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Workplace Environment Assessment Paper

Workplace Environment Assessment Paper

A good workplace environment contributes to successful health quality outcomes and performances. Patient satisfaction, work efficiency, patient safety, and effectiveness of care are some outcomes that rely on the conduciveness of the workplace environment. Interactions among healthcare professionals are a major contributory factor in ensuring these outcomes are effectively achieved.

Therefore, workplace civility can be used to assess a health organization to meet quality standards and ensure that nurses achieve professional and ethical standards. My organization is a health institution that offers both preventive and curative health services. The organization employs nurses and other healthcare professionals of various cadres and experiences that interact together to facilitate a health system.

Using the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory, I conducted a workplace environment assessment for my health organization. This paper aims to describe the outcomes of this assessment, propose theories and concepts to improve organization outcomes based on this assessment, review current literature, and recommend evidence-based improvement strategies.

Work Environment Assessment

Results of the Work Environment Assessment

The Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory is a tool that contains a 20-question assessment using rated Linkert scale options for assessment of the health of the workplace environment. The higher the scores, the healthier the work environment. The highest possible score is 100, while the least possible score is 20. The overall score of the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory for my organization was 69.

This was rated as a ‘barely healthy’ work environment. The poorly scored items were about communication with employees, employee engagement, employee retention, an opportunity for career and professional advancement, workload distribution, employee health and wellness, and employee mentorship.

Outstanding Outcomes About the Results

Among the highly rated outcomes of this assessment were trust, respect, collegiality, appreciation of achievements, teamwork, collaboration, availability of resources for professional growth, and compensation. Two outcomes that surprised me were employees’ confidence in recommending the organization to family and relatives despite the low ratings in the health of the workplace environment and employees reporting a high level of trust and respect between the formal leadership and teams.

These results were surprising because they portray some level of intrapersonal conflict among the employees themselves about their views of the organization. There have indeed been few conflicts within the organization, and the few that have occurred have been solved amicably and effectively. However, some employees still believe that there are bare healthy civility practices within the organization’s workplace environment.

The scores regarding employee wellness and self-care confirmed my preassessment expectations. The organization lacks well-laid-down strategies to manage employee stress. This was also evident in the workload stress scores, low employee satisfaction, and low employee engagement outcomes from this assessment.

Significance of the Assessment Results

These results showed that the organizational workplace environment health regarding civility is still barely healthy. According to Clark (2015), a healthy work environment requires shared organizational goals and vision, civility at the individual, team, and organizational levels, leadership, and civility conversations amongst all stakeholders.

The results of the assessment showed that my organizational workplace performed better mainly only in items on organizational goals but dismally on other elements thus, the overall result was a ‘bare health.’ Using these results as the basis of assessment of my workplace health, there is evidence of the need to improve workplace civility and health.

Reviewing the Literature

Relevant Evidence on a Selected Theoretical Framework

Griffin & Clark (2014) presented a review of oppression theory. This theory relates well to the health of the workplace environment. This is based on oppressed group behaviors described by Freire’s work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, in 1971. In this theory, a group of individuals who feel oppressed tends to feel marginalized and show certain behaviors that portray them as controlled by those they perceive to wield power over them.

Concerning nursing practice, this theory explains that nurses who experience workplace incivility lack control over their workplace environment, making them vulnerable to oppressed group behaviors (Griffin & Clark, 2014). Oppressed group behaviors include not speaking up and transferring these negative impacts to others.

Therefore, the oppression starts a cycle that leads to horizontal and vertical violence and other uncivil behaviors. In attempts to equilibrate the system of power imbalance with an already started oppressed group behaviors, the vulnerable nurses can transfer the uncivil behaviors to colleagues.

Relation of Oppression Theory to my Work Environment Assessment.

In my Work Environment Assessment, employees expressed mixed outcomes that relate to appressed group behaviors. Ideally and psychological, uncivil behaviors in the workplace would have led to a negative reaction from the employees. However, these employees expressed high confidence in the organization such that they could recommend it to family and friends.

In another example, the employees remained neutral in the role and value in the organization despite reporting that there is mutual trust and respect among workers in the workplace. This can be remotely interpreted as ‘keeping silent’ to preserve the reputation of a barely healthy institution. Therefore, the oppression theory explains the outcomes of my work environment assessment from a psychological perspective.

Employees likely reported poor employee satisfaction and engagement in the environment as a result of the lack of confidence in communication at all levels of the organization. Lack of communication or ineffective communication can lead to poor engagement of employees, thus explaining the outcome of oppressed group behaviors.

Applying Oppression Theory to Improve Organizational Health and Team Outcomes

Workplace incivility in nursing practice and learning has negative impacts on the victims and the patients as well. Protecting vulnerable individuals and empowering the victims can ensure that the organization delivers health efficiently and in an effective environment.

The oppression theory explains uncivil workplace behaviors in a socio-ecosystem but identifies the source and the victims of these behaviors. For example, using the critical consciousness by Paul Freire to address oppression, key interventions aim at implementing actions against and awareness of these behaviors and their consequences. The organization can identify those at risk of experiencing uncivil behaviors and take action against the perpetrators.

Using this theory enables the implementers of interventions to understand the socio-ecosystem with different levels where appropriate interventions can be applied. For example, awareness interventions are best applied at the victims’ and vulnerable populations’ level, while punitive actions can best be applied to the perpetrators.

Evidence-Based Strategies to Create High-Performance Interprofessional Teams

Key shortcomings from my workplace environment assessment were poor employee satisfaction, lack of transparent, direct, and respectful communication, and poor employee engagement. Clark (2019) presented an article on a technique combining various interventions and a conceptual model to address workplace incivility among vulnerable groups, especially learners and junior practitioners.

Cognitive rehearsal, according to Clark (2019), is a strategy that will address these shortcomings in the workplace by empowering vulnerable employees, such as junior nurses and nurse students, to address incivility and handle it in nonviolent ways. This strategy will require that junior nurses be attached to mentors or seniors who are skilled facilitators (Clark, 2019).

The role of these facilitators will be to provide guidance to their juniors through debriefing, preparatory learning, and evidence-based scripting. This will enhance communication between junior nurses and other professionals, improve their satisfaction with nursing practice, and engage them in solving extralimital problems.

Another strategy focuses on enhancing Workplace Relational Civility through a contemporary prevention approach that aims at enhancing relational decency, culture, and readiness in the workplace (Di Fabio & Duradoni, 2019). In this strategy, the nurse managers can take up the active leading role in identifying risk factors and enhancing building on the individual strengths of employees (Atashzadeh Shoorideh et al., 2021).

Workplace relational civility that starts from the top managers can trickle down to the employees vulnerable to workplace incivility. Therefore, civility aspects such as respect, courtesy, and taking cognizance of others’ rights can be established in the socio-ecosystem described in the oppression theory. This can break the when of uncivil behaviors and enhance positive interactions and relations that will promote employee engagement, communication, and job satisfaction.

To ensure that these strategies are effective in enhancing workplace civility, additional strategies can be employed by the organization. Firstly, the organization can embark on promoting awareness of workplace incivility. According to Jemal (2018), oppression is like a virus in an organization. Awareness is the best antidote for its outcomes, such as horizontal and vertical violence.

Critical awareness, as described by Paul Freire, can mitigate oppression through transformative consciousness. Transformative conciseness uses awareness among the oppressed as one of its domain interventions. Therefore, awareness among vulnerable nurses can enhance the achievement of the aforementioned strategies.

Another strategy to bolster successful civility practices in addressing inequalities and social injustices in the workplace through anticipating behavioral responses. This can enhance behavioral response. Enhancing awareness of behavioral responses to uncivil behaviors among all employees at the workplace can enhance transformative awareness. This related strategy can improve critical awareness among potential perpetrators in the socio-ecosystem by enhancing self-blame and self-reflection.

Conclusion

My workplace environment assessment showed that my organization is barely healthy in terms of workplace civility. Key shortcomings were employee engagement, communication, and job satisfaction. To explain the relationship between uncivil behaviors in the workplace and organizational health, the oppression theory concepts were applied. In this theory, workplace incivility was a nonending outcome of an inferiority complex among vulnerable nurses.

Therefore, this theory came in handy in explaining potential positions in the socio-ecosystem where interventions can be targeted. The role of nursing leadership in risk identification and preventive strategy implementation through behavioral response awareness was evident in the current evidence.

Promoting awareness of incivility and potential outcomes among employees and ensuring social justice in the workplace were identified as potential strategies to bolster successful practices. Key strategies to address communication, engagement, and satisfaction as part of workplace civility interventions were workplace relational civility and cognitive rehearsal for junior employees.

References

Atashzadeh Shoorideh, F., Moosavi, S., & Balouchi, A. (2021). Incivility toward nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine14, 15. https://doi.org/10.18502/jmehm.v14i15.7670

Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace: Let’s end the silence that surrounds incivility. American Nurse Today10(11), 18–23. https://www.myamericannurse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ant11-CE-Civility-1023.pdf

Clark, C. M. (2019). Combining cognitive rehearsal, simulation, and evidence-based scripting to address incivility. Nurse Educator44(2), 64–68. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNE.0000000000000563

Di Fabio, A., & Duradoni, M. (2019). Fighting incivility in the workplace for women and all workers: The challenge of primary prevention. Frontiers in Psychology10, 1805. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01805

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 Nursing45(12), 535–542; quiz 543–544. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20141122-02

Jemal, A. (2018). Transformative Consciousness of Health Inequities: Oppression is a Virus and Critical Consciousness is the Antidote. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work3(4), 202–215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-018-0061-8

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