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Today, organizational culture is an essential component towards the realization of firm or organization’s goals, objectives and mission. Organizational culture is the shared behavior of people or employees who are part of an organization (Alvesson, 2011). It entails the meanings that these people or employees attach to their daily actions while at work. Culture in the organizational context includes the working language, habits, visions, symbols, beliefs, values and norms that employees practice (Alvesson, 2011).
In the case of Spring Valley Mental Health Center, there is an organization’s culture that is developing, and it is threatening achievement of the hospital’s goals and mission. The hospital’s mission is to uphold the wellness in all mental health care services irrespective of race, ethnicity or social class. In fact, the hospital is working tirelessly to provide mental health services to Medicaid patients. However, some of the employee’s behavior, conduct, beliefs, actions and habits are undermining the success of the hospital.
Dr. Lee's visions and beliefs are not contributing to the achievement of the hospital goals. He is pressurizing Dr. Johnson to start a staff lay off so as to save money for the organization. While visiting The Sierra Center, an employee overhead Dr. Johnson making a call. Employee spreads a rumor that the hospital is in the process of being closed. At The Hilltop Centre, racial discrimination is being practiced by two therapists. At The Canyons Centre, a staff member Miriam discusses her patient’s medical information. This is unethical in medical profession. Therefore, the organization’s culture at Spring Valley Mental Health Center can be said to be detrimental, and it will eventually or completely make the Health Center’s missions and goals unattainable.
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Relationship between a Healthy Culture and Organizational Productivity
An organization that has a healthy culture will always be more productive. A culture that is based on good morals or values will not engage in activities such as rumor-mongering, hatred among employee or clients. A healthy culture also ensures that top management respects junior specialists and even subordinate staff in the organization (Frost, 2009). When employees feel appreciated, they become more productive.
The link between healthy organizational culture and employee performance or productivity has long been established. Despite the fact that some theorists have questioned the link between culture and productivity, there exists enough evidence to prove that organizations with a healthy culture are more productive. The most extensive research to be done on the relationship between a healthy organizational culture and productivity involved 207 firms in the United States (Ogbonna & Harris, 2007).
In the research, done by Ogbonna and Harris, they used a sample of 1000 units from the financial analysis. To measure productivity, they used variables such sales growth, competitive advantage, customer satisfaction and market share. In terms of the healthy culture, they evaluated competitive culture, innovative culture, community culture and bureaucratic culture (Ogbonna & Harris, 2007). In their findings, organizations with healthy competitive culture and innovative culture had more productivity. In the case of Spring Valley Mental Health Center, the CEO does not have any innovative culture, because he advises Dr. Johnson to shut down a satellite center to save money. Instead of the advice to shut the centre down, he should help her come up with innovate way to cater for the reduced financial aid to Medicaid program. Therefore, an organization with a healthy culture will at all times have more productivity (Ogbonna & Harris, 2007).
Effect of Stressors in the Organization
Mainly emotional stressors are caused by emotions or feelings. In an organizational context, emotional stressors can occur when an employee feels that a colleague or a senior staff in the organization is being exploitative (Zaheer, Rehman & Ahmad, 2006). For example, an employee, who is emotionally stressed, may assume that fellow employees are laughing at him. He end up hating them and sometimes make conclusions that a certain race of people is bad. When discharging duties, such an employee may practice racial discrimination. The habit, like racial discrimination, will affect employee productivity because he fails to offer services to some people. In the case of Spring Valley Mental Health Center, two Caucasian therapists are practicing racial discrimination and consequently affecting their relationship with the Director.
Psychological stressors are those that involve the person’s mind. Symptoms may include nervousness, feelings of anxiety and over irritability. It thus contributes to a culture of inefficiency and unreliability. This will contribute to organization’s poor performance or overall productivity (Beehr, 2008).
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Finally, organizational stressor can occur as a result of two or more roles conflict for one person. Organizational stressors contribute to unhealthy organizational culture in that leaves an employee confused about their roles. This contributes to a culture of negligence among employees and thus, it leads to low or poor productivity. This can bring liability to the organization (Long, 2012).
Stressors Apparent in the Organization
In the case study of Spring Valley Mental Health Center, there are emotional stressors that are contributing to low productivity. Dr. Johnson's emotional stress is being caused by Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee is pressurizing Dr. Johnson to start a staff lay off or even close down The Sierra Center. This is causing emotional stress to her. She has to reach out to a friend in California so as to get some advice. She is wasting a lot of time consulting, and thus, she loses a time for bi-monthly employee evaluations. This can mean that the employees are not being evaluated as scheduled. This can cause the laxity among the employees and thus, it can lower the organizational productivity. Another depiction of emotional stressor is made by Jasmine at The Hilltop Center. She is furious about an email exchange between Katelyn and Samantha. This has negatively affected the relationship between these employees. The effect on the organizational productivity is that these employees cannot work together effectively. This will undermine service delivery at this Centre.
When Dr. Johnson was visiting The Sierra Centre, an office manager overheard her making a call to Benjamin on the probability of closing down the clinic. The officer spreads this rumor and employee’s morale has been negatively affected. This will create a psychological stress because employees will become anxious about their fate in the clinic. It has affected the organization productivity in that employee’s morale has decreased.
Organizational stressor is portrayed at The Alpine Centre. There is no formal training to prepare Spanish people to be doctors. This is forcing the office manager Carla to be pulled out of the office so as to help in translation during therapy sessions. This is not his role at the hospital, and this is making him work extra hours even on weekends. As a result of being pulled out of the office, there has been an enormous backlog of claims. It has also been costly to the organization because Carla is an hourly employee. This has resulted to low organizational productivity in processing patients claims.
Approaches to Reduce Stress in the Organization
If the organization can manage to bring out the best in its employees, it can achieve in reducing stress in the organization (Long, 2012). This will consequently counteract the effects of the unhealthy organizational culture. In the case study of Spring Valley Mental Health Center, several approaches can be used to reduce stress.
Sometimes, an employee could be experiencing stress without knowing that. Psychological stress can go unnoticed. However, it can reach the point of no return when such stress undermines an employee ability to perform at work. Identifying the source of stressors can be one approach to reduce stress (Long, 2012). When the source of stress is identified, preventive, mitigation and control measures can be implemented. At Spring Valley Mental Health Center identifying issues that are stressing the employees can help to avoid the stressors.
Another approach can be having proper communication in place. Letting the employees to know what is going on can help them to develop the means of coping with stress instead of long periods of anxiety (Grifel, 2010). Another approach can be ensuring that employee’s roles are identified. Carla's should be left to work in his office. Hiring an employee whose role is translation can help to reduce organizational stress for Carla.
Changes to Improve the Organizational Culture
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Several changes at Spring Valley Mental Health Center can be implemented. One of such changes can be introducing training sessions for employees. They can be taught of the hospital’s mission, values, objectives and goals (Grifel, 2010). They can also be trained on better methods of enhancing employees’ relationship. The employee like Miriam can be reminded that sharing a patient’s medical information is unethical.
Training on a healthy organizational culture is what is lacking at this hospital. Once trained, this will improve the organizational effectiveness. Finally, employees’ training on stress management will bring positive substantial improvement on how employees deal with stress. This will ensure that organizational effectiveness is not affected (Grifel, 2010).
In conclusion, it is apparent that organizational culture is an essential component towards the realization of firm or organization’s goals, objectives and mission.
It is noticeable that attaining a healthy organizational culture will involve the participation of everyone in an organization. It will also require education of the entire group of employees to keep reminding them their role within the organization. Regular training will also help all employees to be more motivated in achieving the organizational goals and objectives. Having a correct organizational culture is essential, because it affects the way employees or staff interacts with clients or even with each other or stakeholders.
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