Human resources management can be a balancing act between a number of different factors, such as budget constraints, workforce needs and concerns, employee conflicts, labor unions, and legal and ethical considerations. HR professionals are often called upon to handle delicate situations, make difficult decisions, and mediate disputes. In this week’s Discussion, you will examine the implications of these types of scenarios and consider the challenges HR professionals face when dealing with them.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Read the articles, “Mediation in Health Care: An External Solution to Internal Problems” and “Workplace Violence Survey 2008: Unsettling Findings.” Consider the responsibility of the HR department in mitigating conflicts and addressing problems within a health care organization.
With these thoughts in mind consider the following two scenarios:
- Throughout the past two weeks, Paul, a physical therapist, has been receiving in his work e-mail inbox some disturbing messages from an unknown sender. Many of the messages are sexual in nature and some even refer to Paul’s coworkers. Paul has reluctantly confided in the head of the organization’s HR department to help him with the issue. He is very embarrassed about the situation and is concerned that an investigation might jeopardize his relationships with coworkers and even his position with the organization.
- For the past year, the nurses’ union at Good Health Hospital has been meeting to discuss grievances against Good Health’s management. In particular, the nurses are concerned with the way managers treat them; many feel overworked, undercompensated, and underappreciated. They have recently submitted a proposal to Good Health’s executives asking for better management practices, an increase in nurse staffing, and better compensation and benefits for nurses. The executives have enlisted the help of Good Health’s HR department in addressing the concerns in the proposal; they are concerned about budget constraints as well as the possibility of a nurses’ union strike.
Select one of the two scenarios to discuss. For the scenario you select, respond to the following:
Post a summary of the financial, legal, and/or ethical issues related to the scenario. Describe one other important issue related to the scenario (e.g., public health/safety concerns, organizational policies, government regulations). Then, explain the role an HR professional would have in addressing the problem in the scenario. Describe the responsibilities of HR professionals and discern how they could meet those responsibilities. Finally, describe at least one method an organization could use to prevent this type of scenario from occurring. Comment on why you believe the method you selected would be effective.