Being a nurse is a hard, often thankless job – and with the World Health Organization (WHO) designating 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife – we want to do our part to help you show your nurses how much you appreciate them.
How are you showing your appreciation?
Ask 10 nurse managers the No. 1 way they show their employees appreciation, and you will probably get 10 different answers.
Managers often believe they’re doing enough simply by saying “Thank you.” Others buy food and treats for their teams or send them gifts. Some hospitals have elaborate rewards and point systems.
All those things can work to some degree. However, what most nurses want – and need – to feel truly valued has much more to do with the culture of your workplace and your effectiveness as a leader.
If you really want to show your appreciation, start here:
Create more work/life balance
Nursing is a challenging, emotionally draining job, and nurses need time to get away from it all and refresh.
Master your staffing process so that you can avoid erratic schedules and overtime. Plan carefully so all your nurses can take vacations. Do your best to accommodate them when they request days off.
A nurse scheduling application can be a game changer in this regard, because it will grant you and your team more visibility and enable quicker and easier shift management.
Grant nurses more control and autonomy
Studies have shown that a lack of control at work is a significant cause of stress. Nurses are carrying so much stress anyway, and on top of that, so much of their time at work is unpredictable. They can’t control how many patients come in or the severity of their illnesses or injuries. However, to take care of patients, they must follow policies and processes to a T.
Offering them more control when possible can be a mental and emotional booster, and a clear-cut area where you can do that involves the schedule.
Many organizations are offering self-scheduling for nurses. However, even if you aren’t ready to commit to that route, you can enable them to volunteer for shifts and swap shifts as needed.
Offer real-time feedback
For praise or constructive feedback to be meaningful, it must happen in the moment, not days, weeks or months later.
When you see someone struggling or you catch a mistake, offer guidance immediately. Few things are worse than finding out months down the road, like at the annual evaluation, that your performance was lacking all along. Help them improve by offering support and guidance when they need it.
On the flip side, when you catch nurses doing something great, tell them right then and there. And enable your nurses to commend one another. In-the-moment and peer-to-peer recognition is more impactful and motivates nurses to keep up the good work.
One tool, three ways to show your appreciation
ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler is a cloud-based application that streamlines nurse staffing and supports a stronger workplace culture.
1. Manage and update your schedule from your phone, to ensure shifts are always covered – and nurses receive much-deserved time off.
2. Empower nurses to request time off, volunteer for open shifts and swap shifts with one another.
3. Use the Shout Outs feature to recognize employees in real time.
To see it in action, request a demo of ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler now.
ABILITY and design®, ABILITY® and ABILITY SMARTFORCE® are trademarks of ABILITY Network, Inc.