlike the meeting with White, the tone of this meeting will be far more serious to emphasize the severity of the situation. At this time, Little will allow for Davis to provide specific details of instances where Bennett has verbally and physically abused her. She will be assured that her complaints have been noted, and any disciplinary action that is deemed necessary will be taken. Following Davis’ explanation of Bennett’s actions the discussion will be shifted to the complaint filed against Davis.
An outline of the accusations against Davis, ncluding the threatening tweets, will be explained to her along with an explanation from Little as to why these infractions are unacceptable in the workplace. Little will continue to outline the expectations for all CLL employees and will issue a formal warning to Davis, informing her that if these actions continue, or another complaint is received, consequences such as suspension or dismissal may be utilized. By using his coercive power, Little will be able to send a strong message to Davis that her recent actions have been unacceptable. To conclude the meeting, Little will thank