Building empowering work environments that foster civility and organizational trust: testing an intervention

Nurs Res. 2012 Sep-Oct;61(5):316-25. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e318265a58d.


Background: Creating supportive and empowering workplace conditions is important, not only because these conditions are related to improved nurse health and well-being but also because they are important for retaining top performing nurses. The current nursing shortage emphasizes the need to create such conditions.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of a workplace intervention (Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workplace [CREW]) on nurses' empowerment, experiences of supervisor and coworker incivility, and trust in nursing management.

Methods: Registered nurses (Time 1, n = 755; Time 2, n = 573) working in 41 units across five hospitals in two provinces completed measures of workplace empowerment, supervisor and coworker incivility, and trust in management before and after a 6-month intervention. Eight units participated in the intervention, and 33 units were control groups. Multilevel modeling was used to test the impact of the intervention.

Results: A significant interaction of time by intervention was found for the access to support and resources empowerment structures, total empowerment, supervisor incivility, and trust in management.

Discussion: Compared with the control group, nurses who experienced the intervention program reported significant improvements in empowerment, supervisor incivility, and trust in management. Despite methodological challenges experienced in this study, the CREW process appears to be a promising intervention approach to enhance quality of nursing work environments, which may contribute to the retention of the nursing workforce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Units / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Organizational Culture
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Trust*
  • Workplace / organization & administration