Work-related challenges such as stress are a common occurrence in the workplace and such issues might limit the employees’ productivity. Therefore, organizations need to implement effective programs aimed at dealing with such problems in the workplace (Golembiewski, 2000). This goal can be achieved by outsourcing the services of experienced professionals [consultants] with intense knowledge and skills on how to deal with problems associated with their respective areas of specialization (Dougherty, Track, Fullam & Hammer, 2012).
In a bid to succeed in providing their services, the consultants should formulate a comprehensive consultation plan, which should take into account the various stages of the consultation process. These stages include entry, diagnosis, implementation, and disengagement. However, most consultants do not take into account the disengagement stage.
As a human resource management professional, I was contracted to assist a local organ transplant center to manage work-related stress levels amongst its nurses. The implementation of the program was undertaken in collaboration with the hospital administrator and the chief of the nursing services. Some of the stress management techniques considered in the consultation program include relaxation techniques, communication skills, and time management. In order to ensure effective closure of the consultation program, a comprehensive disengagement plan will be adopted. This paper illustrates the various strategies that will be incorporated.
Phase 1; Evaluation
In order to determine the extent to which the consultation process was successful, a comprehensive evaluation of the core areas of consultation considered [time management, relaxation techniques, and communication skills] will be conducted. This goal will be achieved by incorporating the summative technique in order to understand the degree of success in each of the three consultation areas.
The pre-post method will be used in order to determine the changes that have taken place with regard to each of the consultation areas since the commencement of the consultation process (Boylan, Malley & Reilly, 2001). For example, an evaluation of the extent to which the institution’s management team has appreciated the importance of implementing different time management strategies on its workforce will be assessed. Some of the aspects that will be considered related to the degree to which the center has adopted flexible working schedules such as working on a part-time basis. Furthermore, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the center’s internal communication channels will be undertaken.
The firm’s commitment to promoting internal communication will be undertaken by analyzing the degree to which it has minimized chain of command and bureaucracy in its internal communication processes.
During the evaluation phase, mixed methods will be utilized by using the self-report assessment method. This method will aid in assessing the effectiveness of the consultation process. Some of the instruments that will be used in conducting self-assessments include questionnaires and checklists, which will be developed by the consultant.
Phase 2 – planning post-consultation matters
As a management professional, I am committed to ensuring that the benefits associated with the consultation are maintained even after the completion of the consultation process.
Planning post-consultation matters will mainly be aimed at fostering the sustainability of the issues evaluated. In a bid to ensure that the time management skills, communication skills, and relaxation techniques gained during the consultation process are beneficial to the organization, a number of post-consultation issues will be taken into account. One of the main issues that will be considered in order to enhance the success of the post-consultation matters includes fostering a high degree of collaboration between the client and the consultant (Dougherty, 2013). Planning post-consultation matters will be achieved by following the following procedure.
Determining the objective
This step will entail formulating the purpose of the consultation issue in order to appreciate its significance in the organization’s efforts to eliminate the occurrence of the problem faced. In this case, the purpose of incorporating effective time management, communication, and relaxation technique will be emphasized.
- Defining the steps that will be undertaken in undertaking the post-consultation issues – at this stage, all the three issues considered during the consultation process will be taken into account. First, the process of assessing the effectiveness of the nurses with regard to time management and communication skills will be assessed. The relaxation techniques proposed will be evaluated in order to determine their success in enhancing employee motivation.
- Assigning responsibilities – this step will entail allocating the process of analyzing the various post-consultation aspects to different stakeholders.
- Testing the feasibility of the post-consultation issues, determining the cost-effectiveness of the process, and evaluating the resource capabilities – The consultant will ensure that there are sufficient resources to undertake the various post-consultation techniques.
In addition to the above aspects, the force-field analysis technique will be used in order to understand possible challenges that might hinder the achievement of the plans. Furthermore, planning post-consultation matters will be undertaken by simulating similar stress situations and determining how the client can apply the skills and lessons learned in dealing with such issues. By following the above steps, the institution will be in a position to sustain the results of the consultation process.
Phase 3 – reducing involvement and following up
In order to provide the institution with an opportunity to apply the skills and techniques learnt from the consultation and implement the post-consultation plan, the consultant will minimize the frequency of following up on the gains made. Reducing involvement will play a fundamental role in empowering the organization’s management team in implementing the skills and knowledge gained in the workplace. For example, the firm’s management team will be in a position to implement a flexible working schedule in order to provide employees with an opportunity to balance work and life-related demands. This assertion means that the management team of the organ transplant center will become independent.
The fading technique will be adopted in order to be effective in reducing the extent of involvement in the organization’s operation. This goal will be achieved by reducing the frequency of contact with the organ transplant center. Additionally, the process of monitoring the firm’s effectiveness in dealing with the problems that were initially faced will be transferred to the firm’s management team.
In a bid to ensure that the gains made are not lost, a follow-up plan will be developed by negotiating with the center’s management team in order to determine the frequency within which the follow-ups will be made. Additionally, follow-ups will be undertaken on a need basis.
Phase 4 – terminating
The consultation process will be terminated professionally in order to sustain the reputation of the consultant’s professionalism, hence increasing the likelihood of being contracted in the future. This goal will be achieved by conducting a meeting with the client in order to discuss the progress. Furthermore, the termination meeting will also entail discussing possible unresolved issues. A termination report will be compiled and reviewed in order to identify the milestones achieved.
The termination process will play a fundamental role in ensuring that the client is satisfied coupled with identifying the gains made.
The termination stage will signify the formal end of the consultation process (Dougherty, 2014). However, the relationship between the two stakeholders involved [the consultant and the client] will be sustained into the future. Subsequently, the consultant will understand the organization’s cultural and social needs. This assertion arises from the view that the organization may be characterized by a high degree of dependence in dealing with such future problems.
The above analysis shows that organizations are dependent on their operations. However, they depend on different external stakeholders in order to achieve their desired level of excellence. One of the deficiencies that firms might face relates to a lack of sufficient skills and knowledge to deal with various internal issues such as stress in the workplace. This aspect underscores the importance of consultancy in the firms’ operation. The success of the consultants is dependent on the relationship developed between the consultant and the client. This element underscores the importance of fostering effective consultancy skills. Disengagement is one of the most important stages of consultation. However, most consultants do not understand its significance, and thus they usually disregard the disengagement process.
Some of the most important disengagement stages include evaluation of the gains made, planning post-consultation matters, reducing involvement and following up, and termination. By implementing the above strategies, the likelihood of experiencing problems during the disengagement process will be reduced significantly. Furthermore, the reputation of the consultancy services provided will be maintained, hence increasing future opportunities.
Boylan, J., Malley, P., & Reilly, E. (2001). Practicum and internship: textbook and resource guide for counseling and psychotherapy. London, UK: Psychology Press.
Dougherty, M. (2013). Casebook of psychological consultation and collaboration in school and community setting. New York, NY: Brooks Cole.
Dougherty, M. (2014). Psychological consultation and collaboration in school and community settings. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Dougherty, M., Tack, F., Fullam, C., & Hammer, L. (2012). Disengagement; a neglected aspect of the consultation process. Journal of Education Psychological Consultation, 7(2), 259-274.
Golembiewski, R. (2000). Handbook of organizational consultation. New Delhi, India: CRC Press.