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Nathaniel Glasser Quoted in “15 Ways to Overcome a Toxic Healthcare Work Environment”

Managed Healthcare Executive

Nathaniel M. Glasser, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Managed Healthcare Executive, in “15 Ways to Overcome a Toxic Healthcare Work Environment,” by Tracey Walker.

Following is an excerpt:

Empower HR

“Ensure that the HR function becomes a true business partner. Educate HR in the daily functions so that HR managers have credibility when managing difficult relationships. Executives can support HR by providing the tools they need to be successful in a healthcare environment by truly educating them on the different functions and practices of the healthcare workforce, as well as the key business goals and pain points. This will create not only a stronger working relationship with the HR department, but also will create a more confident and informed department.” — Nathaniel Glasser, Epstein Becker Green

Conduct a Climate Survey

“There are many ways to conduct a climate survey, which allow companies to ask employees pointed questions about how they feel and, equally important, what they believe needs to be done to improve the workplace. This information can help inform decisions going forward and get an idea of the workforce culture without putting anyone on the spot. Don’t ignore results because they create challenges. Invest in improvement. That speaks volumes.” —Glasser

Reset the Power Dynamic

“Too often healthcare organizations are so hierarchical that lower-level employees blindly defer to senior management or, in the case of hospitals or physician practices, the doctors. Implement an open-door and input-seeking culture that gives each employee a voice. Many innovations come from those in the trenches—not those in the towers." —Glasser

Use Discipline

“Too often organizations are reluctant to challenge or discipline bad actors, especially when those bad actors outperform in their areas of practice. This is especially prevalent in healthcare organizations where hierarchy allows for higher levels of insulation. But failing to do so can lead to low employee morale and harm productivity in other areas. A failure to act may also lead to a lawsuit, if the inappropriate conduct rises to the level of harassment or discrimination. Ultimately, the cost of providing fewer boundaries leads to higher liability. Work on applying uniform treatment early on and provide additional trainings for repeat offenders. Keep ahead of the rumors by providing appropriate, consistent messaging—even if details remain private.” —Glasser

Consider Training

“Sometimes ‘respectful workplace’ training is in order. Providing extra trainings may reinforce the importance of maintaining positive work environments, as well as providing an outlet for those that may feel unheard. Make sure that all senior leadership takes the training with the employees, which demonstrates a commitment to an improved work atmosphere. Including differing levels of seniority can also help break down the ever-present hierarchical barriers in the workplace.” —Glasser