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Reflective Journal – Week 13

November 11, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that resolving conflict can be very difficult. A lot of times conflict also builds up and is harder to resolve as everyone’s emotions and feelings get involved.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activities weren’t as insightful as there was yet again very minimal involvement. It was interesting to see how someone else would negotiate more benefits for employees. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I learned that resolving conflict can be a multi-step process. Sometimes with negotiation it will take talking with multiple people and have many consequences. With interpersonal conflict it will simply take communication to resolve the conflict.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Resolving conflict is hard and not my favorite part of life in general. I have learned however that resolving conflict early on rather than letting things fester is the best way to resolve conflict in the end.

Reflective Journal – Week 11

November 10, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that strategic planning is hard. It is something I am going to be faced with in my career, so it was good to learn a little bit about it.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activities were good, although there was little participation. I think that it was interesting to learn from the other team about their strategies around building healthcare in their town. I think it was good to hear others’ opinions about what programs should be put in our school at UVU.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I have learned that I will reach out to others when I am faced with strategic planning. I have such different ideas from other people and I can learn a lot from their perspective. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Strategic planning is just hard. It is something I don’t personally love, but I will do it to ensure that I can meet the needs of the nurses and community around me.

Reflective Journal – Week 10

October 27, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that managing change is hard. Change will always come, but everyone approaches and adapts to change differently. I learned that as leaders we need to work to help employees adapt to change.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I think that the team activity was helpful because it helped me see that everyone approaches change differently. We all have different approaches to and views of change, and we need to be aware of that. It is always interesting to see how others need to process change or just need to go through change as it comes.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will use this by understanding that as a leader I will be able to help monitor change and help employees adapt to change in the way that they need to adapt to change. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Change can be very hard, but we can adapt to it in many ways. We also need to be aware of how other people adapt to change and help them adapt int heir own way.

Budget Interview

October 26, 2019

For this assignment I interviewed Adam Zimmerman, CEO of American Equipment.

1. What is the most common budget constraint you frequently run into and how can it be fixed?

Getting customers to pay. We have ramped up our collections efforts by adding more people to our AR team

2. What is your favorite thing about budgeting at your company?

Makes us focus on the future.

3. What do you find to be the most difficult about budgeting?

All falls back on AR. If money comes in it makes it easier to budget and plan

4. How does budgeting affect your employees & customers?

Forces employees to really evaluate the real need of a purchase. The goal is to lower unnecessary expenditures which increases profits and increased wage and bonuses. Hopefully customers see a lean and efficient company they are buying from.

5. What is your least favorite thing about budgeting?

The future. Business ebbs and flows. We need to make purchases for worn down equipment or in order to grow, but we need to make sure we have enough coming in to cover those costs

6. What is the main cause for being over budget?

Careless spending and people not being accountable

7. What is the main cause for being under budget?

Attention to detail and clear direction from upper management

8. How often do you think the little things add up to help you stay under budget?

Can’t quantify. We have 100 employees with credit cards. Uncounted for $100 purchases by employees are killer. They add up fast

9. Who helps oversee the budget for the company?

Our Controller

10. How often do you make changes to your budget?

Every day.

11. What is the most common problem you run into while budgeting?

Careless spending

12. How often do you fire employees as a way of decreasing your budget?

Rarely to never. We are very cautious about the people we hire and do our best to put people in long term positions. It is a delicate balance. We would rather have folks get overtime when we are busy than layoff because of too many people when times are slow.  

This interview was interesting to learn about how a CEO views budgeting in the company. It was interesting to learn from his perspective that little costs add up fast and can hurt the company, which may hurt employees which he doesn’t want to happen within his company. I also didn’t expect their budget to be revised daily.

Reflective Journal – Week 9

October 20, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that the responsibility of staffing can be stressful. From the activities in this unit, it was interesting to learn about different staffing methods in different hospitals and units. It was also interesting to learn more about how to develop your career and learn about different tips to do so.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activities were helpful just to see how other people plan to develop their careers in nursing. I think it’s always interesting to learn about how people want to advance their careers and people that they plan to work with in order to further their careers.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize this information by remembering to constantly network to open possibilities to advance my career. It has reminded me that although I may not have a perfect picture of where I might be in 5 years, that I will have more opportunities if I network with people around me to learn about different job opportunities as I work.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

I think that these topics are very important to be aware of in nursing. I think that staffing is very important to be aware of, and if in a leadership role, I will remember that there are many different methods to staffing that can be used and there isn’t necessarily a perfect method for any unit. I also found it a good reminder to network with people constantly through my career to open opportunities in my nursing career.

Reflective Journal – Week 8

October 11, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that the future of nursing is definitely changing. I learned about the increasing demands of nurses, and how that will change the way we practice. I learned more about how nurses are able to practice in some states versus others, and how nurses are going to be working more closely with other healthcare providers in the future. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team discussion was good this week. It was good to hear from others about their opinion on the future of nursing. We all agreed that there will be many positive changes for nurses in the future as we work more equally with physicians and attain higher education. The future of nursing will help meet the demands in healthcare in the future. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize the information learned this week by recognizing my role in the future of nursing. We have a crucial role to play, and that is to be leaders and make our voice heard. We aren’t currently seen as leaders in the healthcare community, and that can change by my involvement in leadership within healthcare. As I learn from my practice as a nurse I will work to participate more in leadership.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

I think this unit was helpful. It was cool to learn about how people are working to change the future of nursing. As it stands, I do believe that we work in a great field, but we are under-utilized and I think that as time progresses and we work in leadership roles, we will be able to be better utilized within healthcare to provide the best care for our patients. 

Reflective Journal – Week 7

October 7, 2019

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that firing/disciplining can be very difficult. Many times there are multiple factors that lead to an employee getting fired, either in their home or work environment. I learned that it can be just as difficult for a manager to have to fire someone that they know has dependents that rely on them for resources, and that those are important things to keep in mind when considering firing an employee.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I felt that the team activities were helpful. Our discussion this week was about budgeting, and we all had slightly different opinions but were all thinking along the same lines. Some just considered cutting some hours or being more strict on nursing hours, while others considered cutting more employees to cut the budget. There were great ideas about how to cut the budget, so it was good to learn from them. My mind was somewhat changed after learning from others’ opinions about what they would do in that situation.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize this in my future nursing practice by having another manager help in the firing/discipline process. I would ensure that I wasn’t the only manager involved in firing or disciplining an employee, and I would consider their family situation as I approached firing or discipline. 

As far as budgeting goes, I will be aware that there are multiple opinions on how a budget may be cut, and that I can best serve the unit by utilizing as many opinions as possible in order to come to the best conclusion because mine might not always be the right opinion.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Budgeting and firing/discipline are hard. These are things that I don’t look forward to if I enter a manager position in nursing. Firing and discipline would be hard for me because I would want to keep an employee based on their family situation, but would need to discipline or fire them based on the impact their performance has on the company.

Budgeting is hard for me. I enjoy budgeting for myself, but when it involves people, it is just hard for me. We decided that we would cut most from the RN staffing budget which would just be hard for me because it directly affects staff and their families. These are just decisions that are hard for me to make.

Firing-Discipline Interview

October 7, 2019

Here are some answers and questions about Firing/Discipline from Galen McMurtrey at Elysium Energy.

1. What are automatic grounds for termination at your workplace?

Fraudulent Acts, Theft, Customer Abuse, Other Illegal acts resulting in criminal prosecution

2.What is the process you use to discipline an employee who is constantly late?

Employee is called and given notice that they are late too often and then set up on an improvement plan over a 30-60 day period.  At the end of the designated period they are review again.  If no progress they will be let go or given another probationary period if some progress has been made.

3.What is the hardest part of disciplining an employee and firing an employee for you?

The fact that it will usually impact not only the individual but many others who rely on the employee for their daily resources.

4.What tactics have you found to be effective when disciplining/firing an employee?

Establish firm/s identifiable responsibilities and job descriptions to use as a means to identify the challenges an employee is facing  so that there can be specific and detailed conversations about the issues.  Once that is established all future disciplinary matters can be addressed and resolved more effectively as everyone has a good knowledge of it beforehand and generally no one is surprised at the results.  Also establishing goals and what lies ahead for an employee gives a positive light to the employee instead of all negative. This keeps most employees motivated toward the positive side and not focused on the negative.

5.What are good indicators which help you know if your disciplinary actions have been effective or not?

The employee starts to focus on the set goals and progressing toward the higher end of expectations and not repeating the same pattern that caused the disciplinary action.  Also the general disposition of the person can be good indicator as to whether the issue is related to work or something outside of work, both of which should be handled a little differently.

6.When you need to discipline an employee, do you have someone else there to help be a mediator?

Absolute requirement to have someone else involved, no exceptions!!

7.How many “chances” do you give an employee before they are terminated?

Depends on what the disciplinary action is and how the employee responds to the probationary period and requirements.  Usually it is a 3 step process.  1. Recognized and Discuss without warning.  2.  Identify specifics and set up probationary period and a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) 3.  Extended probationary period or termination followed by termination.

8.What is the main reason why you need to fire an employee?

-Significant breach of company policies that affect customers or working environment that the employee is involved in.  This would include sexual harassment, fraudulent acts and intentional undermining the company’s reputation.

-After firing an employee how does the workplace change/react to the firing?

-It usually improves as a decline in an employee’s attitude also drags down the morale of the group and impacts customer service.

9.When a termination needs to happen due to budget issues, how do you choose which employee it will be?

A balanced approach to keep the long-term continuity in place, meaning not necessarily the newest staff only, but some experience staff as well.  This is also why you need to have goals and job descriptions set so that you can utilize that detail to determine the specific needs for long-term performance who is the best employees to help fill in those areas.  Taking this approach has the tendency to preserve the greater whole for the longest period of time.

10.How do you approach the conversation when firing an employee? Do you explain in depth the reasons why they are being fired? 

When the firing is for cause, the detail has already been presented through the first two stops of PIP and when the 3rd meeting happens when there is not improvement, the meeting is very short and to the point without any additional explanation other than they did not meet the requirements.

When it is for gross misconduct they are immediately escorted out and an officer of the company or law will bring them their personal belongings to them later.

When is for budget or market conditions there is more of a discussion identifying the challenges and they are told they are eligible for rehire and sometimes severance pay.

11.If your company was really short-staffed but an employee gives countless reasons to be terminated would you proceed with firing them or keep them because you can’t afford to lose an employee?

Would still fire the employee and then provide opportunity for remaining employees to pick up the slack with additional short term compensation.  Usually the staff will be glad to see the bad employee go and will naturally pick up the slack with the improvement in the working environment.

 

I learned a lot from this interview. It was interesting to get a different perspective on the firing/discipline process from someone who deals with this in their position. I think that the answers he provided were similar to what I would expect for a professional organization when approaching firing/discipline with an employee. I think the thing I hadn’t thought about as much was how much they will focus more on an employee’s performance over their situation and maybe work with them? It is hard to work with an employee who is slacking, but I can see the benefit for the company to just cut them and let others pick up the slack.

Reflective Journal – Week 6

September 29, 2019

1.What did you actually learn from the unit.

I learned a lot about ethics committees and the importance of them. I also learned a little more about performance appraisal interviews from the interview I was able to do. I learned that ethics committees are made up of multiple people, depending on the organization, but that their main function is to be able to provide multiple perspectives and opinions to a case that involves an ethical issue that cannot be decided on otherwise. I learned that they are available at any place we work at, but they aren’t utilized as much which is unfortunate.

2.Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I learned from the activities that there are many sides to any story that need to be considered. There are also many ways we can approach any ethical situation that we face. It is important to utilize the people around us so that we can really understand every situation that we face and we can provide the best care possible.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize this information by realizing that others’ opinions and perspectives are very valuable in ethical cases. I will also reach out to the ethics committee whenever I feel there may be a case too difficult to make a decision on by myself or the team.

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

I think this material is very important. It is important to involve an ethics committee where there is no clear answer to how to approach a case and provide care to our patients. We can never know the best answer to any case, so it is very important to utilize a committee that can provide the right perspective and best direction to guide decisions to patient care.

 

Performance Appraisal Interview

September 29, 2019

I interviewed Brian Tippetts who works at Coca-Cola. Here are the questions and answers to this interview:

1.What is your least favorite thing about performance appraisals?

Unfortunately, for some companies, they don’t reward good or bad behavior, but are more for keeping the status quo. I like when goals are set and discussed during the performance appraisals and they help determine the outcome.

2.How do you approach an interview with an employee who struggles performing their job duties adequately?

Most likely, I’ve talked to them before and set goals on what needs to improve and also shared my expectations for the job duties. During the interview we discuss those goals and expectations and what progress or steps are being made toward reaching the goals. If progress is not made, then either a timeframe is set for completion or some sort of probationary period or formal discipline is started.

3.What behavior do you look for in an employee AFTER their performance review?

I like when the employee helps come up with goals beforehand and then we discuss those. If they are engaged in the review and see their own potential along with a supportive company, I will usually see new commitment, a new level of excitement and energy.

4.What things do you focus on in a performance appraisal interview?

Usually a set of design specific attributes and also personal and team goals. Provide examples of what they do well and areas for improvement for which we set new goals for the next appraisal.

5.How do you help your employees improve after a performance appraisal?

Set goals and then follow-up with then regularly. When goals are reached, set new ones that push them.

6.How often do you hold performance appraisals for full-time vs part-time employees?

Full-time employees usually once a year per company standards, but I hold informal quarterly interviews. For part-time employees it is usually more of a temp position, so I am providing constant feedback and mentoring.

7.How long do your performance appraisals last?

For the yearly ones, they are usually 1-2 hours each. For the informal ones, maybe 30 minutes.

8.What does your performance appraisal criteria look like and how is it implemented?

We have a document that we go through and “grade” the employee from 1-5 on 20-30 questions in 5 categories. Then we can write the accomplishments and areas of improvement. This is then combined with goals that were set. These are talked about and one copy goes to the employee, one copy is placed into my folder and one copy goes to HR.

9.How do you prepare for a performance appraisal interview with an employee?

Gather all the completed reviews, goal sheet, notes, and examples of accomplishments and review them all so that I have a complete picture of where the employee stands. Then I write down some notes to make sure that I discuss in the interview.

10.What are two topics concerning job performance you like to discuss with employees while conducting a performance appraisal interview.

Their job accomplishments and the goals that have been reached during the year.

11.What tactics do you use to ensure employees actually learn from issues that are discussed during the review?

I like to repeat things and give the employee the opportunity to come up with their own solutions to difficult situations. Afterwards, I make sure and check in often to see if they comprehend the things that were discussed.

12.What is the most common issue that comes up with employees during a review?

It is coming into the review thinking that everything is perfect and that they are entitled to a perfect review.  It is always hard to bring up areas of improvement especially when the employee is so talented and hard working.  I just let them know that we can always improve ourselves, so we find something that will push them a bit and be fun and exciting.

This interview was very interesting and eye-opening for me. At his company, he stated that his yearly interviews for his full-time employees last 1-2 hours which I found very interesting. I also found it important that he mentioned goal setting as the most important aspect of his performance interviews. Even when employees are awesome and hard-working, everyone can improve which I feel is the purpose of any performance appraisal. I like that he follows up with his employees and really works with them to improve in their own chosen ways, while directing them to become better according to company standards.

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