Friday, 1 November 2013

7 Layers of Management

Seven layers of management. That's what my supervisor said is the new mandate from the powers that be in the organization I work for: no more than seven layers of management. And we have 8. That means one layer has to be redeployed somewhere, somehow. 
I work for a huge health care organization, but still - is even 7 layers of management necessary? What on earth do that many layers of management actually do to contribute to the health care of our clients? How can managers in the upper levels - so far removed from the front lines - make effective decisions impacting the lives of everyday people when they really have no idea how those decisions will work when they are implemented. And if frontline staff disagree with the decisions made by management, how are they to know who even made the decision in the first place, let alone to whom they can take their concerns? It's just not workable. There's too much anonymity and not enough accountability. How can an organization expect to have an "engaged workforce" when no one even seems to know who they're "engaging" with? The opinions and ideas of frontline workers are neither solicited nor appreicated. We, the ones actually doing what health care is supposed to be about, end up feeling frustrated and devalued. And angry with the implementation of policies that adversely impact our daily worklife without improving the quality of our clients' care and into which we were allowed no input. 
It's aggravating. It's frustrating. But it also reminds me how glad I am that God is not like the average corporation. With Him, I know who is in charge. And if I have a concern, a question, a suggestion, I am invited to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that (I) may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16). I don't need to go through 7 layers before I get to the top because "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is my direct link to the CEO. And I know that, just as someone who has been a frontline worker like me is more likely to understand my position and my concerns in my work environment, so, too,  because Jesus actually lived life on this earth as a human being, He understands everything that frustrates, annoys and tempts me (see Hebrews 4:15). And though I often wonder if the individuals in positions of authority in my place of employment actually care about the wellbeing of my clients or are just interested in maintaining their position in the organization, I never have to wonder about God. He loves each one of us so much that He sent His Son to die that we might live (see John 3:16). 
Not so long ago, there were some individuals in the top levels of the organization I work for that were found guilty of misusing their expense accounts. In a huge way. God, on the other hand, is more willing to give than to take (Matthew 7:11). 
Right now, we are working without a contract and our union is negotiating for a new one. But the organization is trying to take away much of the hard-fought ground we won in previous negotiations. How wonderful it is to have a God we don't have to negotiate with to gain a favourable contract. He came to us, offering a contract that was out of this world for all its benefits.
Ever been in trouble with your employer? That can be a rather frightening experience. And that's where a union can come in handy. With God, even when we are guilty, "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1).
This is a sinful world we live in and, as long as time as we know it lasts, there will be people in power in any organization that will make immoral, unethical, selftish decisions. God never will. When I retire, I'll have my pension though even that privilege is currently under attack. But when I'm finished my earthly life, I am promised eternal life and that is not dependent on the whims of a capricious employer or government, but on the word of God, who cannot lie. (Titus 1:2).