This week has been one of the most professionally difficult I have had in quite a while. As a leader in a large corporation, I have found myself to be extremely challenged by productivity standards that are difficult to adhere to and still meet the expectations of our customers. I continue to communicate in a way that will bolster my team’s morale, but I see that the challenges are wearing on them.
I recently heard “Volume cures all ills”. As a leader in a healthcare facility, that means the more patients we have in our hospital, the more resources I have available to each of my teams. When volume is low, we need fewer resources and so need to flex employees off. While everyone enjoys the opportunity to skip out of work early on occasion, it becomes wearing when it is required on a daily basis. This has been the dilemma I have been facing. Our volumes are down, so every one of my employees has been working reduced hours for the last three weeks. The reduced hours affects the workload, in that the core responsibilities are taken care of, but some of the extra duties are not completed. As you can imagine, this has a snowball effect in that each day the tasks needing attention increase, but we don’t have the time to complete them.
Through it all, I am trying to maintain a positive outlook; I focus on creative ways to catch up, offer my time and abilities to help out, and consistently communicate that the volume decline will be short-lived. This is usually the busiest time of year for us, as winter brings flu season which increases our volume. The mild weather we have had has positively impacted cold and flu season. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish for people to be sick, but their sickness allows my team to do their jobs, and provides my team with satisfaction in knowing they are doing their jobs well.
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