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Nurse administrators are under tremendous pressure, and not just because of COVID-10. Day in and day out, they face the uphill battle of managing a multi-generational workforce, increased competition for nurses, ethical dilemmas, and budget pressures. I imagine them as warriors running into the night ducking, diving, and slaying dragons as they try to make it from one side of the trench to the other. So, while it can seem like a chore to stay connected with staff in meaningful ways, doing so can make a world of difference.

Why It is Worth Staying In-Tune with Your Staff

Staying in touch with your staff means building rapport and communication between yourself and those who work for you. Keep a pulse on how they are doing, know what their needs are at any given time, and figure out how you can work together as a team to get stuff done. The more in-tune you are with your staff, the more you will love your job. Here are four reasons why it is worth staying abreast of what is going on with your team.

Your Happiness and Job Satisfaction Improve

We spend approximately one-third of our life working, so it is worth looking forward to work. The more you enjoy the people you manage, the more pleasant your day will be. Those who have close work friends are 50% more satisfied with their job. As a boss, it is often wise to consider how friendly you want to be with your staff, but if you can find ways to enjoy your subordinates’ presence at the office, you will be happier.

Your Job Gets Easier

If you are thoroughly checked out from your staff’s issues, you probably will not be liked by your nurses, and you will probably hate going to work. But, if you keep a pulse on what they’re struggling with, what their needs are, and how you can help them, you’ll build rapport, and when you need them to do something for you, they’ll be more likely to help.

You Have Less Turnover & Higher Productivity Rates

As I am sure you are aware, it costs a lot of money to train a new nurse. If your staff likes you, they are more likely to work hard and less likely to look for another job. So, not only will you feel better at work, but you will also waste fewer department resources fighting constant turnover.

You Experience Less Conflict and Drama

If you know what’s going on with your team, it will be easier to stomp out drama and toxicity, and if you establish a good relationship with your staff, you may have less conflict in your unit in general. As the boss, you get to set the tone of your workplace. The more connected you are to your staff, the more authority you will have, and the easier it will be to create a healthy culture.

How to Adapt When Necessary

If there’s conflict in your unit, or you are having trouble with individual staff members or department goals, you may need to adapt your management style. Sometimes when we check in with staff, we discover that they need a different leadership approach. If this happens, you will need to adapt. Here are a few strategies you can use.

Determine What Motivates Your Employees

We all have different reasons for going to work. A common denominator might be that we do it for the money, but other motivations are usually layered on top of that denominator. Discovering more about what motivates your employees will help you adapt so you can better meet their needs. A lot of times it is about being able to see, respect, and respond to different perspectives

Build On-Going Collaboration

Engage employees based on their skill sets and interests to improve collaboration. Delegating will work for some, but not all. You will need to determine which staff members need handholding and which can be told what to do and left alone to get it done. Managing multiple people is a dance; it is prudent to consider adaptation a part of the job, not something you do when things are not going well.

Communicate Effectively

Adaptation is impossible without effective communication. Figure out what you want your message to be and speak with purpose. Avoid making unplanned management decisions and think before you act. You never want your words to come back to bite you.

Be Humble

Adaptation is also impossible without humility. Accept responsibility for your staff’s mistakes. Please do not take credit for their achievements. Be willing to let staff members save face in front of you and coworkers. Listen before speaking and treat everyone as equally as possible. Avoid blatant favoritism and preferential treatment as such overt displays will only breed trouble.

Stay Alert to Your Staff’s Needs

A good manager keeps a pulse on what is going on with their employees, leads by example, and pivots if needed. Some people love management, but others are better suited to non-management roles. Not everyone will like you, and management is not easy. But those who manage well enjoy better relationships with their employees, less turnover, and more job satisfaction.

Author Bio:

Amanda has contributed to public health initiatives on two continents in three countries. She’s currently pursuing a nursing degree and has successfully owned and operated a freelance writing business specializing in content for healthcare organizations for three years. She and her husband and daughter live in New York. They all enjoy eating out at great restaurants. Connect with Amanda on Linkedin and start a conversation.

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