Of all the components that an organization consists of, culture and climate are the most influential but yet, most difficult to change. Culture plays a “key role in impacting and improving organizational performance” (Azzolini, Riccardi, & Gray, 2018). Moreover, the climate of an organization can simply be the perception of the work environment and the affect that it has on motivation, productivity and employee behavior. The leadership within the organization needs to have an understanding of the culture and climate, or psychological climate, and how the actual perception of both can either be the same or different (Glisson, 2015). The purpose of this paper is to explore the culture and climate of the particular healthcare organization that I am a leader at and how it impacts providing healthy, safe and patient-centered care and work environment.
Organizational Culture and Climate Analysis
In order to perform an analysis of the organization’s culture and climate, subjective and objective data was collected. Assessment of the findings are as follows:
- The organization has a ‘Great Place to Work initiative’ that’s promoted through survey results
- Each unit has its own designated area for breaks/relaxation
- Hallways and floors are clean and free of clutter with the exception of supplies needed for daily responsibilities
- Electronic devices are relatively newer and up to date
- Adequate parking
- Communication is performed primarily though email and social media
- Employees are found to be meeting up with each other outside of work in a positive capacity
- Minimal ‘clicks’
- Plenty of opportunities for staff participation in decision making through committees and shared leadership
Through the mission of “Making healthcare easier, so life can be better”, the organization is focused on improving patient outcomes, development of the workforce in all service lines, and improvement/expansion of the facility to better meet the community’s needs (BHMC, 2019). Most of the improvements are focused on patient-centered care, and after speaking with some of the employees from each unit, the climate reflects the mission, but their responses are open to interpretation. While the patient satisfactions scores correlate the mission and the initiatives for 2019, the surveys that are given to measure nurse satisfaction paint a different picture. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the nurses on the units that had the lowest nurse satisfaction scores and their answers we all relatively the same. They like the patient population (geriatrics) and the people that they work with. They are not here for the lower than average pay scale or the upper management. The consensus is that upper management does not know the floor nurses and that they are driven by numbers and percentages. They feel as though their voices are not heard and interpersonal needs aren’t being met.
Person-Centered Care Environment Capacity
If individuals were to float in or visit the facility as a staff member, the culture that comes with the geriatric community that the facility was built would be enough to draw them in and motivate them to stay. Although the nurse leaders aren’t necessarily the ones that create or incorporate the culture or even the patient care models that are handed down, they are influential in promotion and utilizing transformational leadership to endorse them. Moreover, while using transformational leadership, nurse leaders set the tone and help employees “identify with the goals of the organization” (Nakov & Ivanovski, 2018). With that said, when the employees feel integrated with the goals and mission, the more likely the employees are to be committed and behave specifically due to the organizational influences.
Initiating and adapting to organizational culture and climate can be difficult. As assessed at my particular organization, there can easily be one that is fluid and one that is not. In any case, there are suggestions to address the areas of opportunity for improvement that can be utilized anywhere. The first is simply to empower the employees. This can be done through further explanation of the vision, mission and values that the organization has in place and teaching how they can be applied to everyday tasks within the facility.
Another suggestion for motivation of cultural and climate alignment is through engagement. It is the nurse leader’s responsibility to inspire, intellectually stimulate, motivate and influence their employees; all the while being influenced and motivated by culture and mission of the organization. It has also been demonstrated that influential nursing leadership has a positive impact on patient safety, an increase employee satisfaction and commitment (Asiri, Rohrer, Al-Surimi, Da’ar, & Ahmed, 2016). Which, as mentioned before, is a big area of opportunity from the performed assessment.
Correlating culture and climate is crucial for the success of any healthcare organization. If this does not occur, organizations need to change processes, identify opportunities, address the barriers and implement improvements in order to provoke positive change. Nurse leaders within the organization have a key role in mastering the changes that need to be made and inspiring others to do the same.
- Asiri, S. A., Rohrer, W. W., Al‐Surimi, K., Da’ar, O. O., & Ahmed, A. (2016). The association of leadership styles and empowerment with nurses’ organizational commitment in an acute health care setting: A cross‐sectional study. BMC Nursing, 9, 15–38. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.1186/s12912-016-0161-7
- Azzolini, E., Ricciardi, W., & Gray, M. (2018). Healthcare organizational performance: why changing the culture really matters. Commentary. Annali Dell’istituto Superiore Di Sanita, 54(1), 6–8. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.4415/ANN_18_01_03
- Garcia-Sierra, R., & Fernandez-Castro, J. (2018). Relationships between leadership, structural empowerment, and engagement in nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing 74(12), 2809–2819. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/jan.13805
- Glisson, C. (2015). The role of organizational culture and climate in innovation and effectiveness. Human Services Organizations, Management, Leadership & Governance, 39(4), 245–250.
- Nakov, L., & Ivanovski, I. (2018). Managing the learning capacity of organizational culture in relation to organizational commitment: Methodological and empirical overview. Management of organizations: Systematic research, (80), 89–100. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.1515/mosr-2018-0015