An unhealthy, toxic, or strained environment can significantly damage an organization’s productivity and affect the employees’ motivation. In the case study of Kaluyu Memorial Hospital, one can see that a variety of factors affect the staff’s performance and their internal communication. It is vital to assess the situation at the hospital using a motivational theory to understand what drives worker’s behavior. This paper uses Herzberg’s two-factor theory and identifies that there exists an unjust hierarchy between nurses and doctors and employees and superiors. It also shows that the staff is unsatisfied with the hospital’s equipment. A communication system is developed with a focus on non-punitive feedback channels, strict standards, and technological advancement.
First, one has to understand the reasons behind employees’ demotivated behavior. The first potential problem is the uneven treatment of employees and superiors. As personnel’s avoidance of conversations with the manager shows, they are afraid of receiving negative feedback and possibly feel as though their opinion or performance will be devalued. The idea that nurses do all the work while doctors receive credit further increases the discrepancy between workers’ groups, creating tension and reducing openness in the dialogue between employees. Thus, one can describe the corporate culture as hierarchical, punitive, and dominating.
Furthermore, employees also exercise unequal power within groups, as some of the staff members remain quiet during meetings, while others dominate the conversation. It is possible that some of these workers do not have anything to say or do not want to participate for personal reasons. Nevertheless, such unequal distribution of talking time also implies a power imbalance in which actively participating workers have the ability to present their opinions as the only valuable ones.
The problems mentioned above can significantly impact employees’ motivation to deliver their best performance. First of all, the fear of employees to interact with superiors affects workers’ ability to talk about problems in the workplace. One can see that the refrigerators do not work well, but the staff is not delivering this information to the manager. Thus, if left unaddressed, the hospital can encounter an issue where refrigerators stop working or other hospital equipment becomes unusable, but the staff does nothing to report it. Doctors, nurses, and even patients can suffer the consequences of this lack of communication, leading to the hospital’s image deterioration.
Second, many employees feel unappreciated or limited in the workplace, and their motivation suffers as a result. The case study describes instances where employees call in sick, arrive at the hospital in unwashed clothes, and give weak reasons for their actions. Another outcome that may follow is a high turnover rate if workers continue to be dissatisfied with their jobs. Moreover, workers may make medical errors, skip shifts without particular reason, provide low-quality services, and engage in conflicts with one another and patients.
Third, the problem with refrigerators and the lack of space for breastfeeding mothers is inconsistent with the fact that the hospital’s expenses are unusually high. This discrepancy implies that the organization is not optimized, and significant resources are spent unnecessarily. At the same time, workers suffer from unhygienic conditions and receive neither financial nor intangible sources of motivation. This issue is of high importance as it endangers staff members’ health as well as the future of the hospital.
Herzberg’s two-factor theory is chosen for this scenario because it explores the elements that lead to employees’ job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. According to this ideology, motivation factors contribute to people’s positive experiences at work, while hygiene factors are necessary parts of the workplace that help avoid negative experiences. Thus, this theory poses that attention to hygiene factors is essential to make employees more comfortable, but it does not guarantee that they will be motivated to perform better.
In the present situation, the Kaluyu Memorial Hospital has several problems, which can be divided into two groups according to Herzberg’s two-factor theory. On the one hand, workers’ physical environment – old refrigerators, the lack of places for breastfeeding mothers, weak organizational policies – are hygiene factors that lead to higher dissatisfaction (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl, & Maude, 2017). On the other hand, the poor relationships between employees and their fear of supervisors are among the central issues that stagger motivation (Alrawahi, Sellgren, Altouby, Alwahaibi, & Brommels, 2020). The communication system for the hospital has to address both elements to ensure organizational development.
The communicational system for the hospital should involve all employees and superiors and ensure that the information is delivered timely and in a friendly but strict manner. First, it is vital to develop an official policy that would describe workers’ rights and responsibilities. Apart from explaining the mission of the hospital and its goals towards bettering the health of the population, this document should highlight the vital role of the staff in achieving good results. All types of employees have to be mentioned and acknowledged for their input, and specific intangible and tangible rewards should be included to make sure that nurses feel valued by the management.
Next, the official document should outline employees’ sick leave, including valid reasons for taking days off as well as potential adverse outcomes of missing work without notice or with weak reasoning. However, a culture of discipline that is motivational rather than punitive is necessary, as it focuses on achievement and not fear (Gautama So, Djunggara, Fahrobi, Simamora, & Ruangkanjanases, 2018). Apart from this, a feedback channel can be created for employees to report any issues with the equipment or other elements of the workplace. This channel may be anonymous to ensure that employees would not avoid using it out of fear of managers’ response. Still, it should concern issues with technology, hygiene, safety, health, and other organizational elements.
Finally, the supervisor can arrange meetings and conference calls in a way that encourages every employee to speak up. If the employees want to participate but choose to remain quiet, or if they are introverted and prefer one-on-one conversations, these types of communication must be developed as well. For example, all employees may be invited to submit feedback after meetings through email. Personal discussions, small team meetings, and personal acknowledgments are necessary to increase the discouraged workers’ confidence (Blaskova, Blasko, Borkowski, & Rosak-Szyrocka, 2016). The manager has to create a balanced environment where all workers can deliver their ideas in the most suitable form without sacrificing communication transparency.
The situation at Kaluyu Memorial Hospital shows demotivated employees who do not feel as though their input and their work are appreciated. Thus, they do not attempt to improve their working conditions and fear interacting with their supervisors. According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, worker’s physical environment is the main issue leading to job dissatisfaction, while their internal communication is the source of low satisfaction. Thus, the communication system should combine an official policy that outlines workers’ rights and responsibilities and a number of channels for workers to discuss their setting and voice their opinions.
Alrawahi, S., Sellgren, S. F., Altouby, S., Alwahaibi, N., & Brommels, M. (2020). The application of Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation to job satisfaction in clinical laboratories in Omani hospitals. Heliyon, 6(9), e04829.
Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L., & Maude, P. (2017). Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Life Science Journal, 14(5), 12-16.
Blaskova, M., Blasko, R., Borkowski, S., & Rosak-Szyrocka, J. (2016). Searching correlations between communication and motivation. Communications-Scientific letters of the University of Zilina, 18(1A), 28-35.
Gautama So, I., Djunggara, A. A., Fahrobi, R., Simamora, B. H., & Ruangkanjanases, A. (2018). Effect of organisational communication and culture on employee motivation and its impact on employee performance. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 26(2), 1133-1142.