Leadership: Workplace Environment Assessment

Leadership: Workplace Environment Assessment – A healthy work environment is one in which civility is maintained at all levels. Sherman (2016) defined civility in the workplace as behaviors that show respect toward another person…

Leadership: Workplace Environment Assessment

Paper details

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  1. paper instructions.
  2. Optional template. Please use
  3. Three course readings, please use at least two.

I scored 83 on Clark Healthy workplace inventory (found on page 20 of Clark, 2015), putting my facility at moderately healthy. Let me know if you need anymore information. Thank you. 

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Solution

Workplace Environment Assessment

Introduction

A healthy work environment is one in which civility is maintained at all levels. Sherman (2016) defined civility in the workplace as behaviors that show respect toward another person, making them feel valued and contributing to mutual respect, effective communication, and team collaboration.

Those in leadership positions are expected to show some level of civility, their employees, and employees to those they serve (and vice versa). It is imperative to analyze the overall civility score of Memorial hospital based on the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory, review literature for potential theoretical concepts on addressing incivility, and propose solutions to existing weakness and strengths of the workplace.

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Work Environment Assessment

The organization scored 83 on Clark Healthy workplace inventory. The score places the workplace in a moderately healthy category. The results show that the workplace is considered a great place to work in by most of the staff, it still fails to attain a score of 90, which would classify it as a perfect place to work.

The areas that stand out include the presence of a shared mission and vision, a good relationship between leadership and members of the workplace, accompanied good collaboration and partnerships, high satisfaction rates, competitive compensations, and acknowledgment.

The workplace stands out for its support to professional growth and development through mentorship relationships, advancement opportunities, teamwork, and interprofessional collaboration, as well as the provision of resources.

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However, opportunities for improvement were on workloads, employee wellness, and inclusion in decision-making. The workload was neither reasonable, manageable, nor fairly distributed. Secondly, inactive assistance programs coupled with heavy workloads due to increased patient volume highlight the need for an emphasis on employee wellness, support, equal distribution of work, and inclusion in scheduling decisions. Secondly, the assessment highlighted the fact that there were challenges in conflict resolution skills and addressing disagreements in the workplace responsibly and respectfully.

One of the factors that stood out in the assessment was on the impact of assessing the organization’s culture regularly for improvements. As a result, the majority of employees felt valued and part of an evolving workplace. Secondly, the organization’s communication greatly benefited from initiatives by the organization to ensure that each employee had access to a clear line of communication.

Besides, transparent, direct, and respectful communication from management ensured that team and interprofessional communication was well structured and correctly set for effectiveness. A majority of the employees classified the work environment as a great place to work with friends and family. This shows the extent to which nurses approve and are engaged in the workplace due to their culture and environment.

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The results suggest that the workplace has a high level of civility, as the right frameworks are in place to support the culture of civility. The organization also features a healthy work environment. However, there are a couple of factors that could be improved to optimize the organization’s health.

While nurses are appreciated, supported, and well-compensated, more effort should be made to improve promote the wellness and emotional well-being of nurses, primarily due to the increased patient volumes, longer shift hours, and more risk associated with the pandemic. Making these adjustments would empower individual nurses to stay committed and engaged, as the organization works through long-term solutions for the heavy workloads.

Review of Literature

Clark (2019) examines incivility in the workplace and uses the concept of cognitive rehearsal coupled with evidence-based scripting, deliberate practice, and debriefing to address uncivil behaviors. Cognitive rehearsal (CR) is an evidence-based technique that allows individuals to work with skilled facilitators in addressing specific situations.

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Clark (2019) underline the impact of the concept to be heightened confidence, decreased anxiety, and improved impulse control. The design of CR makes it useful in addressing incivility in clinical settings and practice in its entirety.

CR introduction of a planned and rehearsed response enables the communication of expectations for appropriate behaviors and interactions. Clark (2019) notes the essential steps of CR as pre-briefing and preparatory learning, identifying and describing uncivil scenarios for simulation, using evidence-based strategies in role-playing, using deliberate practice to repeated simulations, and debriefing simulated encounters.

The Work Environment Assessment shows that conflict resolution is a significant challenge for the organization. Teamwork and collaboration are negatively impacted by conflict mismanagements, which also cause hindrances in care delivery. Interpersonal conflicts also adversely affect multidisciplinary coordination, timely decision making, and effective communication, commonly required in high-risk clinical settings.

Overton, Amy & Ann (2013) examine conflict in healthcare and point out that individuals have to be motivated to address conflict and have behavioral, cognitive, and emotional skills to address conflict. The frequent causes of conflict are lack of clarity with expectations and guidelines, poor communication, personality differences, lack of clear jurisdiction, and conflicts of interest.

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Cognitive rehearsal provides a framework for training nurses on how to handle conflicts in practice. Through CR, the organization prepares the nurses to handle specific challenging situations through the rehearsal of various phrases that might be used during such situations. As outlined by Clark (2019), the behavioral strategy equips the individual with the rights of knowledge and understanding to predict a more favorable outcome.

The premise of the concept is on deliberate practice to improve how nurses address conflict through the guidance of a conflict resolution expert. The practice followed by simulations and debriefing will ensure that each nurse understands the organization’s guidelines and expectations in each conflict scenario.

In particular, this will help nurse managers and nursing staff learn to handle conflict scenarios frequently on the distribution of workloads and scheduling. While cognitive rehearsal may not address the underlying issues in the distribution of workload, it will optimize communication in stressful situations and equip the nurses with the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive skills and comprehensions imperative in addressing conflicts. Besides, through simulations, the nurses will understand how to ensure conflicts are resolved through active engagement rather than avoidance.

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Evidence-Based Strategies

To address the prevalent issues of heavy workloads, burnouts, and conflicts, the organization should implement employee assistance programs (EAP) (Hodgkin et al., 2010). The employee assistance program should be empowered to help nurses navigate the challenges they face in the workplace proactively.

The program should include a counselor to help nurses facing challenging workplace issues (Angela, 2019). EAP should also incorporate a conflict resolution expert to help implement cognitive rehearsal to improve the capabilities of nurses in addressing conflicts (Chaghari et al., 2017).

The program will aim to help nurses navigate the challenging care environment by providing a platform for confidential sharing and help from experts to individuals and teams in the clinical settings (Angelo, 2019). The program will also improve the competencies of the nurses in communication, collaboration, and teamwork. The health of the organization will be elevated by the focus on employee wellness and self-care.

The organization should also adopt a workload management tool in different care units to ensure the fair distribution of reasonable and manageable workloads. Van den Oetelaar et al. (2016) adopt an NZI workload management method to distribute workload among nurses effectively.

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The workload management tool classifies the characteristics of the patients, records time spent on direct and non-direct patient care, estimates allocated nursing resources, and uses a questionnaire to measure the perceived workload and quality of work from nurses.

By incorporating the nurses’ feedback on workload and equipping unit managers with sufficient data to track workload distribution, the methodology would introduce more fairness and balance among nurses. Van den Oetelaar et al. (2016) note that the workload management tool helped maintain a balance between patient needs and nursing staff size and expertise. This would be helped address the workload issues facing the organization.

The workplace currently has a practical communication framework. Improving the cultural competency of nurses will help improve their cross-cultural communication. Cultural competence training showed a significant increase in cultural awareness among nurses leading to better intercultural communication (Kaihlanen et al., 2019).

Evidence shows that cultural training increased the healthcare professional’s awareness of their cultural features and communication practices and led to new perspectives on communication. Hence, conducting cultural competence training would help improve intercultural communication in a diverse workplace and make it inclusive (Brown et al., 2016). Besides, intercultural communication competence also benefits patients while limiting instances of unintentional bias, which often affects diversity and inclusion.

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To improve retention, the organization can provide opportunities and resources for leadership training. Wallis & Kennedy (2013) highlight that having a leadership resilience program that focused on improving the emotional intelligence of nurses, improving leadership capabilities of nurses involved in problem-solving, training on clinical team building, and equipping nurses on the management of change helped improve the leadership competence of nurses leading to lower turnover rates.

Wallis & Kennedy (2013) note that partnering with nurses and investing in their future helped foster better engagement and commitment. This could help the organization sustain and retain its nursing workforce while also attracting more nurses.

Conclusion

The workplace assessment indicates the existing strengths, opportunities, and areas for improvement in the workplace. Even though the organization is classified as moderately healthy, more effort should be centered on improving conflict resolution and offering supportive services to the nurses.

Systematic changes in workplace management would improve the health of the workplace and individual nurses’ performance. Besides, cultural competence training and leadership programs would help improve and optimize the workplace. Progressive improvement should incorporate nurses’ perspectives and have the support of nurse leaders in a bid to create a healthier workplace.

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References

  • Angelo, E. (2019). Managing interpersonal conflict: Steps for success. Nursing management, 50(6), 22.
  • Brown, E. A., Bekker, H. L., Davison, S. N., Koffman, J., & Schell, J. O. (2016). Supportive Care: Communication Strategies to Improve Cultural Competence in Shared Decision Making. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN, 11(10), 1902–1908. https://doi.org/10.2215/CJN.13661215
  • Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse Today, 10(11), 18-23.
  • Clark, C. M. (2019). Combining cognitive rehearsal, simulation, and evidence-based scripting to address incivility. Research in Nursing Education| Nurse Educator, 44(2), 64-68.
  • Chaghari, M., Saffari, M., Ebadi, A., & Ameryoun, A. (2017). Empowering Education: A New Model for In-service Training of Nursing Staff. Journal of advances in medical education & professionalism, 5(1), 26–32.
  • Hodgkin, D., Merrick, E. L., Hiatt, D., Horgan, C. M., & McGuire, T. G. (2016). The effect of employee assistance plan benefits on the use of outpatient behavioral health care. The journal of mental health policy and economics, 13(4), 167.
  • Kaihlanen, A. M., Hietapakka, L., & Heponiemi, T. (2019). Increasing cultural awareness: qualitative study of nurses’ perceptions about cultural competence training. BMC nursing, 18(1), 1-9.
  • Overton, A. R., & Lowry, A. C. (2013). Conflict management: difficult conversations with difficult people. Clinics in colon and rectal surgery, 26(4), 259–264. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1356728
  • van den Oetelaar, W. F., van Stel, H. F., van Rhenen, W., Stellato, R. K., & Grolman, W. (2016). Balancing nurses’ workload in hospital wards: study protocol of developing a method to manage workload. BMJ open, 6(11), e012148. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012148
  • Wallis, A., & Kennedy, K. I. (2013). Leadership training to improve nurse retention. Journal of Nursing Management, 21(4), 624-632.

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