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Why Culture Matters: Are Leaders Unknowingly Depleting the Energy of the Workforce?

First few Article Sentences

Healthcare, by its very nature, is based on compassion and caring for others. A compassionate and cooperative culture is required to deliver services that ensure patient satisfaction, patient safety, good outcomes, efficient services, and clear communications. Unfortunately, workplace cultures are often a web of egos that are battling and competing for power, managers disempowering employees, and co-workers hurting and sabotaging one another. The fearful environment is fraught with reactions and counter-reactions. Gallup’s poll on the State of the American Workplace reports a 68% rate of employee disengagement with “The Boss from Hell” stated as a common reason. Working in a wide variety of healthcare environments, I have seen workplace dysfunction in epidemic proportions. The percentage of people in healthcare describing symptoms of a toxic workplace is alarming. Imagine what it would do to the bottom line if engagement could be increased by 10%, 20%, 30% or more. These are not unrealistic goals, but awareness and understanding of authentic, heartfelt leadership must be a top priority.

Leaders who don’t know how to build relationships and manage people are the source of much of the pain and dysfunction in workplaces today. Emotional Intelligence, according to author, Daniel Goleman, accounts for 90% of the skills needed to be a leader. Leaders lacking the courage, clarity, and self-reflection required in Emotional Intelligence cause unrecognized costs to organizations. Workplace culture is a reflection of the sentiments, attitudes, and actions of the leadership. Pressure coming from the top pushes down through the management to employees, resulting in a depletion of energy and spirit needed to work and provide the services. Untrained and fear-based leaders have created environments of gossip, blame, shame, one-upmanship, rivalry, suspicion, lack of teamwork resulting in unidentified expenses, not seen on spreadsheets. Without a foundation of love and respect for humanity, compassion is just a word and cannot extend to patients, family, co-workers, vendors, or any relationships.

Beal, M.Ed., Danna


Danna Beal, M.Ed.

Workplace Environment

October 9, 2018

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