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The Problem Employee

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Alexa Shuler

on 1 October 2015

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Transcript of The Problem Employee

Constructive vs Destructive Discipline
Discipline involves training or molding the mind or character to bring about desired behaviors.

Discipline does have negative consequences, however it can be a powerful motivator for positive change because it has an educational component as well as a corrective one.

Constructive discipline uses discipline by helping the employee grow, not as punitive measure

Self-discipline and group norms
Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weakness
It is the highest level and most effective form of discipline.
It is possible only if subordinates know the rules and accept them as valid.
Group Norms are a group-established standards of expected behavior that are enforced by social pressure.
The leader must or try to have influence over the “norm” to mold the group behavior

Fair and effective rules
Developed four rules to make discipline as fair and growth-producing as possible
The enforcement of rules using “McGregor’s hot stove rules" keeps morale from breaking down and allows structure within the organization.
Four elements must be present to make discipline as fair and growth-producing as possible
Immediate consequences

Discipline as a progressive progress
Take progressively stronger forms of discipline when employees fail to meet expected standards
Disciplinary strategies for the nurse-manager
Transferring the problem employee
Transfer: a reassignment to another job within the organization
Grievance Procedures
A statement of wrongdoing or a procedure to follow when one believes that a wrong has been committed.
When employees and managers percieve "fair" and "just" differently
Formal process
: if informal fails, lodging complaints up the chain of command, then a formal hearing is held (employee is normally favored)
: if the above fails, a professional mediator reviews facts and interviews witnesses then comes to a decision
Rights & Responsibilities in Grievance Resolution
: both parties have a right to be heard and to listen without interruption, the right to a positive work environment and a responsibility to express concern. Management still has the right to expect things from the worker.

Disciplining the Unionized Employee
Managers must know their contract languages.
The Road to Improving Problem

By: Taylor Brown, Blake Gilliam, LaKayla Harris, Hannah Rogers, and Alexa Shuler
The Marginal Employee
The Chemically Impaired Employee
Recognizing the chemically impaired employee
Integrating leadership roles and management functions when dealing with problem employees
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8
Question 9
Question 10
Substance misuse:
involves maladaptive patterns of psychoactive substance abuse, with the substance user continuing use in the face of recurrent occupational, social, psychological, or physical problems, and/or dangerous situations

Remove these employees from the environment
to ensure patient safety

Manager's responsibility to help chemically impaired employee to deal with their disease in order for them to be productive employees in the future

Between 8 and 16% chemically impaired nurses
10%=500,000 people

1 in ten nurses will develop a problem with drugs or alcohol in their lifetime

At risk: family history of emotional impairment, alcoholism, drug use, or emotional abuse

Factors: stress, long hours, chaotic environments in childhood, easy access to medications

Alcohol is the most frequent abused substance

Demerol, OxyContin, and Klonopin are increasing in popularity
Behavior changes grouped into 3 areas: personality/behavior changes, job performance changes, and time and attendance changes
When an employee is chemically dependent it is easier to recognize these behaviors
Substance is initially used at home until the employee develops a tolerance requiring more of the substance. At this point the substance may be used at work and at home
In the final stages of chemical dependency, the employee usually has a disregard for self and others resulting in decreased quality of care and patient harm
The goal is to remove chemically impaired employees before the final stages occur
Chemically impaired employee's reentry to the workplace
State board of nursing treatment programs
The Recovery Process
The manager's role in assisting the chemically impaired employee
Confronting the chemically impaired employee
Deny chemical impairment, even to themselves
Data or evidence gathering phase
Nurse manager collects as much evidence as possible to document suspicions
If possible a second person should be asked to validate the manager's observation
The chemically impaired employee needs to be removed immediately and the manager needs to arrange for the employee to be taken home
A formal meeting to discuss the incident should occur within the next 24 hours
Direct confrontation phase
Some admit to the problem but others use defense mechanisms because they may not have admitted the problem to themselves
Research shows that chemically dependent people become masters at manipulation
If denial occurs, documentation of evidence should be provided
The manager needs to be careful not to preach, moralize, scold, or blame
Organization's plan or expectations for the employee overcoming the chemical impairment

Written down and clearly outlines the rehab measures that should be taken by the employee with consequences if these measures are not taken. Timelines are included within the contract. The manager and employee must agree on and sign a copy of the contract
Many times nurse managers find themselves nurturing the chemically impaired employee like they would a sick patient and quickly become manipulated by the impaired nurse
Many times the impaired nurse asks the manager to participate in their recovery. Someone of greater expertise should assume this role.
The manager's main responsibility is to see that the employee becomes functional again to meet organizational expectations to return to work
The manager can play a vital role in creating a work environment by reducing work-related stressors and providing stress management to employees
The manager should control drug accessibility by monitoring policies and procedures related to medication distribution
The manager should provide opportunities for the staff to learn about substance abuse, detection, and available resources to help those who are impaired
First phase:
Denial- the impaired employee denies the severity of chemical impairment but does reduce or suspend chemical to appease others. They hope to reestablish substance abuse in the future.
Second phase:
Acknowledgment and willingness to change- the impaired employee begins to see the chemical addiction has a negative impact on their life and they want to begin to change. They are typically hopeful and committed but do not realize the struggles they will face in the future. This phase usually lasts for 3 months.
Third phase: Reflection
- examines personal values, coping skills, and works to develop effective coping skills. Done frequently by participating with support groups to reinforce chemical-free lifestyles. Feelings of humiliation and shame.
Fourth phase: Self awareness
- develops coping skills to deal effectively to stressors resulting in increased self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect. The person an consciously decide whether they wish to or should return to the workplace
Diversion programs- voluntary, confidential program for nurses whose practice may be chemically impaired due to chemical dependency or mental illness
The goal is to protect the public by early identification of impaired nurses and providing the appropriate treatment facilities
Certain programs help nurses with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
Helps the nurse with the recovery phase and offers assistance to employers and staff on how to cope with employee substance abuse
Impaired nurses who refuse participation are subject to disciplinary review by their state board of nursing and possible license revocation
Many believe an impaired employee must devote at least 1 year to their recovery without the stresses of drug availability, overtime, and shift rotation
Reentering the workforce depends on the extent of the recovery process and individual circumstances
Generally accepted guidelines for reentry
No psychoactive drug use will be tolerated
The employee should be assigned to day shift for the first year
The employee should be paired with a successfully recovering nurse whenever possible
The employee should be willing to consent to random urine screening with toxicology or alcohol screen
The employee must give evidence of continuing involvement with support groups and are encouraged to attend several meetings each week
The employee should be encouraged to participate in a structured aftercare program
The employee should be encouraged to see individual counseling or therapy as needed
These guidelines should be a part of the employee's return to work contract
What term involves maladaptive patterns of psychoactive substance abuse, with the substance user continuing use in the face of recurrent occupational, social, psychological or physical problems, or or dangerous situations?

A. Substance abuse
B. Addiction
C. Substance misuse
D. Denial
C. Substance Misuse
How many phases are there in the recovery process?

A. 5
B. 4
C. 6
D. 7
B. There are 4 phases in the recovery process
The presence of a union usually entails more procedural, legalistic, and safeguards in administering discipline and a well-defined grievance process for employees.
Nonunionized employees may be disciplined inconsistently and on a greater latitude
Unionized employees must be disciplined according to specific, preestablished steps and penalties within an established time frame (normally fairer)
Differences between disciplinary methods:
Due process- written statement outlining disciplinary charges, the resulting penalty, and the reasons for it
Burden of proof- detailed records regarding misconduct and counseling attempts of the unionized employee kept by the manager
At will employees- nonunionized employees are considered this because they can be dismissed at the will of the employer, with exclusion of discrimination
Just cause- reasons to discipline, suspend, or dismiss employees with proof of violation and rationale that this is appropriate
These are
problem employees
and traditional discipline is not constructive in modifying their behavior; they usually are competent but only meet minimal standards
Strategies to Deal with these Employees
: transferring, dismissal, talking into resignation, ignoring/working around (leads to resentment), coaching (greatest promist/most time and effort)
These strategies depend on the level of the manager, and ignoring the employee is the most passive approach.
Influences of the strategies
: Nature of the organization (government owned =passive, nongovernment owned =active) and the Size of the organization (larger =passive)
Every person and situation is very different, which means past performance must be taken into account as well.
Things to consider
: Is the employee tired? Does the employee need training? Does the employee need opportunities? Is the employee unmotivated? Does the employee have little energy? Does the employee only have marginal skills?
If the above is true then the employee can't help but to be marginal!

When a manager and an employee don't see 'eye to eye,' and differ in agreeing on what is 'fair' or 'just' concerning a particular situation, especially concerning unionized workers, what is the overall procedure that must occur?

a. Nondisclosure Agreement
b. Grievance Procedure
c. Conflict Resolution
d. Circumstantial Control
What is the term that describes a written process outlining disciplinary charges, the resulting penalty, and the reasons for it?

A. Due process
B. Burden of proof
C. At will
D. Just cause
B. Grievance Problem
A. due process
1. Informal Reprimand/Verbal Warning
2. Formal Reprimand/Written Warning
3. Suspension from work
4. Termination/Dismissal
Inappropriate discipline can undermine the moral of the whole team
These steps are followed only for repeat infractions
At the end of a designated period, the slate is wiped clean
Questions to ask before taking disciplinary action
Performance Deficiency Coaching:
brings areas of unacceptable behavior or performance to the attention of the employee and works with them to establish a plan to correct deficiencies
1. The Disciplinary Conference:
Reason for disciplinary action
Employee's response to action
Rationale for disciplinary action
Clarification of expectations for change
Agreement and acceptance of action plan
2. The Termination Conference:
Calmly state the reasons for dismissal
Explain the employment termination process
Ask for employee input
End the meeting on a positive note, if possible
Lateral Transfer: staff person moving to another unit, to a position with a similar scope of responsibilities, within the same organization
Downward Transfers should be considered when nurses are experiencing periods of stress or role overload
Accommodating Transfers generally allow someone to receive a similar salary, but with reduction in energy expenditure
Inappropriate Transfer: solving unit personnel problems by transfering problem employees to another unsuspecting department

• The leader recognizes that all employees have intrinsic worth and assists them in reaching their maximal potential.
• The leader also recognizes that each employee is an individual and intervenes according to the individuals specific needs.
• In some situations when there is frequent rule breaking. Discipline maybe the most effective tool for ensuring that employees succeed.
• For the nurse who his chemically or psychologically impaired. The leader has to balance the concern for the patient’s safety and the health of the employee.
Assisting the impaired employee to get the treatment needed is a primary management responsibility.
• When dealing with the employee with special needs (the marginal employee, those who are psychologically or chemically impaired) the leader serves as a coach and resource person than as a counselor, disciplinarian, or authority figure.
• Constructive discipline requires leadership and management skills
In administering discipline, the leader is actively shaping group norms and self-discipline.

When dealing with problem employees, the leader-manager uses which concept or concepts below?

A. Believes all employees have the potential to be successful and valuable members to the unit
B. Enforces rules, policies and procedures
C. Recognizes each employee as an individual and intervenes accordingly
D. All the above

D. All of the above
As a leader-manager, when dealing with a psychologically or chemically impaired employee the leader-manager serves as a what?

A. Counselor
B. Disciplinarian
C. Coach and resource person
D. Authority figure

C. Coach and resource person
Scientific Management Theory
Theory view discipline as a necessary means for controlling an unmotivated and self-centered workforce.

Ex: Managers uses threats and fears to control behavior

Constructive vs. Destructive Discipline
“Big Stick” approach is concerned a destructive discipline.
Big stick approach focus on eliminating all behaviors that could be considered to conflict with organizational goals.
This approach is good for short-term basis

Trust: Self-discipline
Manager and employee
The leader/manager plays an important role to help employees/workers promote self-discipline within themselves.
Employees lack the security to have self-discipline if they do not trust their managers’ motives.
Managers must discuss all written rules and policies, explain rationale for existence of rules and policies, and ask question.

Self-discipline or punishment?
What is an undesirable event that follows unacceptable behavior?

A. Self-discipline
B. Punishment
C. Immediate consequences
D. Forewarning
B. Punishment
What is the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weakness
A. Punishment
B. Discipline
C. Group norms
D. Self-discipline
D. Self discipline

• The leader acts as a supporter, motivator, enabler, and coach
These attributes of the leadership role make employees want to follow the rules of the leader and thus the organization they work for.
However, the manager must still enforce established rules, policies, and procedures. Although good managerial practice greatly reduces the need for discipline, some employees will still need external direction and discipline to accomplish organizational goals.

• Discipline allows employees to understand clearly the expectations of the organization and the penalty for failing to meet those expectations.

• Overall, the leader-manager believes that each employee has the potential to be successful and a valuable member to the unit and intervenes accordingly to meet each employee’s special needs.
Integrating leadership roles and management functions when dealing with problem employees
Which of the following is NOT a step in the progressive disciplinary process?

A. Verbal Admonishment
B. Suspension From Work
C. Sent Home Early
D. Written Admonishment
C. Sent Home Early
Which of the following correctly defines a lateral transfer?

A. One staff person moving to another unit, to another position with similar responsibilities, within the same organization
B. A transfer that allows someone to receive a similar salary but with a reduction in energy expenditure
C. Transfer that involves moving a problem employee to another unsuspecting department
D. Transferring a patient to a position that will decrease stress or role overload
A. One staff person moving to another unit, to another position with similar responsibilities, within the same organization
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