This week was focused on motivating employees and how to keep employees engaged and involved even when pay is not the issue. It is true, pay is not always a way to keep employees engaged and wanting them to work for a company or a unit. If the stress is high enough, the employees may not want to continue to go through that. For this week as a group we decided on a 7 step strategic plan for helping to keep employees engaged.
1. Communicate with staff about their concerns and what makes them unhappy. Knowing why is the first step in being able to solve the problem. Taking the time to ask is important, listening to those concerns is even more important.
2. Food is the way to an employees heart. Seriously though…working 12 hours is a long shift, and oftentimes it can be difficult to step away for long enough to grab something to eat, Providing meals occasionally for the staff would help to build morale.
3. Involve patients in showing gratitude for the hard work the nurses are putting in. This is why we do what we do! Hearing the gratitude would mean so much to the nurses.
4. Involve the staff in more than just bedside nursing. Let them lead, encourage them to lead. Let them make decisions and teach and influence others. Empowering nurses to be involved will give them ownership over their workplace and increase their satisfaction.
5. Celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small. Being recognized for progressing as a nurse and for doing a good job will incentivize nurses to put in even more effort, and do so gladly.
6. Assign nurses to mentor each other. Sometimes as nurses we can feel like we have to be able to do it all on our own. We can also feel lost at times. especially if we are new to the unit or the organization. Providing mentors will help the mentor feel more valuable and will help ease the mind of the person being mentored.
7. Resolve conflict and halt backbiting as soon as it becomes apparent. Nothing will crater morale more quickly than someone feeling as thought they aren’t welcome. We are a team and each member deserves to feel included and valued.
This is something that as a nurse now I can bring forth as a recommendation when going gets tough. If I were to be involved in leadership then I would want to be able to apply this so that I could help keep my employees engaged and keep the drama down on the unit. I think nursing is hard because we are in high stress levels as it is and to be surrounded by so many others it is important to keep employees working as a team and minimize the dram between them.