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Using Empowerment to Build Trust and Respect in the Workplace

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 43 years experience.

found at medscape.com- nursing economics article.

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using empowerment to build trust and respect in the workplace: a strategy for addressing the nursing shortage


a recent report by the institute of medicine (iom) articulated the importance of a positive work environment for ensuring patient safety in hospital settings. creating and sustaining trust throughout the organization was identified as a critically important leader activity (iom, 2004). yet, after a decade of downsizing and restructuring during which thousands of nurses were let go, nurses are understandably distrustful of management (decker, wheeler, johnson, & parsons, 2001; ingersoll, fisher, ross, soja, & kidd, 2001; laschinger, finegan, shamian, & casier, 2000). moreover, they feel that physicians and management staff do not respect them or their work (canadian nursing advisory committee, 2002; laschinger, 2004; laschinger, finegan, shamian, & sabiston, 2001a). this lack of respect is manifested in several ways, including the manner in which management communicates important organizational decisions and the failure to address concerns expressed by nurses about the implications of these decisions.

perceived lack of trust and respect in the work environment has detrimental effects on both the organization and employees. employees who are distrustful are less likely to contribute to organizational goals and activities to the same degree as those who experience high levels of trust in their organization. nursing management will have to work hard to regain the trust of their employees if the profession is to survive the impending shortage of qualified practitioners. recruitment of newcomers to the profession and retention of those currently in the system will depend on regaining this lost trust. an important strategy for increasing recruitment and retention of nurses will be to create work environments that manifest justice, trust, and respect and thereby facilitate professional nursing practice. kanter's notion of creating conditions of work effectiveness through the establishment of empowering work structures is a logical basis for this strategy.

the purpose of this study was to test a model linking nurses' empowerment to organizational justice, respect, and trust in management, and ultimately, job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Thanks. I used to subscribe to Nursing Economics, but now just read it at the library -- browsing through recent issues every now and then. I'll have to walk over there and get copies of this article.

llg -- bumping the thread forward :-)

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