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Workplace Observation

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Organizational Behavior

University of Phoenix Online

Gary Denney

January 15, 2006

Workplace Observation

Organizations are the stepping-stones on which communities, cities, counties, and countries are started. They have their own wants, needs, and schedules and can affect these areas in many ways. The main factor, that affirms this impression is their organizational culture. Organizational culture has been defined as, "the system of shared actions, values, and beliefs that develops within an organization and guides the behavior of its members" (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005). Employees are key factors, which modifies how corporate cultures evolve. Examples of how employees can be a factor might be; the way employees interact and react in their job or what their attitude and approach are before and after a given schedule. Despite these factors there are observable aspects in all organizations, which relate to culture. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) has many observable aspects that affect the agency. I will review three specific aspects based on my perceptions that have considerably influenced the agency.

How Communication Flows

Organization communication is the specific process through which information moves and is exchanged within an organization (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 2005). Organizations rely on involved courses of information to operate successfully. If the communication process breaks down it could be disastrous for organization.

DHEC is a state agency that provides environmental and healthcare services to the public. Communication is significant to the success of the agency. How DHEC communicates and the methods they use impact their organizational culture. The structure of the DHEC serves as the basis for how communication flows. "The Department of Health and Environmental Control was created in 1973 from the merger of the State Board of Health and the Pollution Control Authority. The agency's commissioner manages the day-to-day operations of the agency. The Board of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for overseeing DHEC's operations. Each of the board's seven members is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate" (aboutDHEC). Within DHEC Region 1 communication flows from the Regional Health Director to the nine memebers of the Regional Management Team. Each of these members communicates with the different program managers who in turn communicates the the support staff to ensure the policies and procedures are followed. The flow of communication is clear and well defined. This clarity greatly eliminates any "grey area" and adds to an environment, which is perceived as stable and direct. If someone does not understand something his question must be answered and clarified so customers will not be put at a health risk. Another observation, which contributes to this stable culture, is DHEC's open-door policy. All employees know that they have the ability to confidentially communicate any issues at any time with any of the Regional Management Team or their immediate supervisor.

Organizational Diversity

Workplace diversity is defined as the presence of individual differences based on gender, race and ethnicity, age, able-bodiedness, and sexual orientation (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 2005). SC DHEC has grown from its diverse employee base in a variety of ways. Any onlooker can noticeably see a massive cultural spectrum within the agency. DHEC has benefited from work contributions by employees' right out of high school to older veteran employees. They have gained community collaborations due to the multi-cultural staff. Teamwork and diverse team connections have demonstrated successful initiatives with other local and state agencies. With the increase in the diversity of staff members, DHEC has also been able to increase the diverse population in which services are provided.

Organizational Policies

Policies and procedures are an integral part of DHEC's structure and can greatly impact the agencies culture in positive and



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