Essays on The Qualitative Survey of Employees in Housekeeping Food Services and Maintenance Case Study

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 REPORT The qualitative survey of employees carried out both on six current employees as well as six resigning employees, with two employees from each of the three departments – Housekeeping, Food Services and Maintenance had demonstrated some of the specific underlying causes that may be responsible for the high turnover. Some of the common elements cited by respondents from all departments are provided below: Firstly, several employees have expressed a negative opinion about the parking lot that is located far behind the garage and means they have to walk a long way.

This also poses a security risk for some female employees, although armed guards are present to escort the employees to their cars during the graveyard and late shifts. Secondly, the gloomy and sterile atmosphere in the cafeteria is another aspect highlighted by almost all the respondents. While they appreciate the availability of free food, the nature of their jobs itself requires them to function in an atmosphere where there is sadness from sick customers.

The cold and cheerless atmosphere in the cafeteria only highlights these gloomy aspects. Thirdly, more than one respondent has spoken unfavorably about their supervisors. They do not find then helpful or cooperative and the one employee who has spoken favorably about her supervisor is an employee who has been working for only two months. While several employees are happy about the fact that the desired shifts have been allotted to them, they express the view that their supervisors could be more helpful and flexible. Lastly, more than one employee has complained about the attitude of the doctors, especially in the maintenance department.

These employees feel pressured in terms of job completion and do not like the attitude of the doctors. Employees in housekeeping and food services have also stated that they find the doctors brusque and impatient. In specific reference to employees in the maintenance department, several have expressed annoyance at the difficulties in working around customers and being mistaken for janitors. The pressure from doctors to complete jobs immediately is also a sore point with these employees.

This survey has also highlighted some of the areas that are pleasing to the employees. These include the facility of free food, the general cleanliness of the working atmosphere and being allotted the shifts they desire for work, in order to accommodate the needs of their families. Employees in the maintenance shed have almost unfailingly mentioned their appreciation for the cleanliness of the shed and the ready availability of high quality tools. Recommendations: On the basis of the findings above, it may be concluded that some of the major reasons why employees are leaving may be (a) the inconvenience and lack of security in the parking lot (b) the generally depressive atmosphere in the job, which is only exacerbated by the gloomy cafeteria (c) lack of support from supervisors and (d) boredom on the job.

Hence, it is very important to address these issues so employees feel motivation, because “motivation is about motives and needs. ” (Beardwell et al, 2004: 505). Care must be taken to retain the favorable elements that have been cited by the respondents in this study, because they are also likely to attract more employees.

For example, a couple of the employees are resigning due to the expiry of their contract, but would choose to work for Ballard again if given the opportunity. But it is the negative aspects that must be looked into on a priority basis, to prevent the exodus of more employees. At the outset, something must be done about the parking arrangements for the employees. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory (1970), which is a five tier system, an individual has two kinds of needs – the lower order needs which are satisfied externally, such as physiological and safety needs, and the higher order needs which are satisfied internally such as social needs, esteem and self actualization needs.

The lower order needs may be classified as the extrinsic factors while the others are intrinsic factors. It is these intrinsic factors that contribute to job satisfaction, while the external factors are those that may contribute to dissatisfaction. In this instance, it appears that the perceived lack of security due to the parking arrangements is impacting employees negatively, and must therefore be addressed. It is suggested that either the employees be allowed to park in the garage, or that a separate parking area be designated to accommodate employee cars, in a location that is closer to the hospital, better lit and well secured.

This could reduce employee turnover, especially of those employees who are leaving because this is one of the elements they are not comfortable with. Secondly, the atmosphere in the cafeteria must be improved. This could be achieved by using bright colored chairs for example, or by putting up a few bright paintings of landscapes or flowers.

Alternatively, bright colored curtains or blinds could also be used to improve the general ambience of the cafeteria and make it a more congenial place for both employees and customers. This would help to relieve the employee ennui and fatigue on the job, because they are constantly bombarded with sickness and sad customers, so that cheer is sorely lacking in their working life. Refashioning the interior of the cafeteria could improve employee morale by providing an outlet where they can relax and recuperate from the stresses on the job. Thirdly, it may be necessary to rotate long term employees into different shifts in order to prevent ennui on the job.

Irrespective of department, employees are getting tired and bored during the same thing day in and day out, especially in the generally sad and oppressive atmosphere of the hospital. This is what may be propelling them to leave, to seek relief elsewhere, hence rotating employees and providing some diversion and changes in their jobs may be helpful in retaining them. Herzberg (1968) contends that a lack of satisfaction expressed by an employee on the job does not necessarily imply dissatisfaction.

In his article titled “One more time” How do you motivate employees? ” he argued that employees were more likely to be motivated by factors such as achievement and the work itself rather than simply money. Allowing employees to have some respite would improve their feelings of satisfaction and contentment on the job. According to Vroom (1964), three factors must be calculated in such a way that they are able to bring about a motivational force that will ensure maximum pleasure to the employee.

These are valence, expectancy and instrumentality, where instrumentality in particular is the perception of employees as to whether management is actually providing them what they want. Taking into consideration the negative views about supervisors that have been expressed by employees, it appears that a distinct conclusion can be drawn that employees are not satisfied on this count. Therefore it is a source of negative motivation for employees and must be addressed through training programs for supervisors, to make them more aware of and sensitive to employee needs. It may also be helpful to provide BIMS employees with a distinct uniform, especially the maintenance staff, so that they are not confused with janitors.

This would help them to feel a greater sense of respect and self worth on the job and may help to slow down the tide of maintenance employees who want to resign their jobs. The degree to which an employee experiences satisfaction at his job is determined by the extent to which he feels that he is at an advantage or a disadvantage as compared to a “referent other”, who is actually a person that is in a position comparable to the employee.

[Anderson and Bedini 2002]. These maintenance employees may feel less self worth because unlike their colleagues working in other locations, they are being mistaken for janitors. Hence this is also an important aspect that must be address. In conclusion, these are the most pressing actions which could help address employee dissatisfaction: (a) improving parking arrangements for employees (b) training programs for supervisors (c) redesigning and improving cafeteria (d) rotating employee shifts. Bibliography * Anderson, Denise M and Bedini, Leandra A, 2002: “Perceptions of workplace equity of therapeutic recreation professionals”.

Therapeutic Recreation Journal. [Online]. . * Beardwell, I., Holden L. and Claydon T, 2004. “ Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach” (4th edn. ), Harlow, England: Prentice Hall * Herzberg, F, 1968. “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees”, pp 85-95 IN Harvard Business Review: “Breakthrough Ideas: 15 Articles That Define Business Practice Today”, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston USA * Maslow, A.H, 1970.

“Motivation and Personality” 2nd Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. * Vroom, V, 1964. “Work and Motivation”, New York: Jon Wiley and Sons.

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