Week 12 Reflective Journal

This week’s subject was conflict resolution. Throughout the week I was able to learn good tactics to resolving conflict in the workplace. I can also apply these concepts to other personal aspects of my life. Through the discussions this week I was able to from others about bargaining and how others think conflicts should be resolved. I will use this conflict resolution in many aspects of my career: with coworkers, patients, and family members. I have learned that it is very important to actively listen and try to understand the other person’s view. 

Budget Interview

Interview with Wendy Helms, director of Little Treasures Preschool.

 

How does one decide how to split up budgets? Do you split it up by dollar value or percentage?

Our budget is split up by dollar value. It’s easier to understand in dollar form. Our budget has always been in dollar form instead of percentage form so I don’t know who decided to split it that way.

Do you have investors? If so do you recruit them or do most volunteer themselves?

We do not have investors. We do take supply donations from parents and community members though.

Do you use a yearly budget or split it up to quarters and biannual budgets?

Our budget is split into quarters. It lets us re-evaluate how we are doing more frequently.

Who decides on what the annual budget is?

Our budget is decided on by the board. We have several meetings to determine it yearly.

How big is the margin for overage and what happens when you don’t stay within budget?

We try very hard to stay within our budget. When emergencies occur there is a fund for repairs through the school district.

What is the disciplinary action when budgets aren’t met and where does the overage money come from?

The overage comes from the emergency fund. If someone consistently went over on their budget that person would have to meet with the board. If the problem was not fixed they are at risk for losing their job.

Do you oversee multiple department budgets? If yes, how are they different?

No I just oversee the budget for the preschool.

If required to make budget cuts, where do you start? Do you prefer to cut employees or look for other options?

I try to make cuts from our supplies first. We already run on minimal staff so I look for other ways that we can save money.

What do you find most difficult about budgeting for a company?

It is hard to make cuts because I know it will affect the experiences that my students get to have.

How does budgeting for a company differ from budgeting for an individual?

The budget for the preschool is decided far in advance and stays in place for the entire school year. Multiple people are involved with making the budget.

What is the hardest part about staying within the determined budget?

It is hard to make cuts because I know it will affect the experiences that my students get to have.

Through this interview I was able to learn about how budgets are made and handled outside of healthcare. I thought it was interesting to see the process of setting the budget and how overages are handled. I also thought it was interesting to see how another company handles trying to stay within a budget. I learned valuable information from the interview and will be implementing it in my own career when the time comes for me to assist with budgets. 

Firing-Discipline Interview

This interview was completed with Juan Carlos Arroyo, a manger at Rubio’s.

  1. What is the hardest part of disciplinary meetings for you?

The hardest part of disciplinary meetings for me is trying to figure out how to communicate the discipline effectively. I worry about saying things wrong or not getting my point across. I practice what I’m going to several times until I feel confident in the message I am delivering.

2. Do you find it more difficult to conduct a disciplinary meeting or to fire someone? Why?

I think that it is more difficult to discipline someone. When someone is being fired they usually know that it is coming, either through budget cuts or employee performance.

3. Do you feel that people respond better to emotional or logical appeal when implementing discipline?

In my personal experience I think that people respond better to logical appeal. When emotions are involved in discipline meetings they become much more difficult. Sticking with a logical appeal keeps the meeting more professional.

4. How do you navigate a meeting when it becomes emotionally volatile?

I listen to what the person has to say. Sometimes feeling like a manager is actually listening makes a big difference. If the employee is getting out of control I offer to take a break for a few moments so that they can gather their thoughts and communicate better. Sometimes people just need a little time to get their thoughts together. If the employee becomes aggressive or hostile we could call 911 if necessary, although this has never happened.

5. What time do you find it best to hold these meetings? Do you pull people during their shift or ask them to come in at a different time?

I like to tell people before they have a few days off from work. I’ll ask them to stay late for their shift if possible. That way they have some time to process what has happened and handle it emotionally. 

6. How do you deal with an employee who is adamant they have done nothing wrong?

I would explain the evidence that I have to the employee. If they were not willing to listen I could get in contact with human resources. It also helps to have another manager or assistant manager present for these types of meetings

7. What do you do when an employee threatens to get a lawyer for being wrongfully terminated?

I make sure that all of my paperwork is completed correctly. I get in contact with our human resources and ask for advice.

8. Do you always have to have documentation backing up reason for discipline?

We almost always have documentation for discipline. Usually discipline is in relation to tardies or customer service complaints. Both of these items are logged so it is easy to provide documentation.

9. How many strikes does an employee get before termination? Why no more than this?

We allow an employee to have three disciplinary meetings before they are terminated. If an employee has not changed their behavior by this point it is unlikely that they will change in the future.

10. What factors contribute to your decisions on how to discipline?

I consider who I am disciplining and why. I also take into consideration how my relationship is with that person and how they will take the discipline.

11. What type of language do you use to encourage change?

I like to let employees know that they have “room to improve.” I watch my tone of voice carefully. I try to keep the meeting logical and to avoid emotions.

12. What determines whether you fire the employee or whether you give them another chance?

It depends on how severe the reason for discipline is. If someone is taking money they will automatically be fired. Smaller things like tardies and customer service complaints will be handled with discipline meetings.

13. What is the most common offense you see that leads to termination or discipline?

Most of our employees are terminated for tardies or just not showing up to work. Many of our employees are high school or college students and for many this is their first job.

14. How many people are involved when you need to discipline or fire an employee?

It depends on which employee I will be dealing with. If I am worried about the meeting I can get another manager or assistant manager to stay in the meeting. I could also ask an HR representative to be present if I think it will be exceptionally messy.

Response:

I learned many things from doing this interview. If I am ever a part of these interviews in the future I will strongly consider having another person from management present. I also think that it will be very important to have all necessary paperwork completed and filed appropriately. Human resources will be a huge resource for me in these situations.

Performance Appraisal Interview

This interview was conducted with Shandel Hall, a manger at Enterprise.

  1. Do you help the employees set goals to improve themselves before the next performance appraisal? If so, what are some common goals that are chosen? 

We set more goals as a team. For example, customer satisfaction is something that we are always seeking to improve. Many of the employees here are already part of our leadership program and have their own personal goals based off that program.

2. How do you tell your employees to prepare for performance appraisals?

We have our employees complete self-evaluation prior to performance appraisals. The mangers also fill out evaluations and these are both discussed with the employee.

3. How do you help employees feel comfortable (and not like they are in trouble for something) during their performance appraisals?

I think it’s important to build a strong relationship with the employees prior to the appraisals. They are more receptive to feedback and trust what you have to say.

4. What are some of the phrases and questions you use to invite change? Which types of phrases or wording to you avoid?

I always avoid the word failure. That is a harsh word that just bums employees out. I like to use the phrase “room for improvement.” This comes across in a more positive way that the employees respond well to. 

5. How do you stay consistent with your performance appraisals with each employee?

Prior to appraisals I pick three questions that I ask all employees. We also have a scale that helps use determine how to rate our employees while doing the manager evaluations. The scale helps us to stay consistent in our ratings. 

6. How do you work with employees that have scored unsatisfactory for multiple evaluations?

I haven’t encountered this problem yet, but I think that it might be necessary to set some goals and deadlines wit this employee and let them know that improvement is expected. If poor performance has been documented for multiple evaluations it might be necessary to terminate this employee.

7. How do you explain to employees that feel they have excelled more than what they were scored as on the evaluation?

I bring a copy of our scale that we use to do evaluations. I explain my reasoning to the employee. If they disagree I let them defend their view. Our performance appraisals are documented electronically and sent by email. It’s possible for the employee to mark that they disagree with the appraisal and why.

8. Do you feel it is beneficial to gather peer reviews to include in the performance evaluations? Why or why not?

I haven’t personally done it, but I think that peer reviews would be a good idea. I would be curious to see how their co-workers rate working with them. This might be something that I use in future performance appraisals. 

9. Do you use a rating system (I.e. poor, below average, average, above average, exceptional) or just let employees know how you think they’re doing (I.e. I like your work in this area, you’re a good employee)?

We have a rating system to help keep ratings consistent.

10. Do you believe it is effective to use a rating system to give employee feedback? Why or why not?

I think that it is effective. It keeps the evaluations consistent and prevents bias. It gives me an outline as to how I should rate each employees performance.

11. How do you discipline those who are doing poorly? How many warnings do they get?

Employees can receive verbal or written warnings. An employee can receive one verbal warning and up to three written warnings before they are terminated. Two managers are always present when written warnings are being done. It’s important that correct documentation takes place to prevent any lawsuits. 

I enjoyed doing this interview. It was interesting to hear how other companies to their employee evaluations. I have only ever had evaluations done with Intermountain. It sounds like Enterprise’s evaluation system is pretty similar. I like the format that was described and I think that used a rating system is absolutely necessary in preventing bias and inconsistent ratings. I also liked the idea of peer evaluations. If I am ever in a management position I will be sure to use a rating system and peer evaluations in my performance appraisals. 

Hiring Interview

Interview with Bailee Thackeray, Supervisor at UVU Dining Services.

  1. What do you look for in a resume- to decide whether you will interview that person or not? I look for job experience, skills related to the job, and if their schedule will fit the needs of the job. I also look to see if the resume is well formatted and without errors.
  2. What are the top 3 character traits you look for in future employees? I look for people who are trustworthy, dependable, and motivated. 
  3. What is the hardest part of the hiring process for you, and why? The hardest part of the process for me is weeding through candidates to find people who I actually want to interview. 
  4. Do you prefer one on one interviews or group interviews? I’ve only ever done one-on-one interviews. I’ve thought of having other employees meet and talk with the interviewees but have never actually tried it.
  5. Do you have key phrases that you look for in letters of recommendation? I don’t receive a lot of recommendation letters, but when I do I like to see that the person is trustworthy and dependable.
  6. What are some red flags you watch for while conducting interviews with possible employees? I watch to see if people are late to the interview. People need to be punctual with this job and being late is not acceptable. Many of the people that apply for these jobs are international students and English is their second language. I watch to see if customers and coworkers will be able to communicate well with them. 
  7. Do you use the same type of questions with every candidate, or are the questions led by their answers? I usually ask the person to tell me a little bit about themselves at the beginning. I’ll usually ask them about how they would handle a difficult customer or coworker. Sometimes I ask about why they want this job.
  8. What prejudices do you have that make it harder to be fair to all the candidates? How do you avoid letting this impact your decision? Ageism is something that I have to watch for. Younger students that are more familiar with technology do better at learning and running the register based on my past experience. I try to avoid this prejudice by being objective about their resume and interview and recognizing that I have this prejudice. Age is not an appropriate reason to not hire someone.
  9. How do you feel about hiring friends or family? I have hired friends and family members but they were employees already working in other departments. I would hire them as new employees only if they were the most qualified person for the job out of everyone I interviewed.
  10. Do you like when candidates bring portfolios? Why or why not? I don’t think that it is necessary because this job isn’t that specialized. I do like when people bring a copy of their resume though. I can read over the application material prior to the interview and take notes. 
  11. Do you approach interviews for different positions in a different way? Can you give an example? Like I mentioned before, the jobs I hire for are not very specialized. Many of the employees cross train to different positions very quickly. When interviewing international students I have to ensure that they have a work permit already. If I am hiring a driver I have to make sure that they have a current and valid driver’s license. 

Response:

I thought that conducting this interview was very beneficial. Even though I interviewed someone who hires college students, it was still nice to see good qualities in employees. I think that hiring people with a good work ethic is a must in all positions. I thought it was interesting to hear about how interviews outside of healthcare are performed. It was also interesting to hear about someone else’s prejudices and how they overcome them when hiring.

Introduction

My name is Tara Taylor. I am originally from Alamosa, Colorado and currently live in Utah. I have been married to my husband for a little over three years. I am working as a nurse at the LDS Hospital ICU. I’ve worked there for two years and have been a charge nurse for a year. My long term goal is to become a CRNA and work in a rural community.

The purpose of this journal is to serve as a space where I can reflect on my weekly course work. These posts will allow me to critically think about the concepts that are introduced every week. I will be able to access these posts even after I have completed this course in order to better understand the leadership

Week 10 Reflective Journal

This week in class we discussed managing change. I enjoyed learning about strategies to help survive and plan for change in the unit. I liked that the presentation included examples of good reasons for change: problem solving, increasing efficiency, and reducing workload. I’ll remember to base any change off of these 3 examples to tell if the change is really necessary. We watched a video titled “Who moved my cheese?” this week. I thought that this video did a great job of showing how people’s attitudes can affect their progression in the workplace. Embracing changes and incorporating them into our careers will make the transitions easier and will help us to have better attitudes. 

Week 13 Reflective Journal

This week in class we discussed strategic planning and health policy. I was not familiar with either of these subjects prior to this week. I thought that this information was very beneficial in teaching nurses in leadership positions how to plan for the future, even though there are many changes that can occur. I thought that thinking of courses and programs to add to the UVU Nursing Program were great ways to apply some of the concepts we learned. If I’m ever in a leadership position, I will use the information from this week to plan ahead for the benefit of the employees and patients while still being able to adjust the plan for future changes. 

Week 10 Reflective Journal

This week we discussed staffing and career development. I felt like I was already pretty familiar with career development, but staffing was a new subject for me. I thought that the staffing assignment gave the group a good opportunity to practice their staffing skills and apply concepts from the lecture. If I ever become a manager, I will use the information and concepts about staffing in creating the schedule for employees. I feel like I have a better handle on staffing and that I have a foundation that I could apply if I needed to. 

Week 9 Reflective Journal

This week we focused on The Future of Nursing. I was not familiar with this group prior to the lecture this week. I think that the group has set good goals that nurses should be supporting and be involved in. The top six topics addressed in this report are improving access to care, fostering interprofesisonal collaboration, promoting nursing leadership, transforming nursing education, increasing diversity in nursing, and collecting workforce data. I think that the nursing career would be very different if the guidelines in this report were implemented nation-wide. I will try to implement this information into my own nursing career and encourage others in my unit to do the same.