Essay on My Reflection as a Manager on a Residential Care Home

Published: 2021-07-09
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George Washington University
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People encounter different situations in their lives that can be used to analyze their strengths and weaknesses (Rich, Lepine and Crawford 2010). There various issues that the current module has enabled one to learn and can be used to analyze situations one has encountered at the workplace. The paper focuses on my reflection as a manager on a residential care home to analyze the good and bad decisions I made during a trip in the organization. It will also outline the plan of action that will enable the firm to improve. A Gibbs reflective cycle will be used in the self-audit and will be based on the description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan phases (Husebo, O'Regan and Nestel 2015).


I work as a manager in a residential home with the role of fostering personal growth, self-awareness and enabling people to have a voice when making lifestyle choices as well as making decisions. The residential home focuses on offering needs led services to young people and children through a person-centered approach. There are various trips that are planned for the children, and during one of them, one of the staff could not manage to assist in handling the children as she was sick. We tried to seek cover for the staff rather than canceling the trip to avoid upsetting the kids however we could not secure any extra staff to assist in the trip. I decided to look after the extra children as each staff was only appointed to two children as some were physically challenged. It was a tough day, and by the end of the trip, I was extremely exhausted. I ended up missing work the following day, and I blame my poor decision-making skills for the action I took. It was not easy handling more work than I could manage to on my own only to miss work the following day.


I am compassionate about my job, and I am always willing to make efforts to make our clients happy and satisfied. On the trip day, I was very eager to fulfill the promise of the trip to the children however the absence of one of the staff left me stranded and wondering what to do. I was in a dilemma of postponing the trip and disappointing the children, finding another person to replace the staff or taking over the role of the sick colleague. Absenteeism can be caused by burnout and stress due to work overload as I was pressured with the extra roles during the trip that led to absenteeism at work the following day (Limm et al. 2010). Thompson (2013) acknowledges that lack of good balance of work causes increased error rate and risk of stress and absence. The unexpected news led to a confusion and delay in the activities of that day which made me feel tensed and uneasy as I was not willing to let down the children (Bakker, Albrecht and Leiter 2011). As a leader one is expected to come up with appropriate solutions to issues in a team or firm and I kept feeling pressured to make a decision that will be biased on the expectations of the staff and children (Altaf and Awan 2011). I did not want to drag the burden to any staff member or cancel the trip. After the trip, I felt that it was not right to make decisions to satisfy others at the expense of ones roles and ability.


The trip was successful despite being short of staff to look after the children. I managed to look after the extra two children among other managerial roles during the trip such as ensuring all activities were completed on time. I managed to avoid the cancellation of the trip and fulfilled the promise to the children. The staff was also happy about the occurrence of the trip that did not interfere with their roles as each person was assigned two children which are policies during trips. On the other hand, none of the children was left behind due to lack of enough personnel. However, the communication of the sick staff was late, and we spent much time trying to get another person to replace her. I was unable to find a replacement for the absentee, and it pressured me to find a viable solution to the issue. As asserted by Beehr (2014), a manager needs to make candid decisions that will resolve issues without overloading work on others. I, therefore, had to take up the role of the absent staff, and it stressed me to the extent of missing work the following day (Smedley, Dick & Sadhra 2013).


As Winstanley (2005) states, it is important to control how one spends the time and making functional decisions. I should have focused on the impact of the decision I made to each person (Grunig 2013). I was more focused on others and realized I should have focused more on myself too to avoid work overload and missing work afterward (Demerouti and Cropanzano 2010). The Myers-Briggs assessment maps the personalities of employees and would have enabled one understand the most willing staff to fill in the gap during the trip hence minimize time wastage (Ford et al. 2011). It would also be important to understand the maximum workload one can handle to avoid stressing oneself when more work arises (Ekebergh 2011). It would be helpful in enabling me to understand the how much work I should take in a day to ensure I am energetic to undertake the next days duties. Lack of proper planning leads to failure, and a manager needs to ensure prior plans are followed to avoid work overload on others (Forbus, Newbold and Mehta 2010). The staff should have communicated on time to ensure alternative plans are incorporated to make the day successful. It is therefore important to always make timely communication whenever there are possibilities of failure (Griffin et al. 2010). On the other hand, learning each others personalities and creating a rapport with the staff enables one understand their issues and also makes them have ease when communicating their problems (Taylor and Kluemper 2012). It would be easier for the absentee to communicate her illness on time hence enabling one make arrangements for another employee to replace her before the day approaches (Nixon et al. 2011).


The issue ended up successfully despite lacking one of the staff who was to accompany us on the trip. The best way to handle the issue would be involving the other staff in assisting in looking after the two children (Griffin and Moorhead 2011). We could have made rotations on handling the children to ensure none of us would be overwhelmed by the work. In the event of a similar issue, I intend to make prior plans and have extra staff chosen to replace any staff who makes sudden withdrawals during trips or any other situation (Ganster and Rosen 2013). It is easy for staff to respond to duties they are expected to handle rather than urgent requests that they are unaware of. I would have managed to look after some of the children and manage to report to work the following day as a result.

Action Plan

I need to introduce time management lessons to the residential home staff. They also need to learn and appreciate each other to ensure that any employee with issues shares with one of them and reports them on time. It would help the team to share duties when one is absent and ensure that all activities run smoothly. I will will involve the staff when making decisions as a shared problem is half solved, and a decision made from different people ensures that each persons interests are catered for. Proper plans will be set to ensure there is continuity of any duty regardless of the absence of anyone (GrayStanley et al. 2010). The plan will be appropriate in ensuring communication and work roles are planned for in advance to avoid delays or work overload on any individual (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Therefore, there will be fewer absenteeism cases as staffs will be less stressed at the workplace.


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