Quote from chickapoo_68
Hello all....I am looking for ideas to use with my nurse managers to build the trust among the group. I have been on leave and recently returned to find the nurse managers arguing between themselves and expressing feeling of 'mistrust' among the group. I have a weekly nurse managers meeting and would like to use the ideas at our meeting on Monday. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
I guess I would want to narrow the issues that are causing the feelings of "mistrust". Are the nurse managers the primary manager for a specific unit or are responsibilities for a unit or units shared among a group of managers. Do they have direct reports that they are responsible for only or are direct reports allowed to go to other managers or you with issues without the involvement of their primary manager? Usually feelings of mistrust at a leadership level are rooted in 2 primary issues:
1) Direct reports (unit staff) that have been allowed to or are encouraged to circumvent their primary manager with issues. This can be a failure at a director level or (if there is a shared management structure), it is a failure of the co-managers to establish safety and support. Either way the primary manager feels that her staff can come to the director and complain abut her performance and she is "caught by surprise" and /or "only told what she has done wrong". The manager needs to feel that their supervisor will support them and involve them as part of any discussions concerning their performance. I would discuss "ground rules" that all managers could agree to abide by: these could be 1) Any negative concerns regarding performance will be discussed with the director and the involved manager only -- there is no discussion among the group 2) Unless otherwise deemed by the director, any negative performance issue will be discussed with the individual and they will be allowed the opportunity to discuss this with the person who brought the complaint 3) if a direct report brings an issue to another manager, that manager has a responsibility to inform their primary manager and discourage that behavior from recurring in addition to not discussing any personal opinions on what the other manager should do about the situation.
2) The second reason usually involves personality conflicts and poor communication. One manager may have an idea or a solution to an issue and that person feels unsupported by the group and /or the director. I would look for ways to support open communication and constructive criticism among all the managers. Look for ways to share information and ideas.
A two day retreat to a hotel with an overnight stay might be a good start but be sure to invite a neutral person who has the primary responsibility and the ability to facilitate difficult discussions. This cannot not be you (the director) leading the discussions because you should be part of the discussions.