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.