I am associated with a hospital for last three month as Human Resources Professional and with a responsibility for smooth management of hospital and employees. The worst thing I identified here is housekeeping employees’ performance and attendance is very poor. They don’t take any interest in cleanliness of the hospital rather show interest in shifting of patient as they ask tips from their attendant. At time they show violent and vulgar behavior with other employees and attendant.

I identified the above mention issues; discuss with them and counsel them to improve but all in vain. Things didn’t change and finally I advise management to change those employees and hire new employees. As these are localities so we decided to hire from rural area and we made accommodation arrangement, brought utensils for cooking as they will cook food for themselves. Finally we hired employees with competitive pay they are made cleared about the job role but they left in two days without informing us.

So change management is very critical and ground level employees cannot be trusted as they are not career oriented and job hardly matter to them. The same I had implemented in previous company and I am identifying the reason behind this for not being successful this time.


From India, Bhubaneswar
Dear Abedeen,

I must appreciate you for writing the post quite clearly. I found following positive things about your post:

a) You have written your post in right sequence. Divided writing in the paragraphs.

b) No unnecessary SMS or informal language

c) You have first started with what was the ground situation, identified or rather defined the problems. This is very important. Well done!

d) You took corrective action. Somehow it did not work. Then you took second corrective action. It also did not work. Now you have come to this forum asking for more suggestion. This is how behaviour of any professional should be. Hope other junior members understand and do follow you.

e) Your post is refreshing one. Otherwise this forum is replete with posts with half or quarter or minuscule information, improper grammar etc. There was no "copy and paste" work. There was no attempt to push knowledge through someone's throat (or head). There was no attempt to educate others. You have understood the quintessence of HR forums

Solution: - (a) Have you tried referral programme in your company? Tell existing employees especially from housekeeping to get the staffs. If the newly joined staffs work for more than than six months without any problem, the employee who referred may be given some referral allowance.

(b) Put a notice board out of your hospital about your manpower requirement. Put it in local language too. After all in Bangalore I find that prominent pizza making company has put a huge banner out of their outlets then why you cannot put simple white board?

(c) Unethical it may sound but try pulling manpower from other hospitals. Since they know their job, there is no need for further training them.

All the best!

Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Thanks Sir, for appreciating my post.
“Employee Referral Program” I completely missed this is very helpful but cannot be implemented in housekeeping department. We may try this in other departments.
“Job Opening Posts” I have tried this for various positions and it really works same not applicable for housekeeping employees. A typical situation you will find in this place is their parents work in government offices and they don’t want to earn.
“Hiring from other hospital” This I am planning to work as this may help us.
Once again I thank you for your valuable inputs.

From India, Bhubaneswar
All of the problems you have mentioned come from employees not feeling respected or valued by management. These negative feelings come from what management does or does not do. There are three things management does or does not do that are root causes - not listening to or responding correctly to the concerns of employees, issuing lots of orders as you have done in the form of orders, directives, goals, targets, and the like in an attempt to control employees, and third not sharing information with employees, playing cards close to their vest. All three of these cause low morale as well since no one likes being told what to do, and no one wants to be disrespected and not valued.
Reverse these three and employees will eventually become highly motivated, highly committed, and fully engaged literally loving to come to work and trying their very best to do better each day.
Best regards, Ben Simonton
Author "Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed"

From United States, Tampa
I agree with you sir, but in my view this may not be applicable for unskilled worker.
For example last month one houseman slapped his supervisor inside time office because he asked him to put half day attendance as he has worked for half day. Most of them are violent in nature and under influence of alcohol, drugs or tobacco. They don’t even allow other to work in their place nor do they work.

From India, Bhubaneswar
Dear Abedeen,
Kindly think deeply about what Ben has written. It is obvious that the current malaise is rooted deep in the history where the management did or did not things to handle the situation before it became this serious.
Secondly, I would recommend revisiting the paradigm, "..this may not be applicable for unskilled worker" What Ben says is fundamental and universally applicable.
But if the situation has gone totally out of hand and needs immediate solution, you may consider outsourcing the activity to a professional agency. If you do not find any such agency, then help somebody create it after taking your management into confidence.
Sunil Chandra
Pentagon Impex International
Sunil Chandra - Pentagon Impex International - Home
Foresight Consulting - Home (Dubai)

From India, Calcutta
In our hospital, we have them outsourced and there is no problem about non performers or absenteeism. Yo have to understand that the class of people that we deal is at that level and there mind set cannot be changed. Leave them for better management through outsourcing.
From India, Bangalore
Shaikh, There are exceptions to every rule and exceptions often need termination. I wish you well. Best regards, Ben
From United States, Tampa
Dear Abedeen,

We faced similar problems at the ground level staff and the thing that really worked was the Attendance incentive scheme.

The scheme works as follows

1 - 15 days - 0.5 to 1 day leave - Eligible for incentive

1 - 15 days - > 1 day - Not eligible for incentive for the first half of the month.

1 - 15 days - 1 to 2 days - If they do not avail leave during the second half of the month. Eligible for incentive.

16 - 30 or 31 days - 0.5 to 1 day leave - Eligible for incentive

16 - 30 or 31 days - > 1 day - Not eligible for incentive for second half of the month.

16 - 30 or 31 days - 1 to 2 days - If they have not availed leave during the first half of the month. Eligible for incentive.

The incentive scheme can be framed attractively as found in the enclosed excel sheet. You will observe in the excel sheet that for those employees who are irregular in attendance the incentive starts off from Rs.100/- once they become ineligible. The incentive scheme will probably address your irregular attendance issue.

Moreover, you can bifurcate the areas in your workplace amongst the house keeping staff and award gifts to the housekeeping employee who has maintained his allocated area extremely good. A check sheet can be used to conduct the audits to arrive at the best housekeeping area. But the audits have to done in the presence of respective house keeping staff and has to be transparent, lapses if any has to be pointed out to the housekeeping staff

You can even consider honouring the housekeeping staff who has won the gift in a formally convened meeting monthly wherein all employees participate. You can also publish photograph of the best housekeeping staff on your hospitals notice board and at prominent locations wherein all patients/ attendants can see it. The best workplace maintenance award will probably address your performance issues.

These techniques could motivate your employees to do better. We have tasted success and I trust you also will benefit from it.


From India, Madras
Hello All,
Thanks all for your valuable input and suggestion
Dear Murthy,
Last year hospital has outsourced but only for 4 month as faced the same issue like attendance problem even after outsourcing. We are again planning to outsource if this proposal fails.
Dear Kannan,
Incentive and recognition will definitely work as we have already started from this month. Checklist will help us to identify the area.
The major concerns are the attitude problem of majority of housemen and are prone to violence. They don’t even participate for hospital development nor listen to their supervisors.
I am confident to find a way to this issue and will definitely taste the success.

From India, Bhubaneswar

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