Monday, February 11, 2013
Motivating staff is a big part of leadership in any industry. Because of the high stress nature of staff nursing, motivation and support and proactive work environment improvement policies are very important to retain qualified nurses. In “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” Nursing,” authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner claim that “leadership is everyone’s business,” including CEOs, unit leaders, nurse managers and even nurses. Motivating nurses is one of the biggest challenges of nursing management that registered nurse Michelle Voss says can be met by introducing interactive and proactive processes and avoiding reactive responses.
Regularly Ask for Feedback
Ask for nurses’ feedback about nursing issues on a regular basis. Encourage open discussion of their everyday challenges with patient care, hospital environment, work schedules and any other stressful nursing issues they are experiencing. Provide a variety of avenue to express their ideas and suggestions in a positive, proactive way, and discourage unproductive griping and complaining. Ask them what they think about the most frequent nursing challenges they deal with at meetings, through suggestion boxes, with monthly or quarterly surveys and in performance reviews. Steer requests for feedback in a positive way by asking about solutions, not just feelings or opinions.
Involve Nurses in Leadership
Give nurses an opportunity to demonstrate and experience leadership in their profession on a regular basis. Schedule nurses to lead nursing or department staff meetings, research current medical topics and share nursing experiences. Assign nurses to present small educational sessions for peer-to-peer learning about such subjects as hospital policies, nursing procedures and patient care trends and responsibilities. Encourage mentoring partnerships by pairing senior nurses with new staff nurses for support, problem-solving and sharing experiences.
Set Up Mutual Understanding
Understanding the other person’s point of view, experience and work processes, eases frustration and develops cooperation. Set up ways for staff nurses to better understand other departments such as laboratories, pharmacies, patient intake and radiology. Encourage mutual cooperation, teamwork and problem-solving rather than adversarial relationships. Regularly invite members of other departments to come to nurse meetings or stop by at the beginning of shifts to introduce themselves and discuss their departments. Developing a supportive and mutually cooperative relationship for nurses improves morale and motivates nurses.