Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7563

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
22 May 96 23:48:29 EDT

Replying to LO7513 --

Sherry asks, after describing a difficult work situation,
How do you afford to give a situation this kind of time when you are
driven by the bottom line? Had I gotten tough in the beginning, the
behavior would have stopped much quicker, at the expense of dedicated,
gratified workers. Understand that I am genuine in trying to understand
how one accomplishes this in a for profit environment.


Sherry, the answer is the same as it was for you. Ultimately in a
for-profit enterprise, being effective and efficient is the best way t be
successful. Having the Department of Labor all over your case for labor
law violations is neither effective nor efficient.

I would go further, however, in a number of directions on this issue. I
would argue that your social work organization is, by its policies and
practices, creating the very situation you are having such a hard time
overcoming. The workload being put on the social workers is such that
they cannot get all the work done and do a good job with their case load
at the same time. I'm not really speculating on this. I have seen dozens
of social work agencies in action, and they all operate with a clear
disregard for the workload of their staff. I am speculating only in that
I am extrapolating to your organization.

For example, HMOs and government regulation have substantially increased
the paperwor expected of social workers. In some cases, the paperwork is
double what it was 10 years ago. However, the expected caseload -- 15 or
so per week -- has not changed. How is a social worker supposed to get
twice as much paperwork done with no change in their other
responsibilities? In effect, agencies take advantage of social workers'
commitment and idealism to get the work done during off-hours.

By the way, you may force people not to do the work in the office, but
they will take it home with them and do it there. That is also against
the law, but virtually impossible to prove. the agency is protected as
long as they prohibit this activity. they cannot be faulted for creating
an environment in which it is the only way to do the work. This is how
the social work agencies that I have seen get around this particular law.


Rol Fessenden 76234.3636@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>