Motivation and morale

  1. We are sufferring a great, miserable pit of low morale and motivation within my department at work. Theres not enough ancillary staff, nurses are quitting, we are adjusting to about 4 new attending MD's and I myself have a plan to extricate myself from the mess, but in the meantime, I would like to improve morale and make it a more pleasant place to work. What ideas do you have? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    Individual attention: like a flower from the supermarket for each nurse, or a goodie basket of special coffees, or thank you cards to the staff posted where it's easy to see.

    A personal "picture board" in the break room is always a homey touch, you feel like you know people as human beings better when not always in their scrubs. And looking at my picture of my kid keeps me going through a tough shift if I can't get a full break.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    PS:
    This is going to sound crazy, but this is really the perfect opportunity to build a great team.
    Discourage anything that lessens teamwork because with this small of a group, you all need to really work together and feel you can depend on each other.
    You can't solve management's problem but you can have an excellent team and at least feel the moral support of working with your colleagues while you're there.
  5. by   micro
    this too shall pass.........
    rather you stay or rather you go.....
    so do all you can for the positive flow.......

    what is old becomes new again.....
    what is new is an opportunity, my friend
  6. by   shannonRN
    sleepyeyes...loved the flower idea. my mom is a teacher and her school was just closed. she bought all of her fellow teachers a flower and they were so happy. so i second that idea!!!
  7. by   mattsmom81
    I agree...the 'little' extra stuff you can do to bring your team together can make a huge difference!

    Things like potlucks, secret pals, birthday celebrations, baby showers...they are fun things you can do together to bond. We started having baby showers for the guys too and they had a great time with it!!

    Of course these things can't make up for pizzy staffing...but they can help nurses feel al little better about going to work, and look forward to seeing to their team members every day.

    Good luck and hope things get better! Isn't it a shame so often WE must do this for ourselves in the poor conditions we work in today? And that so many facilities just ignore us til we quit... .?
  8. by   Furball
    Lots of home cooked food and humor will go a long way
  9. by   WashYaHands
    We used to have a decorated bulletin board in the lounge where we could post thank you notes and encouraging words to eachother.

    Linda
  10. by   nimbex
    we do pot lucks, each month all that month's birthdays are celebrated at change of shift with a cake... everyones name in a hat, when picked it's your turn to bring in the cake(name goes out after picked)

    Have you talked to others? You may find a buddy or two who want to form an informal retention committee. Once you do a few things for the staff, I hope that a few more people see the positive results and wish to join in with their ideas.

    When we've needed a quick boost (low staffing, everyone grumbling, I had my husband order two pizza's to be delivered). (had no money on me at the time) This small effort was very appreciated and did boost morale.

    We have an assistant manager that hides little notes around the nurses desk that says something nice about the nurses and secretaries. we look forward to finding them!

    hope this helps.... you CAN do it!!!!!
  11. by   chicory
    Our morale is at a vey low point too. Bringing in food for informal meals is one thing we like to do, and we also have family pics on our lockers. Holidays are fun to try to celebrate. Our night shift is really tight--we work well together--team work makes a big difference. Also we usually try to all leave together in the morning if possible...helping others catch up if that's what it takes.
  12. by   StrawberryBSN
    originally posted by sleepyeyes
    individual attention: like a flower from the supermarket for each nurse, or a goodie basket of special coffees, or thank you cards to the staff posted where it's easy to see.

    a personal "picture board" in the break room is always a homey touch, you feel like you know people as human beings better when not always in their scrubs. and looking at my picture of my kid keeps me going through a tough shift if i can't get a full break.
    sleepyeyes...those are great ideas. think i'll try a few myself! does your hospital have an employee appreciation program? write your peers up...in this positive manner that is. if your hospital doesn't have one, maybe you can start one on your own. how about potlucks with themes?
    now this idea isn't for the fella (unless it floats your boat!) and it may seem a little corny...but...i noticed i had all this make-up and perfume that i either once liked or didn't use anymore, or bought it and decided i didn't like it. i asked around to see if anyone would be interested in bringing in there "what do i do with this?" make-up and perfumes. almost 8 nurses participated and we had a ball exchanging and grabbing stuff. one of the respiratory tech's came in and grabbed a lipstick that he said he wanted his wife to wear! (maybe it was for him hehehe) it was fun getting rid of stuff and getting some cool stuff in return! corny as it sounds (and possibly is), we all joked with each other for weeks, when we saw each other in our "throw away" make-up - looking good on somebody else! you can even do this with scrubs...
    s_bsn
  13. by   sjoe
    Well, all the suggestions sound ok, if your goal is just for people to temporarily feel a little better as staffing continues to shrink. Do you have a union? If so, why aren't they doing anything useful? If they are like most nursing unions, they probably need a large fire lit under them. If no union, what about getting one started? (I would suggest the Teamsters.) Does your state have minimum staffing standards? If not, how about working to have some good ones established? What about written complaints to State/Federal officials? What about seeing an attorney about possible lawsuits (dangerous environment, hospital liability for problems that arise from understaffing, etc.)? And so on.
  14. by   daltaco1
    Those are wonderful ideas and yes they do make the staff all feel the quick fix. As for long term attaboys I have no clue but the much deserved pay raises sure would be nice.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a sad note here.... In approximately three weeks I will be leaving a part of nursing that I enjoyed so much due to a lack of moral. I am not a nurse....yet. I am a PCT in nursing school to get my degree and my hospital is helping me pay my tuition so leaving my hospital is not a option. Not to mention I cannot speak about all the hospitals in my town but I personally hold my hospital in the highest regard and recommend my hospital to everyone who will listen to me.( I did this even before I started working there) I worked or still am working at this time on the Hospice unit and love all my patients and their family. What I could not stand on my unit is being treated with disrespect and constantly had to prove yourself to everyone including the primadonna UA. After being there for over a year, proving that I know my job and then some, I finally came to the realization that I could knock myself out by doing all those nice things eg. flowers and cards on everyones b-days, anniversaries etc.. ( need I say single mom still getting CNApay?), busting my butt to make sure that not only the entire 16 patient load that I carried by myself and my unit looked wonderful and smelled as good as can be. Family members of the patient were treated by me with respect and many times would thank me for going the extra mile while they were there. Doctors would even come on my unit when I was working and talk to me with respect and listened, really listened, to me with my concerns about the patients under their care BUT my fellow nurses, aides and social workers would dismiss me or my attempts to mingle with them. All the shifts I covered for other aides so that they could be with their family, have a extra weekend off, or felt they were too sick to come into work became something that they felt...... Hey. Barbie will do it so I am not worried. But when I wanted to take two days off because I needed to , I was told I can't cover for you because my life is more important than yours. It hurts and lowered my moral and made me seriously think about leaving my unit or worse quitting. After much thought, soulsearching and spending time on other units and watching the staff interact with eachother I am going to transfer to E.R. Even though I sat in the background, did not do any medical services and was not part of their group the personnel there made me feel welcome, that my opinions counted and even included inviting me to the ritual morning breakfast at a local restraunt. I must say that had my Hospice unit treated me the way the ER staff had treated me then I would not be leaving and they would have gotten one hell of a great nurse when I graduate in May!
    P.S. Thank you to all of you wonderful RNs,LPNs, PCTs, CNAs, family of nurses and housekeepers out there who come here and give us a boost of moral and extra strength to carry on. You all deserve a pat on the back and a raise for your wonderful work you do in your profession. You have my upmost admiration and respect. I can only hope that I can be as great a nurse as you all are!!!!!

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