Development and Testing of the Healthy Work Environment Inventory: A Reliable Tool for Assessing Work Environment Health and Satisfaction

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BACKGROUND: Fostering healthy work environments that enhance job satisfaction and reflect high levels of employee engagement and productivity is imperative for all organizations. This is especially true for health care organizations where unhealthy work conditions can lead to poor patient outcomes.

METHOD: A convenience sample of 520 nursing faculty and practice-based nurses in the United States participated in a study to test the psychometric properties of the Healthy Work Environment Inventory (HWEI).

RESULTS: A factor analysis and other reliability analyses support the use of the HWEI as a valid and reliable instrument to measure perceptions of work environment health.

CONCLUSION: The HWEI is a 20-item psychometrically sound instrument to measure perceptions of the health of the work environment. It may be completed either as an individual exercise or by all members of a team to compare perceptions of work environment health, to determine areas of strength and improvement, and to form the basis for interviewing.