Healthcare professionals share a passion for helping people. However, their similarities often end there.
Healthcare employees often have very diverse personalities and opinions. This often leads to toxic workplaces.
The Surgeon General talked about some of the health risks of toxic workplaces. He didn’t specifically talk about healthcare settings, but they can be very toxic on their own.
Christine Corning is a licensed nurse and the BSN Director, Healthcare Vertical at Cornerstone OnDemand. She wrote a blog post on the topic of toxic people in healthcare settings. While she addressed some important issues when it comes to recognizing these people, her post didn’t get into enough detail about the importance of resolving the problem at the HR level.
Healthcare human resources professionals need to do their part to address these concerns. This will help reduce stress in the workplace. One of their priorities should be dealing with divisive views at work.
HR Staff in Healthcare Settings Must Tackle Divisive Views at Work to Deal
Although naturally driven towards solutions and simplicity, we often struggle against polarizing views in our workplace or at home. It becomes worse for Human Resource (HR) personnel in healthcare organizations who have to juggle polarizing views among employees with polarizing opinions, perspectives, and thoughts. It becomes worse when these polarizing views lead to heated debates that could wreak havoc on the business and affect its day-to-day activities. HR personnel need to be well abreast in navigating polarizing views at work.
These views can be surprisingly common in healthcare, despite the perception that it is highly liberal. One global poll showed that over 20% of nurses worldwide didn’t even want to take the COVID-19 vaccine, largely due to political reasons. If they can’t agree on something that should be universally popular among their own occupation, then they will disagree even more on other things.
While most hospital HR professionals use different ways and methods to achieve this, others need help. The truth is the more diverse the workplace environment is, the harder the navigation process. However, it gets tougher with more exposure to specific media outlets that encourage existing opinions, Thoughts, or beliefs.
If you are an HR or just interested in navigating polarizing views in your hospital, the following tips will be very helpful.
However, before then, as an HR, you should understand the role communication plays in navigating polarizing views in the workplace. Not just any kind of communication but empathic communication. Suppose you understand why empathy is important in communication. In that case, navigating polarizing views will be a smooth sail for you.
Understand the Difference Between Problems and Polarities
The first step in navigating polarizing views in the workplace by HR personnel is understanding the difference between Problems and Polarities.
Problems are simply seen as issues or challenges that require or have peculiar solutions.
On the other hand, polarities are different and often seen as paradoxes. They are not problems because they do not have solutions. Rather, they can be identified and managed independently.
As an HR, identifying a problem and polarity is part of your job. Knowing how to differentiate the two will be handy in navigating polarizing views.
Here are some polarities HR can face:
- Work – Play
- Team leader’s voice – Team member’s voice
- Flexible – Inflexible
- Decentralization – Centralization
- Efficiency – Effectiveness
These are some of the polarities HR can experience, to mention a few. These are not problems that require solutions. They are polarities. Leaning on one too much can lead to tension in the work environment and polarizing views. However, Knowing how to balance the pairs will aid in preventing the tensions arising from overly depending on one part. Hence, aiding with navigating polarizing views.
Be Mindful of Your Language
To be able to navigate polarizing views as an HR, you need to be able to pay attention to your language. Recall that earlier, we mentioned the importance of empathy in communication. Here, you must take it a level higher by being mindful of your language while navigating polarizing views.
Being mindful of your language entails more than being empathic when communicating with the employees. It also involves your choice of words and how you approach some of the polarities we mentioned.
Remember, the idea is not to stick to one pair but to the two independently. So, it is not this ‘or’ that. Rather it is this ‘and’ that.
Doing this will help you see the benefits of each side of polarizing views and develop plans that will help you navigate through them.
Don’t Rely on Assumptions
One of the greatest mistakes to make while navigating polarizing views is depending on your inherent assumptions about your employees or their ideas. You might only know these assumptions exist in most cases if you think hard about it.
When navigating polarizing views in your workplace, avoid taking a side. Rather, take note of your assumptions and what positive results can stem from them as well as negative results that can occur if one is neglected.
It doesn’t end here. Remember, these are your assumptions, and you are not supposed to rely on them.
Your next best line of action is to write out a list of truths that can be experienced on one side of the problem. To do this, you will have to explore the good and bad of each side and how different people will view these truths. This strategy can lead to better approaches that help you navigate polarizing views.
You can also include your team in the task. Using polarity maps, you and your team will better understand the problems, the ideas, and the poles.
Finally, you need to be curious to navigate polarizing views in your workplace as an HR. Curiosity is very important in addressing or navigating polarizing views or difficult challenges.
When faced with polarizing views, your first step should be to get to know more. Be curious. Speaking directly to those responsible or the parties with polarizing views is your best shot at understanding their perspectives and navigating them. You will understand why they see things the way they do.
Mind you, being curious should come with a level of self-control to avoid being triggered or becoming offensive or defensive. Remember, empathy is important, and you will need it to understand enough about the different views.
Hospital HR Professionals Must Deal with Divisive Views
There are a number of challenges that healthcare companies face in 2023. One of their biggest issues will be dealing with increasingly diverse views. HR professionals will need an approach to tackle them to reduce employee stress, improve morale and decrease turnover.