Work Mistreatment and Hospital Administrative Staff: Policy Implications for Healthier Workplaces
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Harlos, Karen P.
Harlos, Karen P. "Work Mistreatment and Hospital Administrative Staff: Policy Implications for Healthier Workplaces." Healthcare Policy, 4(1) August 2008: 40-50. DOI:10.12927/hcpol.2008.20006.
Research on work life quality in hospitals has focused on how nurses and physicians perceive or react to work conditions. We extend this focus to another major professional group – healthcare administrators – to learn more about how these employees experience the work environment. Administrators merit such attention given their key roles in sustaining the financial health of the hospital and in fulfilling management functions efficiently to support consistent, high-quality care. Specifically, we examined mistreatment in the workplace experienced by administrative staff from a hospital in a large Canadian city. Three dimensions of mistreatment – verbal abuse, work obstruction and emotional neglect – have been associated with diminished well-being, work satisfaction and organizational commitment, along with stronger intent to leave. In this paper, we provide additional support for interpreting these three dimensions as mistreatment and report on their frequencies in our sample. We then consider implications for policy development (e.g., communication and conflict resolution skills training, mentoring programs, respect-at-work policies) to make workplaces healthier for these neglected but important healthcare professionals.