McGoldrick, Susan (2005) Does a Culture of Work Life Balance Exist in the Health Service Executive to Support the Recruitment and Retention of Nurses in Ireland? Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.
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Work life balance has been the hottest initiative to hit business in a long time and has failed in many companies because of its ambiguity. It has been another "Concept" which employers adopted in word but rarely in deed. Demographic changes, a more diverse workforce, business imperatives and government policy have been driving work life balance up the agenda. The principle at stake here says that there should be a balance between the individual's work and their life outside work and that this balance should be healthy. Among employees, those with caring responsibilities clearly have particular needs. Benefits accrue to organisations who provide and take measures to provide good work balance options to their staff.
The biggest challenge lies in developing the type of culture which supports work life balance programmes and ensures that benefits are delivered to employees. I plan to explore the culture of work/life/balance options in my research in relation to the H.S.E. an conduct my research through an Action Research Method.
What is important at the conclusion of the action research project is that the complexities of all the data are drawn together and engagement in a sense making activity of personal learning as well as what took place in the system in which the researcher was engaged in. As cited by Coghlan and Brannick "Feeling the story, making sense of it, applying a rigorous methodology to that sense-making are directed towards the generation of useful knowledge, which must produce the outcomes which are of value to others" Coghlan & Brannick "Doing Action Research in your own Organisation" Page 133.
Friedman (2001) suggests four attributes for students engaged in action research in their own organisation.
Be pro-active and reflective.
Be critical and committed.
Be independent and work well with others.
Have aspirations and be realistic about limits.
Nursing shortages in Irish Health Service Executive is having ripple effects on delivering a high quality service. Healthcare delivery is undergoing a startling metamorphosis. Changes expected to occur during this shortage will set the stage for nursing practice and development for years to come. Resulting staffing concerns are a high priority. Providing holistic care for the patient and family could be compromised by reduced professional staff. A creative focus on recruitment, orientation and retention strategies is needed to achieve a positive balance between recruitment and retention of nurses.
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