Action Strategies for Enhancing Nurse Retention
In this session, we will focus on three areas that positively impact engagement, enhance frontline leadership influence, and answer the question: How do Human Resource professionals guide line managers to achieve better engagement, retention and performance results?
Get Executive Buy-in:
- We need executive buy-in to provide the resources for measuring employee engagement and turnover. Executives must drive the culture of staff development, emphasize the importance of performance and quality to staff, and express overall appreciation for the impact of talent on the business.
The Realistic Job Profile – A Tool for Ensuring Fit:
- We must effectively counter the difference in expectations between the job description and workplace realities. No matter how we describe duties, the total number, complexity of, and time to complete tasks increase over time. Today’s newly trained nurses often have little clinical experience and are not prepared for the grind of tense, 12-hour shifts with a full caseload.
- Have current staff participate in developing a document that details a realistic view (including highlights, frustrations and challenges) of a day in the life of a staff member in their unit. It can be used as an adjunct to position descriptions and recruiter conversations. This encourages potential new hires to withdraw applications from positions for which they may be qualified, but not suited. We are certainly better off (even if we extend the recruiting time) to find staff that fit the culture and expectations of a job, based on realistic data.
Hardwiring Retention-Positive Actions in Frontline Leaders:
- Managers must treat staff with respect, provide clear expectations for daily work, and recognize goal achievement. A workplace that encourages group participation, camaraderie, and teamwork enhances engagement. Great results go a long way toward making new staff feel committed to the unit.
- Managers must be alert to who may be thinking of leaving. Disengaged staff give early warning signs. Performance may decline, griping may increase, involvement in social and interactive endeavors may decrease. They may take time off for interviews, ask coworkers for references, or spend time talking to leaders in other departments. Savvy frontline managers recognize the signs of disengagement and initiate meaningful dialogue with staff about their issues and concerns.
These simple daily activities can go a long way toward creating workplace conditions that keep your best staff engaged and performing over the long haul.