The article “Communicating in a Culturally Diverse Workforce” by Karen Fowler, PhD, RN (September 2018) connects the leader's communication style and staff engagement with organizational outcomes. As a leader with varied experience on this topic, I believe that nursing staff perceptions are vital to outcomes. Leaders should be cognizant of increased diversity within the nursing workforce, affirming the concept of cultural competence. Building relationships and valuing diversity are keys to leadership success.
Feedback from supervisors can have both positive and negative effects, and a wide range of staff perceptions of leaders is possible within an organization. Notably, the article states that 360-degree evaluation may not be adequate to determine a leader's communication effectiveness. However, diversity and communication training for leaders can improve competency. Surprisingly, a positive relationship between communication style and nurse retention isn't identified in the article, and the sample size limits generalization to larger populations. Future studies may include leaders' ethnicity as a variable.
My experience is that staff members often leave because of their leaders. Certainly, communication in a diverse workforce is a national issue for nursing.
—Kerry Seely, BSN, RN, CNML