Title: Non-sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.
Background: Addressing the issue of non-sexual harassment, workplace bullying (WPB) of minority nurses and non-minority groups who reported either being harassed or bullied. A review of the literature in concert with the findings of the grounded theory study and interventional interviews revealed several categories of issues that illustrate the causes of this phenomenon. These categories were further delineated into specific sub-headings and organized in a fishbone flow chart. The fishbone made it possible to understand the influences of WPB in terms of the groups and the broader concepts of the major groups. The team created a list of specifically cited issues or problems. These were referred to as “line items.” These concepts were combined where appropriate into fourteen subgroups. These subgroups were incorporated into four significant groups based on their overall concept: Environment, Process, Policy, and People. An algorithm was developed illuminating several barriers to resolution. Barriers include the time and energy of the individual, action from those receiving the report, and commitment from senior leadership to support the resolution.
The Data: A hazard analysis was performed on each of the 44 items in the Fishbone Diagram. Each line item was given two scores—one score for probability and one score for severity. The probability score was rated based on multiple stakeholder sessions, literature, and study findings, of what was the likelihood a minority nurse would experience this item. Scores were determined based on the reported results from the stakeholder sessions and the conclusions of the literature regarding severity. The score was based on how severe the consequences would be to the target. A score for each item of 1 – 4 was assigned. One being lowest probability or severity and four being highest. These two scores were multiplied to give an overall score for the item. Hence the range of overall scores could be between 1 and 16. A score of 12 or more is given the highest priority. A score of 8 to 11.5 is given medium priority, and under 8 is the lower priority. Items with a score under eight are not dismissed, however.
Recommendation: Accountably and trust of leadership were a reoccurring finding.
There was the sense that there were two standards of behavior toward staff and supervisor. That management and their friends were not held accountable. Another common reoccurring theme was that some abusive managers get a promotion or are rewarded when they target selective individuals. Finally, the AES’s recurring concern is that it is not reflective, and many did not trust how the findings were tabulated accurately. Suggesting a need to look at the variation within a department would allow the VA to intervene when that group culture was unhealthy.
Conclusion: Assessing the elements that create a hostile environment can be achieved through ongoing study and dialogue between staff and management. An outside group’s intervention would ensure fair and equitable outcomes.