Healthy Relationships in the Workplace
As a former employee of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, I am aware of a bad relationship between its nurses and laboratory personnel. Particularly, I remember an incident where the Hospital Laboratory manager and the assistant nursing manager openly disagreed about the use of a lounge room at the hospital cafeteria because both employees felt entitled to the spot.
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To build a healthy relationship between both sets of workers, I would use the cross-cultural and strategic leadership styles because they both recognize differences among varied groups of people by advocating that they both work together for the greater benefit of the organization. The strategic leadership style would be instrumental in redesigning job functions, systems, and timetables of the community health center to avoid clashes between both sets of employees.
Comparatively, the cross-cultural leadership style will be instrumental in recognizing differences between both sets of workers and appreciating them as a form of strength and not weakness. This view is in line with the findings of Morse (2012), which suggest that focusing on the strengths of human relationships is better than concentrating on their weaknesses. This leadership style will also help them to learn that they need not be in competition with one another and instead work towards achieving the same goal, which is health care service provision. Therefore, they will understand not to be at cross-purposes with one another.
One positive psychology trait that will be useful in addressing the divide that exists between the two sets of employees is learning to change their relationship with stress. This view is described by Achor (2012) as a positive tool for improving workplace productivity because it teaches people to learn from looking at the positive side of stress, as opposed to its negatives. For example, it has been used as a change catalyst in different organizations because people learn to improve their productivity during stressful situations (Achor, 2012; Ciarrochi, Atkins, Hayes, Sahdra, & Parker, 2016).
This way, positive psychology could help both employees to understand that, although the differences seen between the two groups of workers may be frustrating to tolerate, they could learn new information about each other that would help them to relate better. The rationale for choosing this positive psychology strategy is based on the understanding that the conflict between nurses and laboratory technicians is a result of their different interpretations of job roles and relevance in the healthcare service delivery model. In line with the views of Muha and Manion (2010), positive psychology could help in minimizing such conflicts because it allows warring factions to focus on the positive sides of their relationship, as opposed to the negative ones.
Creating a Culture of Engagement
The questions answered in the survey were in response to my work experience as an employee of the Los Angeles Community Hospital. I received a score of 87, which, according to the measurement criterion, refers to an organization that has opportunities to strengthen the environment. I believe that this score has rightfully captured the culture of my organization because it recognizes the need for improvement, which has not been addressed for a long time. However, the operations of my organization are still supported by a functional and operational framework that minimizes the risks of conflict between different groups of employees and between nurses and their managers.
This operational structure means that the hospital’s culture, though functional, is risk-averse. However, there are opportunities for not only avoiding conflict between different teams but also forging useful and beneficial relationships among staff that are not being fully exploited. Therefore, a score of 87, which means that the hospital has opportunities to strengthen the environment, is accurate.
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Fasoli (2010) and Vlachoutsicos (2011) suggest that promoting a culture of nursing engagement is one intervention that could be used to address the “missed opportunities” of improving health care service delivery at Los Angeles Community Hospital, as described above. According to Shantz and Latham (2011), promoting a culture of work engagement is an important step in ensuring that there are adequate levels of staff retention. This process may involve redesigning the health care system to promote increased engagement among employees. Based on suggestions obtained from Wisotzkey, Bell, and Grim (2011), this intervention could also change the conflict aversion model of the workplace and instead nurture a culture that appreciates the need for proactive employee engagement.
The lack of proactivity in the nursing engagement framework at Los Angeles Community Hospital has often affected my commitment and enthusiasm to work because I am aware of opportunities to improve organizational productivity, which are not being exploited. However, the processes for exploiting these opportunities have often been undermined by a seemingly reluctant attitude among the nursing staff to “stir the waters” because most of them have been taught to stay away from trouble. In this regard, this culture cluster often weakens my commitment to the organization because I am change-driven. More importantly, it fails to tap into the opportunities of improved service delivery that may occur at the hospital because of improved synergies among employees, if positive psychology is adopted.
Fasoli, D.R. (2010). The culture of nursing engagement: A historical perspective. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 34(1), 18–29.
Shantz, A., & Latham, G. (2011). The effect of primed goals on employee performance: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management, 50(2), 289–299.
Vlachoutsicos, C.A. (2011). How to cultivate engaged employees. Harvard Business Review, 89(9), 123–126.
Wisotzkey, S., Bell, T.D., & Grim, R. (2011). Connect and engage for better nurse retention. Nursing Management, 42(10), 14–18.