7 pages / 1925 words
“Interview a Manager” Individual Paper – 100 points – Total maximum points 250
For this assignment, you will interview a manager. You will then write a short paper describing what the responses were from your interview. You will use Zoom to interview a manager.
Each class member will be expected to interview a manager for a minimum of 30 minutes.
The manager you choose is very important, so choose carefully. It is recommended that you do not interview your own immediate manager or supervisor as this can create an uncomfortable situation for you both. It is best to interview someone outside your own workplace.
You will prepare a five (5) page paper double spaced, Arial 11 font describing your findings. You will turn in your field notes (notes taken during the interview), post your interview link, and your paper.
Interviewing a manger is your opportunity to actively apply concepts we have discussed in class. Use this time wisely, so that you can learn as much as possible from the experience.
In order to get you started, these questions must be answered when interviewing your manager:
Manager Interview Questions:
Like most industries, healthcare is not unscathed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the results may surprise people. As an Operations Manager of an ED, you’d think our volumes went up; however, the inverse is true. It’s actually eerily quiet. Fortunately for the ED personnel, business is relatively unchanged – all of my team members have, fortunately, kept their full-time status and hours have not been impacted. The culture, therefore is in my view unchanged. The organization as a whole; however, is experiencing a dramatic change in our culture. Most noteworthy in my opinion – how many fewer meetings we have… turns out a great deal of the meetings we’ve grown accustomed to could’ve been (and are now) quick e-mails. Thank you COVID! I also manage the organizations Quality & Education team– for them, this has been a dramatic change of venue. Since mid-March, all 9 of those team members have been working exclusively from home, unless they pick up a shift working in our newly operational Assessment Center, where we offer COVID-19 screening to established patients. When it comes to supplies, I suppose we’re not unique in that PPE is a high priority for us. The lack of PPE is driving many decisions: what procedures will we bring online first, what clinics we can open and at what capacity, what personnel can we bring back to work etc. PPE steers a great many of those conversations.
I’m experiencing both, as I mentioned. ½ of my team is at the hospital working, the other half is working remotely. My wife is also working full-time from home, so I’m empathetic to that plight, especially since I see what happens when you mix a bored grader doing e-learning in the same room as a Mom attempting to work a full 8-hour day… That experience has changed my leadership style. In a word, I’d say I’m much more flexible these days. When it comes to productivity, one thing we’ve incorporated for my team is a daily huddle via Google Duo. Participation is mandatory, video required and we keep it to 15-20 minutes. I’ve found that’s gone a long way to retain the team dynamic which I was fearful would quickly devolve as a result of distance. One way we keep it personal is a daily round-table of something fun, pet-peeves, deepest fears, favorite place to vacation – that sort of thing among work-related topics as well so we’re all on track.
Decision making these days honestly comes from above. Aside from the day-to-day operations where I’m flexible, almost every facet of my work comes from our organization’s command center that’s been operational since mid-March. Everything, from personnel, which clinics work, which don’t and everything in-between comes from above. I’m usually opposed to such far-distance leadership forcing my hand; however, it’s kept us managers from working our own patchwork of operations among the organization. When it comes to communication – I’m not a fan of e-mail, nor have I ever been. When there’s something to communicate, I bring it up during our daily huddle for the Quality & Education team. When I need to get word out about something to the ED team members, I rely solely on my 2 wonderful Supervisors and their respective Team Leaders to round one-on-one each shift and pass along such information. I’ve observed some of my leadership colleagues who’ve lately embraced e-mail more than before in a way to communicate, with the predictable negative, unintended consequences. If ever there were a time to prove that e-mail is the single worst way to communicate anything to anyone – this pandemic and its impact on our work lives should leave no doubt.
I’m not sure anyone should operate under a premise that this will go away anytime soon. Long after the cases dwindle down, when PPE isn’t a concern, and when ventilators are stacked ceiling high in every closet of the hospital – we’ll be doing things differently. I’m looking at things less as a cause to prepare, and more of an expectation that things are simply different now, and have been for weeks. Honestly – in some ways, I’m happy about it. For example, I do a good amount of my job from home too. This enables me to sleep in a little bit longer, enjoy a cup of coffee at the laptop before getting ready for the day, and even if I’m at the hospital later in the evening sometimes, in the end it’s a wash and probably has helped balance my work/life experience in many ways. I understand this isn’t the case for many, but for me I’m grateful for that.
When it comes to planning, I’m more cognizant of who needs to be involved. It’s very easy to leave people out when most of the organization is working remotely. When planning a new project this is critical. For example, I’m spearheading an effort to reinvigorate the utilization of our check-in Kiosk vs. relying 100% on human-to-human interactions. I didn’t even realize there was an “Infection Control and Prevention” team… yet – I’ve learned it’s they who decide what cleaning agents can be used for the device, what floor markers need to be placed to ensure social distancing. Similarly, I’m learning who reports to who… At least once a week I get the, “I didn’t know about this…” from a manager, often about something I’m working on that impacts someone on their team. That’s proven to be a challenge and I’ve had to learn more about the hierarchy of the organization than I did in a pre-COVID world.
My efforts to maintain control have come in the form of “kid gloves”. As I mentioned, none of my team members have had their hours reduced. We’re all, especially me, grateful for that. I couldn’t imagine having to tell someone their job wasn’t essential, let alone that they won’t be getting their regular salary as a result. I’m sincerely grateful that’s not been my experience. As a result, I feel like my team members know that too – and I’ve actually noticed an increase in productivity, but more importantly I’m noticing an increase in people personally reaching out to ME, asking what more they can be doing to help.
Any manager in healthcare should answer this question with an answer that rhymes with “telemedicine”. For years the industry has fought telemedicine tooth and nail. The payors have been reluctant to reimburse for telemedicine services, the providers were reluctant to admit that patients would be willing to have a 5 minute Zoom chat vs. coming to see them in person. NOW… things are different. I’ve encouraged my team to use this time as an opportunity to pounce on these technologies, jump in on projects that are starting to sprout, go get that PMP certification, polish up your resume even (not that I want them to leave, but I want them to be able to if they want). For the next 5 years, I’m guessing anyone in any industry can get away with just about anything so long as they sprinkle the words “out of an abundance of caution” and/or “in order to enable social distancing” on the proposal.
This is honestly a question for someone higher up in the chain than I. on a micro-level, my cost center is doing great relative to budget. Reduced volumes has enabled me to leave open positions unfilled intentionally. This reduction in labor relative to the reduction in volume is helping me stay at or above 100% on my cost center’s productivity index. I can tell you financially on a macro-level we’re taking it on the chin and it will take years to recover. The aftermath of COVID-19, in my opinion, will come in the form of a leaner workforce. Another way of saying this is – many people who’ve been sent home won’t be coming back. I’m not saying that from any position of authority, and I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, and again – that’s NOT my organization’s position, that’s just me reading the tea leaves.
Given the gift of hindsight, I probably would’ve watched less news and encouraged my team members to do likewise. I wouldn’t change the exact way in which I personally have managed the situation for my teams, and I respect the medical community’s response, but for my own mental health – I would go back in time, turn off the news (including social media) for good and just gone to work, responding to the changes one at a time.
This 5-page paper (plus title and references pages) – 7 pages minimum total is designed for all students to incorporate the events, concepts, theories, and theorists from the textbook that have been learned throughout the course. The actual conversions you have with the manager will only be present in your field notes. When writing an academic paper, you are to writes in third person leaving out I, me, my, you, they, etc.
This is an example of how the personal communication for your shadow assignment should appear on the reference page. Reference page WILL include your personal communication (for example, if you were to shadow me for this assignment, it would look like).
Elliott, C. (April 1, 2020). Personal communication.
Last name and first initial are needed and the actual day you performed your shadow. You are also required to use Mr., Mrs., Ms., rank, and last name, remember this is an academic research paper.
Operations Manager, Patient Access Services
I ask you leave out the name of my organization for the purpose of this paper. I’m not in a position to represent my organization or its opinion in any capacity.
In-text referencing of your personal communication should appear at the end of your quote (personal communication, April 1, 2020).
This Interview a Manager assignment is also intended for you to work outside your comfort zone: so do not interview your current supervisor, parent, relative, etc.
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