Work Environment Assessment
The Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory is an essential tool that helps assess workplace culture and environment. According to Clark (2015), a high level of civility and positive work settings inspire the success of employees such as nurses in fulfilling their obligations prudently. In this regard, the outcomes of the work environment assessment demonstrate that my organization has an exceptional level of civility. The overall total mark was 91, which indicated a very healthy workplace. Most measures had a score of five, while only one metric got three points. The statements included in the assessment revolved around various aspects of the workplace, including teamwork, communication, and employee satisfaction.
The two things that surprised me about the results related to the trust level between leadership and other workplace members and organizational culture assessment. For instance, it was shocking that the discernible trust level received a score of 3 (neutral). According to Broome and Marshall (2021), excellent collaboration, engagement, and communication between the top executives and subordinates enhance trust and loyalty. The organizational culture defines the relationship among various stakeholders in a healthcare setting. Most assessed measures demonstrated a high employee satisfaction level; thus, I was astonished that the level of trust got the least score. I expected that all the related metrics could have nearly the same outcomes. However, I understand that perceptions and emotions towards specific events may differ due to diverse anticipations among the employees.
Additionally, the mission, vision, and core values guide the employees and other stakeholders within the healthcare organization to complete their duties. I expected the organizational culture aspect to have the highest score of five because it shapes the coordination and planning of the operations. Although the “somewhat true” outcome was a considerably good result, it demonstrated the existence of a gap in managing and running the organization. According to Clark et al. (2011), leadership depends on workplace culture to make rational decisions. In becoming great decision-makers, top executives need to understand the values, beliefs, and practices dominant in a culture and other organization frameworks. Therefore, I was surprised about the existence of loopholes in the evaluation and improvement of organizational culture because any feelings of discontent often hurt the teamwork and coordination of workplace activities.
However, I was confident that my organization would have an overall score of 90 and above even before conducting the assessment. I have spent several years working in a healthcare facility, and I understand various structures that govern operations. Different departments have the autonomy to make rational decisions and embrace teamwork to safeguard the safety of the patients and the welfare of all employees. Indeed, I was not surprised by the high marks on different issues relating to employees’ recognition and wellness, communication, and work-life balance, among other critical workplace affairs. I also expected different scores across various metrics because every organization has its strengths and shortcomings. Consequently, the leadership should focus on improving the highlighted areas of improvement to align everyone with the organization’s mission, vision, and culture.
Overall, the results suggest that my workplace is characterized by a high degree of civility and a healthy environment. According to Clark (2015), an organization that records a final score of 90 and above demonstrates a very healthy workplace. Fundamentally, outcomes exhibited that my workplace adhered to the six primary standards of reinforcing and sustaining a healthy work setting, including effective decision-making, skilled communication, authentic leadership, true collaboration, meaningful recognition, and appropriate staffing. Although there is a notable gap in the trust level between leadership and employees, my organization’s leadership remains committed to strengthening civility, enhancing excellent working relations, and promoting the safety of the patients.
Reviewing the Literature
My chosen articles describe the civility concept in the nursing practice comprehensively. Civility is evident in the workplace if employees and other stakeholders can respectfully interact with each other with low intent to harm. Clark et al. (2011) suggest that nursing work is four times riskier than other professions. Thus, nurses experience occupational-related crimes at least twice more compared as other healthcare providers. The awareness of the stressors remains essential in embracing the culture of civility. The findings from a study by Clark et al. (2011) demonstrated that stress is the most significant cause of incivility among nurses. On the other hand, Clark (2015) also agrees that stressful situations in the nursing practice lead to insensitivity. Based on the demanding characteristics of the nursing practice, nurses may fail to communicate in a caring and respectful manner.
Engaging in constructive conversations can promote and inspire a civil workplace by limiting silence that stimulates various work stressors. In the article “Combining Cognitive Rehearsal, Simulation, and Evidence-Based Scripting to Address Incivility,” Clark (2018) explains how cognitive rehearsal help nurses imagine situations that produce self-defeating behaviors or anxieties. They replicate positive coping statements and embrace proper mental practices that enhance respectful interactions and communication among themselves and their clients. Therefore, cognitive rehearsal nurtures civility at the workplace by improving communication, creating a conflict-capable workforce, enhancing nurse satisfaction, and strengthening patient care.
The concept of civility aligns with the outcomes of my work environment assessment. Work stressors seem to influence the measures characterized by low scores. For example, anxieties and stressful situations often result in short-lived tempers or loss of concentration, which leads to increased distrust between the nurses and the leadership. Although the organization’s administration nurtures a culture that strengthens workforce welfare, the inability to handle self-defeating behaviors may be detrimental to an overall relationship (Clark, 2015). Other metrics that had a score of 4 also relate to working interactions. For instance, the results demonstrated that employees were somewhat satisfied with their work. This outcome indicates the existence of some underlying factors, such as inadequate training and unclear job roles, which create a disconnection between the nurses and the expectations of their profession.
From the literature review, there is a dire need to embrace the cognitive rehearsal framework to create strong work teams and improve organizational wellbeing. According to Clark (2015), a process involving three steps could be rational to enhance civility within the organization. Firstly, interactive and didactic learning and instructions enable nurses to understand their roles and handle stressful situations. Continuous education on the changing dynamics in the nursing profession can assist nurses in gaining insights into different approaches, such as collaborating and compromising to address unnecessary disputes. Secondly, it is significant to rehearse specific phrases and words during uncivil encounters (Clark et al., 2011). For instance, nurses can learn to use “Kindly” and “Please” to show respect while interacting with their leaders, colleagues, or patients. These words create a positive feeling that eliminates or lessens avoidable confrontations. The organization can also nurture a culture characterized by practice sessions such as team building that strengthen rehearsal and adherence to instructions. In this way, nurses can develop an excellent working rapport and feel empowered to share ideas freely, even with their superiors.
The two primary strategies that can help address the shortcomings identified by the work environment assessment are transformational leadership and career development training. According to Broome and Marshall (2021), transformational leadership involves creating positive and valuable changes in social systems and individuals. In this way, the administration can engage in shared governance that helps nurses to understand their role to assist them in becoming future leaders in nursing practice. Nurses currently feel that the management does not trust or involve them fully in the decision-making process, thus leading to a moderate rating. Notwithstanding, transformational leadership can help bridge the gap between the top executives and the subordinates, thus encouraging mutual interactions that benefit all stakeholders resulting in increased satisfaction levels.
Career development training would also help raise the ratings of various occupational-oriented metrics. Every employee prefers to work in an organization where he or she is assured of professional progression. Nurses in my organization believe the administration is not investing sufficient resources to support their career development. They also think opportunities for promotion are not adequate to strengthen professional growth. Consequently, the management needs to adopt regular quarterly training to ensure they equip nurses with the most recent skills and knowledge. Continuous learning and training also improve the probability of nurses occupying high-level positions through organizational succession planning. This strategy would be a significant source of inspiration, thus increasing satisfaction and lessening the labor turnover rate.
Strengthening active listening skills and setting a good example can help the management bolster the organization’s successful practices. Most employees seek to emulate their leaders in their respective departments. Consequently, when top nursing administrators remain committed to their responsibilities and respect their subordinates’ dedication to realizing the organization’s goal, the latter often replicate such positive behavior. Acting as mentors or role models is an exceptional strategy that creates enthusiasm among the workers. In the nursing practice, it encourages nurses to maintain professionalism in fulfilling their duties despite experiencing various uncivil encounters (Clark et al., 2011). For instance, nurses feel obliged to share ideas regarding the steps that can be useful in safeguarding their welfare and responding to patients’ needs, thus transforming the delivery of care. Nursing leaders need to be a source of inspiration to their juniors to boost job satisfaction and nurture a positive working rapport.
Finally, communication is a vital aspect of the success of any occupation. Nevertheless, many executives do not understand that communication is a two-way process that involves a sender and a receiver. As a result, they ignore the feedback that helps determine how the receiver decodes the message. In bolstering the positive organizational culture and reinforcing communication, nursing leaders must become active listeners (Broome & Marshal, 2021). They should listen and reflect on the nurses’ perceptions of their work, thus identifying areas that need improvement. Enhanced engagement among stakeholders within an organization helps build trust and strengthen teamwork. It is challenging to promote the welfare of nurses without engaging them in frequent constructive discussions, mainly due to the ever-changing dynamics in the healthcare settings. Active listening also helps to support learning by inspiring nursing leaders to analyze comprehensively various developments that could affect the organization and develop policies to capitalize on the potential gains. Therefore, it is essential to embrace multiple strategies, including active listening, transformational leadership, becoming role models, and career development training to bridge the existing gaps and bolster successful organizational practices.
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse Today, 10(11), 18-23. Web.
Clark, C. M. (2018). Combining cognitive rehearsal, simulation, and evidence-based scripting to address incivility. Nurse Educator, 44(2), 64-68.
Clark, C. M., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., & Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice: Nurse leader perspectives. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324-330.