Quality Practice e-Newsletter Issue 6

Supportive Work Environments Make all the Difference

In our survey last fall, 87% of BC physiotherapists agreed that one’s work environment is important in supporting the quality of their practice.

A supportive workplace can help us make better decisions and improve job satisfaction. The reverse is also true. An unsupportive workplace can compromise our professional competence over time. (View a summary of background research.)

While we often work independently with clients, the reality is we don’t operate in a vacuum. Our actions, beliefs and performance are impacted by what and who we interact with in our workplace. It likely wouldn’t be difficult to think back over the past week to identify frustrations or innovations resulting from your workplace.

What Creates a Supportive Work Environment?

Several factors shape and influence our workplace. When these factors work together, they can assist us in our work or hinder us.

Said another way, a supportive practice environment is an outcome of a workplace dedicated to excellence and quality across areas that impact the delivery of physiotherapy services. The visual below highlights the connection and influence of each area on patient care and the delivery of physiotherapy services.

What Does Workplace Quality Consist of?

When looking at the factors within our work environment, it can be helpful to think about the interactions we have within our workplace. There are several different areas to look at, but it is beneficial to group them into three types of interactions:

  • Our interactions with other staff (or patients outside of direct patient care)
  • Our interactions with our environment
  • Our interactions with our organization

A workplace that supports your interactions across these different areas will mean you have the resources to help you do your job well, whether in a clinical or non-clinical role. It means a work environment that is safe and healthy, where you can focus on delivering quality services and patient care. It means having the tools, training and processes you need to grow in your job.

Next Issue: May 2022

In the next issue of our Quality Practice newsletter, we’ll delve more into the ‘why’ of workplace quality even when you’re not in a management or leadership role within your work setting.