New Manager Question

  1. Is it okay to secretly walk around your units to assess what staff are doing? How would address lateral violence and bullying when you overhear it?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   klone
    How would you secretly walk around? I assume your staff is aware you are the manager, yes?

    I would address it by intervening, ask to speak to the nurse in private, and then have a private counseling session with the nurse about lateral violence and unacceptable behavior. I would document the counseling session and keep it in the nurse's anecdotal file. If it occurs again, I would escalate it per your facility's corrective action policy.
  4. by   NewManager2017
    Yes they are aware of my position, but they complain that I'm lurking about. Honestly, I feel justified if I am finding that poor behavior is occurring. I'm just feeling like my hands are tied because they have complained that I'm being a bully...
  5. by   jrt4
    Personally I always announce when I am on the unit. I think that sneaking up on them to try to catch them doing something would build distrust. If poor behavior is found I would suggest pulling them in your office to have a discussion about your values. If people are being "bullys" or participating in lateral violence you will find out about it without sneaking up on them. Do you purposefully round (1:1) with all of your staff at least monthly or every other month? this might help you identify culprits of bad behavior by making your high performers comfortable speaking with you. I think by sneaking up on them even the high performers are going to not trust you and the medium performers will be sucked to the dark side. I hope this helps.
  6. by   Orca
    Quote from NewManager2017
    Yes they are aware of my position, but they complain that I'm lurking about. Honestly, I feel justified if I am finding that poor behavior is occurring. I'm just feeling like my hands are tied because they have complained that I'm being a bully...
    You don't have to justify observing the operation of your own unit. My opinion is that if people are complaining about you being more visible, you must be stopping them from engaging in some bad habits. I have had staff play the "bully" card as well. The last one who did it was an RN with a dreadful attendance record who made more mistakes than I could count. Since I dared to try to correct the problems and she was convinced that her performance was top notch, I was bullying her.
  7. by   Gary Mendoza
    I never felt the need to secretly walk around. My staff felt completely comfortable with me and were never nervous with me around. I am very approachable and that's very important. Trust is essential. One of the things that I think made my staff love me and willing to do anything for me was the fact that I would go out and work with them. If we were short, I would relieve them for their lunch breaks. I would stand up for them when anyone tried to come down on them (assuming they did nothing wrong, and they never did). If your staff sees you getting your hands dirty with them, feels you support them and stand up for them when they are right, they will move mountains to make you happy. At least that's been my experience.
  8. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from NewManager2017
    Yes they are aware of my position, but they complain that I'm lurking about. Honestly, I feel justified if I am finding that poor behavior is occurring. I'm just feeling like my hands are tied because they have complained that I'm being a bully...

    I agree with the other posters... I want to add that your management style is part of the problem. You are managing from the office and that is not acceptable in most situations when dealing with nursing staff. Someone needs to be in charge. So, if you do not have a charge RN or an Assistant Manager (or you are that person) you need to take a more visible role on your unit. Otherwise, you will continue to allow your subordinates to manipulate you into not doing your job!

    Therefore, in order to get a handle on the day-to-day operations of your own unit, you need to step up and be in charge of your unit. With that said, I would announce to the staff that, "Effective immediately, I will be the charge nurse for ____ shift. What does that entail? It means I am on the floor on this unit every single, _________ shift." When they ask why, tell them "Due to multiple complaints from customers/patients and other employees, the management team and I feel it is necessary for me to take a more visible role on this unit on a day-to-day basis to be determined when this will no longer be necessary. Any questions???"



    As for you being a bully?? Do not reprimand or talk to (even nicely) with any of your employees without a witness from management or HR. The reason being, you will be thrown under the bus unless you have a relationship as others have described where your employees have your back. Since you do not have that kind of relationship yet, have a witness at all times.

    At some point, you will be one of the team and the bully accusations will die down. People who do not like your management style (or they just do not like you as a person) will either just quit or will shape up and do what they are told.
  9. by   Orca
    Quote from MBARNBSN
    Do not reprimand or talk to (even nicely) with any of your employees without a witness from management or HR. The reason being, you will be thrown under the bus unless you have a relationship as others have described where your employees have your back. Since you do not have that kind of relationship yet, have a witness at all times.
    I have a witness all the time regardless (normally a first-level supervisor; if the employee is female, so is my witness). That way, there can be no allegations about what was said or done in the meeting.


    At some point, you will be one of the team and the bully accusations will die down.
    This depends upon the individual employee. There are some who like to throw around the word "bully" every time they are corrected or their performance is called into question.
  10. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from Orca
    I have a witness all the time regardless (normally a first-level supervisor; if the employee is female, so is my witness). That way, there can be no allegations about what was said or done in the meeting.

    This depends upon the individual employee. There are some who like to throw around the word "bully" every time they are corrected or their performance is called into question.
    True! I was just pointing out that some of the poster's current employees are making this comment to others based on the fact that the poster has been walking the unit. The poster has not even gone as far as talking about discipline, which I imagine is non-existent at this point. And I also agree with you to always have a witness when you are disciplining others despite your warm or cold relationship with employees.

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