Friday, March 25, 2011

Developing a Courageous Workplace

I am inheriting a dysfunctional clinic. One nurse is creating a hostile work environment and another nurse has resorted to communicating only by email to this nurse so she can limit her interactions. A clerk has "borrowed" over $1000 from her co-workers over the past year and HR says nothing can be done, that these "loans" could be considered "donations." I get ownership in May, but I am already pondering solutions.

I thought this article on workplace courage from the Center for Creative Leadership might provide some ideas for action.

According to the article, people in a courageous workplace:
•Take on more challenging or complex projects.
•Actively seek out tasks that stretch their skills.
•Speak up more frequently, forcefully and truthfully.
•Be less risk-averse, less self-conscious and less apathetic.
•Do less brownnosing and complaining.
•Get more work done.

That sounds good to me. A hostile work environment can cost a lot of money in recruitment and retention and lost productivity. So, one of the options I proposed to the current leader was the development of a code of conduct by the staff. I also proposed requesting a mediator from HR interview and evaluate the interactions of these workers for an unbiased opinion. Coming from a high-functioning unit and feeling quite competent, this clinic will provide quite the turn-around challenge.

Am I feeling courageous?

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