How Workplace Quality Looks Different Depending on Your Work Setting
In this month’s QP newsletter, we share recommendations for improving workplace quality in different work settings. We hope these discussion points increase your curiosity about how to approach workplace quality in your work setting.
To review why workplace quality includes everyone, read the June Issue.
When You’re Working Alone
You have a lot of flexibility in defining your workplace. You will likely have limited interaction with others besides your patients, but that doesn’t mean workplace quality doesn’t matter. As a sole practitioner, you are responsible for creating the standard operating practices to help you deliver a consistently self-supportive work environment.
Even though quality practices may not be codified in a procedure manual, it can be helpful to work through your standard way of doing things – this can range from infection control activities to how you follow up with patients who have not rebooked.
Connecting with other sole practitioners to discuss and brainstorm different aspects of a quality practice can be a helpful way to look at quality factors in a new light.
For Those Working in a Hospital or Larger Work Setting
It can often seem like there is much outside your control regarding workplace quality. If you feel this way, it can be helpful to become curious about how interactions among staff, patients and your physical environment can impact a supportive workplace. By becoming aware of your workplace interactions, you can begin to explore areas that may be ripe for improvement.
Even if you don’t have control over quality improvement processes, starting conversations with other colleagues or managers can be a helpful first step in creating micro-changes in the work environment and setting the stage for broader process change.
For Those in Leadership Positions
It can often seem that the responsibility of workplace quality falls squarely on your shoulders. Creating engaging conversations with staff about ways to improve workplace quality can be challenging. Helping connect the dots between workplace quality and a supportive, high-functioning workplace can be an essential bridging step and increase relevance for staff conversations. Once this connection is made, it can be much easier to highlight the relationship between a supportive workplace and improved patient care.
For Those in Non-Traditional Situations
It can be challenging to think about workplace quality, given that patient care may not be the end goal. Workplace quality impacts more than direct patient care. It influences the delivery of any services you are involved in supporting. Think about the stakeholders you engage with during the service delivery process and identify factors influencing service outcomes.
Your Next Steps
We encourage you to explore the ways you interact with your work environment.
When you are frustrated or discouraged by a work situation, think about why you feel that way. Are your emotions indicating that there may be barriers to creating a better functioning workplace? See if you can pinpoint what workplace factors could be involved. Afterwards, it may be helpful to have a conversation with a co-worker, colleague or manager.
Regardless of your role or practice setting, becoming aware of how you interact within your work environment is essential to understanding how to create a better functioning work environment that improves patient care and service delivery.
Participate in Workplace Quality Research
Dr. Aliki Thomas (OT) of McGill University is conducting a research study looking at how contextual factors in the workplace influence how Canadian healthcare professionals enact, maintain and develop professional core competencies.
The survey takes 20 minutes to complete: https://bit.ly/3rkUFH5
Next Issue: August 2022
In the next issue of our Quality Practice newsletter, we’ll describe some of the support tools we are developing to help support your efforts in improving workplace quality.