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Posts from October, 2010

To Retain Nurses, Improve Communication

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 28th, 2010

One of the main reasons people quit their jobs is attributed to lack of communication.

Certainly CEOs, CNOs and hospital boards could do a better job of that, but so could all team members. Here are a few tips for more effective communication:

–Acknowledge one another with eye contact and welcoming words

–Use a tone of voice that conveys concern and caring.

–Make sure your body language matches your positive words.

–Listen attentively and don’t interrupt.

–Let them know you understand.

–Offer to explain processes, policies or confusing information.

–Keep people informed of changes, new expectations, and timetables.

–Provide continuous updates.

Communicating better results in improved employee engagement, and ultimately better nurse retention.

What are some of your best communication techniques?

To learn more ways to recruit and retain your nurses, contact me.

To Retain Nurses…Make ’em Laugh!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 22nd, 2010

A simple, no-cost, effective retention tool is laughter! People love to come to work in a place that is joyful. Certainly there are many settings and situations in a nurse’s work assignments that are not happy. These must be respected and handled appropriately. Yet there are many times where a little mirth can ease the stress.

Science has proven that laughter increases endorphins, the production of cancer killing cells, and boosts your immune system. It truly is the best medicine. Recent research has shown that even smiling releases chemicals in the brain that improves moods.

So smile, chuckle, and laugh a little. It will boost moods, productivity and nurse retention!

When I speak at hospitals to help with nurse recruitment and retention, I suggest the creat a laughter bulletin board or cupboard front. One unit took my advice and all brought their prom pictures! Now that was funny!

What do you do to create laughter at work. Add a comment to share.

To learn more ways to bring laughter to the workplace,  contact me.

To Retain Nurses, Focus on Their Strengths

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 18th, 2010

Another  good way to retain nurses is to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. Too often we tend to point out their weaknesses rather than helping them develop their strengths.

Most performance appraisal forms are full of areas needing improvement. While continuous improvement is important, every person excels at certain tasks.

This is where the “sandwich” approach is helpful. Begin by stating with a strength in an area in which the person does well. Then move to the area of needed improvement. End with another strength and your willingness to help them develop even more.

Whether you are a supervisor or a staff nurse, this technique is a great way to build strong teams, and to retain good nurses.

For more strategies to retain and recruit nurses, contact me.

Retain Nurses by Modeling Good Behavior

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 14th, 2010

Once I heard a heavily tattooed professional basketball player who had broken more than one law say, “I’m not a role model. I never asked to be one.” Many of you have heard me say often, that we are all role models, all the time, whether we want to be or not. That’s why we must model the behavior we want in others.

We must model positive attitudes. If we are grumblers and complainers, we can expect others to be also. Colleagues often take their behavioral cues from you. If you welcome them with a cheery, “Good Morning,” they are likely to do the same. If you maintain a professional atmosphere, they usually follow suit.

Yet if you correct their behavior without adjusting your own less-than-favorable habits, they will see you as hypocritical.

To retain nurses, we need to all model the behavior you want to see in others.

For more ideas on how to retain and recruit nurses, contact me.

Retain Your Nurses with Motivation

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 9th, 2010

A great nurse retention tool is to be a motivator. Find out what motivates your nurses, individually, as this often varies from person to person. Some are motivated by praise. Other are motivated by power and prestige. Still others feel motivated when filled with a sense of pride and feeling valued.

The days of cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all motivation is no longer. To actively engage your nurses, you need to find out what works for each person. Instead of acknowledging them in ways that work for you, treat them the ways that work for them.

How do you find out what motivates them? Ask them! Often their needs are simple and easily implemented.

For more ideas on how to motivate, retain and recruit nurses, contact me.

To Retain Nurses, Listen

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 5th, 2010

One of the best and easiest ways to retain your best nurses is  to just listen.

Listening is one of easiest and fastest ways to increase loyalty and retention. Nurses who feel like their ideas are heard are more likely to stay than those who believe their thoughts, suggestions and feelings don’t matter. Being listened to increases a person’s self-esteem, confidence and their belief that he/she can achieve goals and tasks.

Too often we might respond to a new idea with, “We tried that before. You’re new here and don’t really understand. You haven’t had the experience I’ve had. I am the leader here.” While these comments might be true, they serve to create barriers, not bridges, making employees want to leave for someplace where they will feel more appreciated.

Acknowledge every idea and suggestion, even if they can’t be implemented. Doing so makes the person feel like an important part of the team. If necessary, explain why the idea is not workable at this time, then encourage them to bring more ideas forth in the future. Remind them, they are appreciated and their ideas have merit.

To learn more “free” ways to retain nurses, contact me.