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.

Workplace Environment Assessment Paper 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 Medicine, 14, 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 Today, 10(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 Educator, 44(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 Psychology, 10, 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 Nursing, 45(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 Work, 3(4), 202–215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-018-0061-8

Work Environment Assessment Example 2

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 (Workplace Environment Assessment Paper)

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.

Workplace Environment Assessment Paper References

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