1. THE CASE
Operations manager of the Cure Lanka Hospital (CLH) K. P. John, stoop up after a long discussion with the HR Manager Dayan Randeni. “Well Dayan we will have to take this matter up seriously in the next management meeting, I need a solution, a permanent solution”. Dayan agreed with waving the head from left to right with thin smile drawn across the face.
It was the weekly operational review meeting of CLH; meeting was preceded by the CEO Samath Devadithi. He is an ex-Air force officer. At the beginning of the meeting John requested permission to table a serious issue. Mr. Deva, Kithsiri, the Maintenance in-charge, in not controlling the maintenance staff. He pets the people; people do not come to work as arranged for shifts. They take leave change shifts as they wish. When I call explanation from the guy, he protects the people. What I see is we are not getting the work done, and paying extra over time to the people. We need a solution to this problem.
Deva turned to the HR manager, and looked at him. Dayan started, “Well Deva, I and John had a chat on this issue. People are not complying with the new working arrangements. They are used to the relax working pattern of the previous management. They are practicing the same thing. However, this maintenance guy was recruited overriding my decision, and as per my opinion, he does not fit to the role. “Why do you say that Dayan?” asked the CEO. “It’s my gut feeling Deva, I know that”. I gained that out of the three interviews we had him during his selection process”.
Nursing in-charge raised his voice. Mr. Deva, I also have the same problem in my department. Recently I found that one of the attendants was using the company vehicle in regular manner to go home after his shift end. When I checked he claims that he has been doing that from the beginning. Further it’s frustrating, that two receptionists recruited have not reported to work after their first week of working. This is the third time same happened. I guess the old reception staff is loyal to the previous management and they are making the new people to quit. I need a solution for this from HR.
Medical Director, who is a reputed surgeon, had some thing to add. Look here, Major portion of business to this hospital is coming from my reputation. They are my clients. With all these issues that we claim as unable to manage, will cause my reputation to deteriorate. If you all could not improve the service here, I tell you I will have to sign up with another hospital. I have an operation, gentlemen please excuse me. He left the meeting, keeping the entire board room in silence.
CLH was part of the Golden Key Group of companies that collapsed. But, it’s now owned by a new management. Golden Key fiasco had put the reputation down of this hospital. New owners removed all the bad eggs from the management, change lots of practices which were in lax, in order for the hospital to be turned into a profit making operation. However, they were reluctant to change much of the practices of Doctors. New management was able to manage the cash flow to a level that they could build up some savings.
CEO seems to be in dilemma, a big one. He is not used the management style of their subordinates bringing problems to him. While he was in Air Force, when an assignment was given to an officer under him, they used to deliver. Unlike here there are enough excuses and ball passing. It was the CEO’s ideas that changed some of the procedures inside the company. They have made considerable savings in OT, transportation and so forth. He is proud about it, and earned credit from the owners.
Many of the staff, who was working in this hospital, is used to earn a lot, mainly through OT. Today they are not very happy about the income they make. There were lots of terminations happening due to disciplinary issues. Inefficiency is the norm in the hospital. Everyone looked up to the HR manager saying that this problem with people...
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