Discussion: Workplace Environment Assessment
How healthy is your workplace?
You may think your current organization operates seamlessly, or you may feel it has many issues. You may experience or even observe things that give you pause. Yet, much as you wouldn’t try to determine the health of a patient through mere observation, you should not attempt to gauge the health of your work environment based on observation and opinion. Often, there are issues you perceive as problems that others do not; similarly, issues may run much deeper than leadership recognizes.
There are many factors and measures that may impact organizational health. Among these is civility. While an organization can institute policies designed to promote such things as civility, how can it be sure these are managed effectively? In this Discussion, you will examine the use of tools in measuring workplace civility.
Review the Resources and examine the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory, found on page 20 of Clark (2015).
Review and complete the Work Environment Assessment Template in the Resources.
Post a brief description of the results of your Work Environment Assessment. Based on the results, how civil is your workplace? Explain why your workplace is or is not civil. Then, describe a situation where you have experienced incivility in the workplace. How was this addressed? Be specific and provide examples.
Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory, found on page 20 of Clark (2015).
Example of what my classmate are posting:
2 days ago Cary Carver
RE: Discussion – Week 7
The final score of my work environment assessment indicated that I work in a mildly healthy work environment. This result came from a publicization by CM Clark (2015), who created a 20 question survey used to evaluate the overall health and civility in the workplace. In this survey, each of the 20 phrases can be individually scored on a scale of one to five. A score off five indicating the statement is completely true, and one meaning the statement is completely untrue. Surveys that produce this data are important because they force a holistic view of civility in the workplace. If not completed routinely, no one will realize the deterioration in a workforce until the adverse effects are witnessed. Regularly assessing the work environment will allow for early detection and intervention.The impact of an uncivil work environment can not only lead to worse patient care but also come with a large financial expense. Lewis and Malecha (2011) estimate that the cost of unproductivity in an uncivil workplace can be as high as $12,000 per nurse.
When I completed the Healthy Workplace Inventory, I found several key areas that resulted in a reduced score. If these areas could improve, my facility could become a very healthy workplace. Employee wellness is what I consider to be our worst area. While there are several programs promoted to hospital staff, no effort is made to allow nursing staff to attend any of these functions. Due to the workflow for nursing staff, it is impossible to participate in any scheduled wellness events.
The second area of weakness is poor workload distribution. Efforts are made at the beginning of shifts to balance workload, but as a facility, we do not do enough to redistribute work as the day goes on. In the field of nursing, the environment is always changing. What was considered a reasonable assignment at the start of a shift, can often turn into an unmanageable workload. As a facility, we need to improve our intra-shift interventions to balance workloads.
An example of the failure to promote a healthy workplace was when the facility started a daily group exercise program. The goal was to bring employees together to encourage fitness and health. However, nurses being unable to disengage from their daily tasks felt left out of this program. To include nursing staff in activities, planning the activities should consist of a way for nursing staff to be relieved and allowed to attend. Having the opportunity to disengage from work for 20-30 minutes per day to focus on health would be very useful in improving the overall health of the workplace.
Currently, no one has addressed the problems with nursing health promotion. However, there is one solution that would improve the access nurses have to events focused on health. By having one nurse that could assume care of patients and free other nurses to attend events throughout the day, nursing staff could attend events and have the assurance their patients were receiving appropriate care. This practice would ensure the inclusion of nursing staff in events created for employee health and improve the overall health of the workplace.
One proven method to reduce workplace incivility is cognitive rehearsal (Griffin & Clark 2014). The primary purpose of cognitive rehearsal is to make sure all staff knows that uncivil behavior is not ok. For nurses, cognitive rehearsal can be a very useful tool used to establish a healthy workplace. Three steps are used in the cognitive rehearsal include participating in didactic instruction, learning and rehearsing specific phrases used during uncivil encounters, and participating in practice sessions to reinforce instruction and rehearsal. By putting cognitive rehearsal into place, the staff receives education on not only civil behavior but rehearses to develop a real understanding of behaviors that hurt a workforce.
Clark, C.M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse today, 10(11), 18-23. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uplo…
Griffin, M., & Clark, C. M. (2014). Revisiting Cognitive Rehearsal as an Intervention Against Incivility and Lateral Violence in Nursing: 10 Years Later. JOURNAL OF CONTINUING EDUCATION IN NURSING, 45(12), 535–544. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.3928/002…
Lewis P.S., & Malecha A. (2011). The impact of workplace incivility on the work environment, manager skill, and productivity. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41, 41 – 47. 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182002a4c
1 day ago, Kathleen Muller
RE: Initial Post – Week 7
Safe patient care is dependent on good communication, even in the most stressful of times (Clark, 2018). Civil communication is so important that the American Nurses Association (ANA) includes fostering a safe, ethical, civil workplace in their code of ethics, to ensure a workplace which is civil and kind (Clark). Cynthia Clark developed a tool to determine the perceived health of one’s workplace. The results of the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory scores for my facility did not surprise me. The score was a 70, which is only mildly healthy. One of the things I am most disappointed in is the low retention rate at my hospital, and in my unit.Although I am not sure what the actual statistics are, I do know many highly qualified nurses who have come and gone after a short amount of employment. My facility tried to remedy this a few years ago by offering pay increases closer to our competitors’ salaries. This was a good short-term fix and things settled for a year or so. Another item that received a low score was about individual achievement celebrations. In my unit, we never celebrate individual accomplishments. We had a secretary graduate from nursing school who was recognized by our manager, we have several nurses bridge over to get their BSN’s with no celebrations, and when I got married, there was nothing done to acknowledge my special day. I think supervisors need to realize that small gestures like cards or celebratory banners can make a huge difference in morale, and make employees feel treasured. As for civility, my workplace tends to be very civil and we work well as a team. When a nurse is feeling overwhelmed with their patient load, there is always someone who steps up to help. The only time I have witnessed extreme incivility in my unit was with a nurse who was hired to be a resource for our higher acuity NICU babies. When giving report one day, she literally screamed at the on-coming nurse because she was so busy and did not have time to bathe a baby on the previous shift. She was so mad at the prospect of this task being passed on to her, that she could be heard screaming down a 15-bed hall. This was not her first incident, but because she had a deeper knowledge base for our new acuity level of care, she got away with this behavior for months. As a team, we felt betrayed by our manager, who allowed this toxic behavior and disfunction to continue for as long as it did until she was asked to resign.
Clark et al., 2011 states that the Joint Commission indicated that more than 50% of nurses have been or will be the victim of incivility or bullying in the workplace. Clark et al., goes on to say that factors which contribute to stress in a nurse’s workplace include work overload, unclear roles, unclear expectations, organizational conditions, and a lack of knowledge and skills. In the situation I witnessed, the behavior was very distracting, and was contributed by unclear expectations. The nurse who was hired to be a resource, was only interested in putting in her 12 hours, and her lack of understanding of her purpose to our unit led to many unpleasant encounters. It is imperative that leaders direct us toward and expect us to deliver best practice care (Pishgooi et al., 2019). Without leadership with which to model, incivility can easily trickle into a workplace.
Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse Today, 10(11), 18–23. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uplo…
Clark, C., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., & Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice: Nurse leader perspectives. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324–330. doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e31822509c4
Pishgooie, H., Atashzadeh, F., Falcó, A., & Lotfi, Z. (2019). Correlation between nursing managers’ leadership styles and nurses’ job stress and anticipated turnover. Journal of Nursing Management (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), 27(3), 527–534. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jon…