The performance of any organization largely depends on communication. It sets the tone of interactions between employees, contributes to the development of the organizational culture, and reflects the efforts aimed towards enhancement of teamwork and cooperation. Unfortunately, many hospitals face group conflicts and cannot effectively manage employees in order to solve those issues. As a result, organizations face low morale and productivity, which influence their financial sustainability. The key point of the discussion lies in the evaluation of the impact of current problems in the healthcare setting, development of the recommendations applicable to the aforementioned communication issues, and suggestion of training sessions aimed to improve productivity by means of fostering a productive communication system.
The Impact of Communication Issues on Group Productivity
Conflicts within groups can arise in healthcare organizations for different reasons. First, they may be the result of poor a communication system between group members, which leads to misunderstandings and confusion of roles and responsibilities. In fact, roles, duties, and responsibilities do not have a clear definition and distribution among group members as long as there is a conflict leading to the reduction of productivity. Ignoring role conflicts can lead to extreme levels of low productivity, which will have a significant influence on the overall quality of services provided by the healthcare organization (Chow, 2012). In addition, if role conflicts do not come to logical solutions, they are likely to cause a lack of cooperation and unwillingness among group members to follow policies and regulations. This way, poor motivation will lead to low morale. Furthermore, role conflicts within groups require immediate action in order to prevent the development of such negative consequences as misunderstandings and continuous lack of cooperation.
Communication problems among group members is another issue faced by hospitals, which requires significant focus and attention. The reasons of communication problems may be different. However, in the case of hospitals, the failure to listen, the lack of feedback, authority issues, and problems in written communication are most common. The observation of group performance indicates that members can hardly focus on what their colleagues try to express. Employees plan what to say, regardless of the information they receive. This way, there is no interaction between group members, which can help to solve existing problems or implement projects. The lack of feedback also has a deep connection to authority issues. These two problems are connected to the managers working with a group of employees. They mean that managers hardly ever get feedback from employees because employees feel fear or discomfort when sharing their dissatisfaction or problems related to the performance of a group. Finally, problems in written communication mean that employees cannot deliver information in a high-quality way, which could help to prevent issues.
Lack of cohesiveness in groups with diverse members leads to misunderstandings and miscommunications in the workplace. The analysis of the activities of a diverse group of employees indicated that there were significant issues with small group dynamics and continuous lack of cohesiveness. The workplace has already become a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities, including African Americans, Caucasians, Asian Americans, the native population, and the Latinx community (Van Swol & Carlson, 2015). The observation of employee cooperation within a group and beyond it indicates that employees tend to prefer communicating with employees belonging to the same culture. In fact, group activity of employees from different cultures results in conflicts and misunderstandings. It happens due to different communication styles, needs, values, and beliefs. While representatives of the Hispanic and Latinx Americans are expressive and loud during their conversations, Caucasians are not that talkative and emotional. This way, there is a natural barrier, which requires immediate solution in order to bring balance and cohesion to the performance of the group.
Excessive intergroup conflicts are not rare, as long as they take place when employees are working on the accomplishment of tasks assigned to a group. One of the main reasons for excessive group conflicts is the nature of group performance. It may be challenging for group members to follow the same patterns of performance or accept the standards and rules initiated by the manager. However, observing group performance at the hospital showed that the reward structure is the main trigger of excessive intergroup conflict. Employees work hard on the implementation of assigned tasks. However, the recognition system does not consider regular appraisals, which could foster the productivity of every employee. As a result, it becomes difficult for employees to interact with each other and strive for excellence in every activity. The main consequence of excessive intergroup conflicts is isolation of the employees from each other because of their unwillingness to follow the goals and objectives of the project. In this way, the hospital will continue to face the decrease of productivity levels and poor communication, which would prevent the implementation of any project.
Every problem requires a separate consideration with solutions and perspectives in mind in order to address every issue and ensure that it does not have a negative influence on the productivity of the hospital. First, it is important to pay attention to role conflicts. Conflicts do not always have a negative meaning for the performance of the department or the hospital as a whole. For example, conflicts indicate that group members are in continuous search for change and innovations (Kaitelidou et al., 2011). It means that group members have needs, which managers still have not managed to fulfill. These groups are willing to adhere to changes offered by managers in order to reduce conflict and satisfy personal needs. It is difficult to implement changes in groups performing with harmony, understanding, and balance as long as group members do not want to leave their comfort zone and accept a different standard of performance. This way, the organization should use role conflicts for the benefits of the organization and turn this problem into a competitive advantage. First, employees should have a list of duties, responsibilities, and a personal schedule. It will bring a deeper understanding to the performance of every employee. Next, it would be beneficial to create a communication system for all groups in order to increase their trust and ability to reach out to each other whenever needed. For example, the managers can create a chat room within the hospital’s intranet communication system for group members. It will boost the exchange of ideas, urgent information, and advice. As a result, it will be possible to have a significant growth of productivity and corporate spirit in general.
Communication problems can also be solved by having a complex approach towards finding and applying appropriate ideas. First, managers should stop criticizing the performance of employees. Every group member should feel valued in order to work with the highest productivity. Otherwise, there will be continuous stress and tension between the manager and their subordinates. If employees feel the support of their manager, they will eagerly share feedback on the performance of the group and their needs. The manager’s responsibility is to build a relationship with employees full of trust and understanding in order to encourage group members to share feedback without fear and stress (Palvakis et al., 2011). During meetings, it is also necessary to teach employees how to listen to each other and make conclusions. Making eye contact, writing down some notes during a colleague’s speech, and analyzing information can help employees understand each other’s performance by listening carefully. Finally, managers should also take a responsibility of teaching employees how to share information in a written form. Appropriate grammar, structure of the message, and vocabulary can help to avoid redundancy and useless information.
In order to solve the problem of the lack of cohesiveness in diverse groups, it is important to take several steps and develop recommendations. First, it is important to add recreational activities for all employees in order to increase their communication and trust. It is not easy to break cultural barriers, but it is possible thanks to active inclusion of employees in group activities within and beyond the workplace. In addition, it is necessary to foster productive communication between employees belonging to different cultures during brainstorming sessions or meetings (Van Swol & Carlson, 2015). For example, every employee should not only listen carefully to the words of other group member, but also repeat some facts that they understood in order to improve the understanding of information and ensure that the speaker’s message is clear. This pattern will help to bring cohesiveness to group performance by means of improved communication. In combination with recreational initiatives, it will be possible to avoid cultural issues in group activities The manager will also be capable of changing group members depending on the qualification of employees without fear of losing cohesiveness and harmony.
The primary recommendation regarding resolving the problem of excessive group conflict is making face-to-face meetings of group members regular. It is the most effective way to solve the issues as long as it enhances trust, transparency, and support within a group. Management should also play the role of conflict regulators and lead the project by identifying and addressing the needs of group members. Active support coming from the organization’s management can help employees to see that their performance is valued and that other employees play a significant role in the achievement of the goals (Khatri, Gupta, Varma, 2016). As a result, a group will be capable of working with the same productivity without managerial help. It will define roles and responsibilities of every employee based on mutually agreed duties formulated in a schedule. The hospital can also foster a continuous increase of productivity by encouraging creativity and innovation within a workplace. This will make employees open-minded and willing to offer their ideas regarding implementation of the project. In fact, conflicts encourage employees to change their performance and use new techniques to satisfy their needs.
Training for Productivity
In order to reduce the number of conflicts and ensure that the hospital will not have to face productivity issues again, it is important to implement a training program for all employees within the hospital. The core of the training program is the person who will show employees the initial reasons of conflicts and how to prevent them. The idea is to implement daily seminars in the workplace, which can be held during lunchtime. It will help to avoid spending additional time on training and will help employees to think about their cooperation with colleagues. Every seminar should offer employees simple tasks for the next seminar in order to see the key point in personal communication, leadership, and conflict styles. Seminars may take place twice a week in order not to create additional tension and stress for employees involved in their routine duties. However, the effect of regular training sessions will show employees the reasons of conflicts, will teach them how to avoid conflicts or find appropriate solution, and will develop effective leadership skills instrumental in achieving the goals and objectives of any project with the highest efficiency. These activities will influence the techniques used by the hospital in team building. It will become easier to define tasks and set goals of the projects thanks to the employees’ willingness to participate in the achievement of strategic goals and objectives. The hospital will use training sessions to improve communication skills of every employee by defining strengths and weaknesses of subordinates in group communication. Finally, all these activities will lead to improved division of labor, which will have a positive impact on the overall productivity. The organization can use the same system of training sessions or improve it according to the ever-changing needs of employees, which may require additional accommodation (McBride & Mustchin, 2013). In general, the goal of the training sessions is to nourish the performance with outstanding accommodation skills. It will help to build employees’ relations based on respect, loyalty, compassion, patience, and trust. Every project will have a positive influence on the organizational productivity thanks to the contributions and dedication of every employee.
The evaluation of the problems troubling the hospital showed that communication is a crucial element in the formulation of the organizational productivity. Role conflicts, problems of the diverse workforce, lack of cohesiveness, and excessive group conflicts are some of the common problems of contemporary organizations. It is impossible to ignore these issues because they lead to a myriad of negative consequences including low morale, poor communication, and continuous decrease of productivity because of employee dissatisfaction. The proposed recommendations and training should be effective enough in combating the communication problems and productivity issues. In general, the organization should learn how to prevent conflicts in order to ensure continuous growth and improvement of the quality of produced services.