A recent Advisory Board study found that 7.4 percent of nurses — which make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce — are disengaged at work. This number is the highest among other frontline staff, including doctors, LPNs and personal care assistants.
So how can you help the nurses at your facility be more engaged in their jobs? Below are five tips:
Ask for feedback about making the workplace better — and implement changes. While you may not be able to change major things about the facility, even supplying nurses with fresher food options or updating the building’s fitness center shows that you’re listening to feedback and are concerned with making the facility a better place to work. Simply conduct a survey among all employees and be sure to communicate the changes you plan to make. Telling your staff why other options are not feasible is also a great way to foster transparency and trust.
Recognize nurses for a job well done. One of the easiest ways to keep your staff actively involved in their work is to regularly acknowledge them for their efforts. This can be as easy as calling out a nurse’s extraordinary efforts from the past week during a meeting or implementing an internal nomination program for peers to recognize each other. Establish a culture of appreciation by frequently acknowledging staff members and encouraging them to do the same.
Watch your staff carefully to make sure they’re not suffering burnout. Long, exhausting hours and demanding patients can take their toll on nurses, especially those who have worked at the facility for years. Keep an eye on those who seem particularly stressed and make sure they’re taking time for themselves. Many nurses cite a lack of work/life balance as a reason for unhappiness at work, so showing concern — and finding a solution — can help your team members reignite their passion.
Communicate your company’s vision frequently. Rather than assume that your team knows the mission and values and is inspired by them, be sure to talk about them regularly in meetings and encourage your staff to live by the principles. Show your nurses that their work matters and contributes to the company’s mission — and, in turn, makes a difference in providing quality healthcare to patients.
Ask your teams to rate their engagement from 1-10. Though this may seem like an easy solution, having staff members take the time to individually think about their engagement level and then assign it a number lets everyone know that you are concerned about their happiness and involvement at work. It also helps you reach out to those who aren’t as engaged and find out what you can do to raise, say, a 3 to an 8 on the scale.
Do you have suggestions for keeping your team members more engaged? Share them in the comments below!