National Nurses Week ends today, Tuesday, May 12. How do we maintain nurse engagement and celebrate nurses throughout the year?
By making nurse engagement a fundamental part of healthcare workplace culture, of course!
When healthcare organizations focus on nurse engagement, nurses feel appreciated and engaged every day.
Patients and their families benefit, too!
At least 30 years of research consistently demonstrates a link between nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes, according to the NurseZone.com article, “Why Nurses’ Job Satisfaction Matters to Patients.”
Happy patients, in turn, helps boost gratitude and nurse engagement.
Want to keep this cycle of appreciation going? Read on for everyday tips to build nurse engagement — and patient satisfaction.
4 Tips for Building Nurse engagement and gratitude
1. Ask, Listen and Appreciate
Traditionally, nurses are the face of medical care who don’t have much say in how care is provided; so start asking questions! Experiments in nurse-led initiatives are proving that nurses often know best.
“If you’re looking to improve the quality of care and reduce costs, try talking to the people working on the front lines every day – talk to a nurse,” writes Forbes contributor Robert J. Szczerba in the article, “Looking To Transform Healthcare? Ask A Nurse.”
Szczerban cites an overwhelming body of evidence that supports increased nurse consultation. One study found that nurse-driven initiatives decrease patient length of stay, decrease use of ventilators and cut the number of ICU complications, injuries and infections in half.
2. Recognize Excellence Immediately
In the fast-paced healthcare workplace, it’s easy to let excellence go unrecognized as nurses juggle patients, shifts and paperwork. But nurses, like all employees, benefit from immediate feedback.
On-the-spot recognition shows that leadership pays attention and cares.
According to The PreCheck Blog‘s Bryan Barajas, showing recognition right away also reinforces the attentive behaviors healthcare organizations value such as anticipating patient needs, ensuring understanding of treatment and providing great patient service.
3. Make Sure Managers are on Board
Your company leaders must be on the same page when it comes to building workplace engagement. A Gallup poll found that more than 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement is tied to the manager.
This is a key insight, according to Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse, on “The ROI of Employee Engagement In Hospitals.”
“Engagement has very little to do with employee appreciation picnics, compensation, or parties. It has everything to do with who your manager is, and how she is helping you to grow, to feel appreciated and to trust that the organization has a great future,” he writes.
4. Focus on Celebrating Successes, not “Happiness”
Recognition from management is important, but how do leaders gauge and act on employee happiness?
Emerging RN Leader’s Rose O’Sherman addresses this dilemma in her article, “Are Nurse Leaders Responsible for their Staff’s Happiness at Work?”
The answer is no — and yes. O’Sherman tells the story of a nurse manager who learned early on that trying to make everyone “happy” is a fool’s mission.
In her early days on the job, the nurse manager tried frantically to fix problems and soothe bad feelings, only to find out someone else was unhappy. That’s when it clicked for her: “When I felt that I had done all that I could, I changed my response and began saying ‘Then you just need to get happy.'”
Instead of making happiness the goal, she started empowering employees and celebrating their successes with gratitude. The surprise result? Happy nurses.
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of gratitude, engagement, and appreciation, be sure to download our free downloadable Gratitude Guide today!
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