Boosting Staff Morale

Nurses General Nursing



Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to boost staff morale at work? I am trying at my LTC facility but it seems like everyone has a miserable attitude. I really dislike working with people who constantly belly-ache about everything and anything that is happening in their workplace yet they won't support their fellow co-workers or even themselves and let the manager know. Heck, they won't even come to the scheduled staff meetings. Out of 50ish employees, maybe 4 show up for the meetings.

I was asking staff last night about things they wanted to see dealt with and I wrote a letter in regards to it so they would be addressed on the meeting agenda and then I encouraged these staff members to come to the meeting. I got responses like:

"Why should I bother?...I'm not getting paid for it

"I'm not driving 1/2 hr for a stupid meeting"

"Nothing gets accomplished at these meetings"

Nah, I have better things to do with my time"

It was sad and frustrating at the same time. They sure were willing to tell ME about what they wanted to see addressed but weren't prepared to come to the meeting and address it themselves.

Does anyone have any advice? People like this can really knock staff spirits down a few notches...I don't want to lose my spirit! Please help~:confused: :o


266 Posts

For our staff meetings, we get 2 hours of pay, whether it is a 30 minute meeting or 2 hour one, of course if it is longer than 2 hours, we get the full amount of pay. This of course is negotiated in our union contract. Staff morale is way down at the LTC where I work too. I find that if management would say "thank you" once in a while, or at some minute point in time, find something positive to tell the staff it would work miracles! We of course dont ever hear the positive, just the negative. Try a positive approach and maybe that will help!


3,778 Posts

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research.

1.) If I wasn't getting paid for it, I probably wouldn't attend, either. How much time are these people already spending at work? Never mind coming in on their own time without getting paid for it.

2.)Why not schedule the meetings around shift change time? Our boss does this, and at least she's showing good faith by coming in early or staying late to work the meetings in around the schedules of people who are already there. This way a smaller number of people have to come in on their own time. Or she will type up a memo, put it in our mailboxes, and have us sign that we have read it.

3.) Sadly, nothing much does ever get accomplished at these meetings, at least in the places I have worked. Usually, they are gripe sessions for petty subjects, brought up by the same people who won't take matters into their own hands, or help to facilitate change, anyway.

4.) That being said, I can see why a lot of people feel they have better ways to spend their own time. What is wrong with people telling you individually what problems they are having? Maybe when they come to you with these problems, you can ask them if they think a meeting on the subject would help? Not saying you don't already do this.

If nothing is being accomplished in the staff meetings, people do catch on to this, and they do begin to feel the things you have mentioned above. If the meetings only serve to give you a feel of what's going on on the floors, maybe spend some time there to see for yourself (if you're not already doing that).

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Your staff are not getting paid? That is odd. Are they mandatory? In Ohio if you make something mandatory you have to pay them. That would lead to better moral.


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Pay them and they will come! :nurse:

nimbex, RN

387 Posts

goto the library and borrow "how to make meetings work" if you wish to head a group, who works in the meeting style, it is a must!!!!

it teaches how to deal with EVERY type of person, and end up with a productive meeting along with teaching many styles of meetings to taylor them to your personalities.

If you are proficient at keeping meetings moving along, allowing everyone to voice opinions without being attacked and draw out the quiet person, the 4 that attend will spread the word.... than a few more, few more will come.....

you can do it, it takes some learning and prep first.

wish you the best, we need people like you who want to resolve, fix and take part in nursing, even better is the manager that allows this to foster.


126 Posts

Thanks for the input! I am not heading the meeting, just planning on attending one to see what happens at them. I have no problem voicing concerns for other staff members. I also wish we would get paid for it too, but they are not mandatory meetings. Just ones that are held every month. I guess I'll see what happens next week and maybe I too, will change my mind on them.

Thanks again.


378 Posts

I blieve "itsme's" reply demonstrates that simply paying people will not motivate them to attend a meeting nor will it motivate them to make real change. If you review some literature on the things that contribute to job satisfaction you will find that pay is not number 1, or even #2, but it is in the top 5. The number one is feeling like they have some control over what goes on in the workplace and how things are done. Also being recognized and rewarded (and not necessarily money) for their contribution to the organization. Things don't "get done" in a meeting. Things get done after the meeting, during the grind of the day-to-day routine. I sense that you are not in a managerial position but definitely a respected, trusted informal leader. I would suggest reviewing some material in the Quint Studer program. You can find some useful things to do to help improve morale. We started incorporating some of those principles in our hospital 2 years ago and now we have a waiting list for nursing, lab, and radiology of people wanting to come to work at our hospital because they have "heard" what a great place to work it has become. We started a service excellence program lead by the, of course, service excellence team. The CEO gave the team the responsibility and authority to do whatever was needed to have, as he put it, "happy patients, happy nurses, happy doctors." There are many many many things that can be done to improve morale if your leadership will allow it. If you came up with a plan and a program and approached them with it, I bet they would let you implement it as well.


4,491 Posts

I attend those meetings, called open forums.

A previous CEO when answering NICU nurses who told of unsafe staffing for the "growers & feeders" who often take a long time to feed suggested a competent LVN to assist with bottle feeding. His answer? "I hope you are not implying that I want the nurses to breast feed the babies."

I let the MCH staff give him what for.

Turns out the staffing was also outside regulations and ACOG guidelines which the union committee solved with the DON.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Decent pay is the base of a good place to start at........JMHO



558 Posts

You know how they have pt reps or custumer service reps. Well why not have employee reps. I know I know that is called a union. But alot of places are nonunion and very antiunion but they may accept employee reps. that could work directly with employees on their complaints and suggestions and then work with management to problem solve. Just a thought


435 Posts

Originally posted by angelbear

But alot of places are nonunion and very antiunion but they may accept employee reps. that could work directly with employees on their complaints and suggestions and then work with management to problem solve. Just a thought

Not meaning to sound too bitter here, but isn't that what managers and assistant managers are for, to bridge the gap btwn employees and administration?

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