Work Environment Assessment
Description of the Results of the Work Environment
After assessing my workplace’s health and civility using 20 items of the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory, I realized that my organization scored 76 out of 100 points. The assessment revealed that my workplace has various strengths representing priority areas that scored the full mark. These areas include sufficient resources for professional development, reasonable, manageable, and distributed workload, practical conflict resolution skills and mechanisms, opportunities for promotion and career advancement, and the organization’s ability to attract and retain talents.
Equally, the workplace scored moderately in other elements of workplace civility, including teamwork and collaboration, members’ active engagement in shared governance, joint decision-making, a high level of employee satisfaction and morale, effective and transparent communication at all levels of the organization, clear and discernible level of trust, and the presence of a shared vision and mission based on collegiality and respect.
Although the overall score was relatively satisfactory, results regarding some components of workplace health and civility were alarming. For instance, the workplace scored two points in each of the following statements; the presence of comprehensive monitoring of all employees, an emphasis on employee wellness and self-care, the tendency to view employees as assets and partners within the organization, and the culture of training every employee fairly and respectfully. A low score in these areas undoubtedly denotes weaknesses and unaddressed elements of workplace incivility, including unsupportive workplace culture.
Two things that surprised me about the results and one idea I had before conducting the confirmed assessment
Before conducting the work environment assessment, I believed my workplace was healthy and civil because we had no complaints regarding occupational stressors in the last year or two. I perceived a healthy workplace as a work environment where employees undertake the responsibilities in their respective specializations without reported uncivil behaviors and activities like bullying and structural discrimination.
However, I was surprised to realize that the absence of uncivil behaviors and acts is not the only threshold for rendering a workplace healthy. Instead, I noticed that our work environment lacks a comprehensive monitoring program for all employees, a culture emphasizing employee wellness, and the norm of treating all employees respectfully and fairly.
What the results suggested about the health and civility of the workplace
An overall score of 79 points confirmed that my workplace is mildly healthy, meaning there are areas of improvement. For instance, the results signified strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The findings unearthed deficiencies in employee monitoring programs and elements of unsupportive workplace culture, including a limited emphasis on employee wellness and unfairness.
These issues contribute to unhealthy and uncivil workplace cultures. According to Clark (2015), a civil work environment should demonstrate various attributes, including a shared institutional vision, norms, and values, emphasis on formal and informal leadership, and civility across organizational units and departments. Our workplace lacks some of these attributes; hence, the results.
Reviewing the Literature
A brief description of the theory or concept presented in the selected article
Besides presenting attributes and characteristics of a civil and healthy work environment, an article by Clark (2015) provides a model for structuring civility conversations at all institutional levels. According to Clark (2015), the DESC model enables healthcare organizations to address incivility through four steps: describing the specific situation (D), expressing concerns (E), stating other alternatives (S), and defining consequences (C). Grissinger (2017) supports incorporating this model in addressing disrespectful organizational behaviors because it enables leaders and employees to establish a standard of communication and improves assertive discussions regarding the rationale and potential solutions for tackling workplace incivility.
How my organization could apply the theory highlighted to improve organizational health and stronger work teams
My organization can apply the DESC model to address the highlighted elements of unsupportive workplace culture and improve teamwork. For instance, this model anchors assertive communication, allowing employees to describe situations, express concerns, state alternatives, and discuss the consequences of uncivil behaviors to address them. According to O’Donovan & McAuliffe (2021), psychologically safe teams enable members to share beliefs and take interpersonal risks speaking up and voicing concerns about all forms of uncivil workplace behaviors and acts.
Further, the authors contend that organizations can create psychologically safe teams by ensuring high-quality communication, trust, and consensus decision-making processes. My organization can use the DESC model to create psychologically safe teams, improve assertive communication, eliminate barriers to speaking up and voicing concerns, and promote team-based decision-making.
Evidence-Based Strategies to Create High-performance Interpersonal Teams
The 20 items of the Clark Healthy Workplace Inventory enabled me to assess my workplace health and civility and identify issues that compromise teamwork and work environment health. For example, an absence of a comprehensive framework or program for monitoring employees, a lack of emphasis on employee wellness, and elements of disrespect and discrimination can affect teamwork by hindering individual and team productivity.
Many current scholarly sources recommend different strategies for tackling workplace incivility and improving teamwork. In a systematic review of scientific literature, Bambi et al. (2017) define incivility as “a low-intensity deviant behavior with the ambiguous intent to damage the target, breaking the norm of mutual respect in the workplace” (p. 39). Based on this definition, it is valid to argue that uncivil behaviors and acts compromise mutual respect and interpersonal understanding.
As a result, Bambi et al. (2017) propose a contingency plan for improving the work environment. This plan encompasses various interventions, including increasing awareness of these phenomena among healthcare professionals, promoting informative and educative campaigns, adopting an authentic leadership style, expressing zero tolerance towards uncivil behaviors and acts, and providing healthcare professionals with assertive communication and conflict management skills to face bullying.
Besides these interventions, Di Fabio & Duradoni (2019) recommend positive relational management and emotional intelligence as practical interventions for preventing workplace incivility and enabling healthcare professionals to face uncivil behaviors and acts.
According to Di Fabio & Duradoni (2019), positive relational management entails integrating work and interpersonal relationships and bolstering relational adaptation. The authors identify respect, caring, and connectedness as profound elements of effective relational management. Secondly, Di Fabio & Duradoni (2019) perceive emotional intelligence (EI) as the competency to discriminate, express, and assimilate emotions in thoughts and regulate implicit and explicit emotions.
Emotional intelligence in preventing workplace incivility and improving teamwork is vital in encouraging consensus decision-making, social responsibility, and impulse control (Di Fabio & Duradoni, 2019). Implementing a contingency plan proposed by Bambi et al. (2017) and incorporating positive relational management and emotional intelligence into interventions for improving the work environment can lead to improved teamwork and the proliferation of moral standards in the workplace.
Bambi, S., Guazzini, A., De Felippis, C., Lucchini, A., & Rasero, L. (2017). Preventing workplace incivility, lateral violence, and bullying between nurses A narrative literature review. Acta Bio-Medica: Atenei Parmensis, 88(5S), 39–47. https://doi.org/10.23750/abm.v88i5-S.6838
Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse Today, 10(11), 18–23. https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ant11-CE-Civility-1023.pdf
Di Fabio, A., & Duradoni, M. (2019). Fighting Incivility in the Workplace for Women and All Workers: The Challenge of Primary Prevention. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01805
Grissinger, M. (2017). Disrespectful behavior in health care: Its impact, why it arises and persists, and how to address its part 2. P & T: A Peer-Reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, 42(2), 74–77. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5265230/
O’Donovan, R., & McAuliffe, E. (2020). A systematic review exploring the content and outcomes of interventions to improve psychological safety, speaking up and voice behavior. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-4931-2