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Feel Good Campaigns by Hospitals

Nurses   (972 Views 10 Comments)
by FireStarterRN FireStarterRN (Member)

FireStarterRN has 15 years experience and specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

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My hospital started a campaign in the last year or two. They really have laid it on thick, with cards that we can fill out to compliment one another, with a monthly prize. Also, everyone had to go to a mandatory customer service inservice. All of this was very expensive to the hospital and many nurses were demoralized by it, since it was viewed as extremely patronizing. Some people are so up in arms about it they will proudly announce that they have never received one of these cards, and they would be insulted to receive one. The emergency nurses are especially hostile to this campaign.

I've spoken to some agency nurses who have home hospitals and I've heard many hospitals are doing this. It seems to be a new corporate management trend. As far as I can see, it has only had the opposite effect, as far as employee morale, which had gone down since management has instituted this campaign.

Has your hospital or facility done this sort of program?

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3,945 Visitors; 192 Posts

I worked at a facility that did this. It began as a good thing and then turned ugly. Joe got the praise, Jane got the prize. Over time Jim began to feel slighted, and June became moody, yet ALL were very good Nurses! Eventually, the Joes and Janes became targets of the Jims and the Junes. The gloves were on. Teamwork disappeared. Nasty cliques developed and those already there enlarged. Nonsensical complaints and write-ups esculated to the point that Nurses were even approached by management due to "concerns" that they didn't say Good Morning in pleasing ways, they didn't smile enough, they didn't cheerfully volunteer for ALL their shifts new admissions....yada, yada, yada.This campaign created its own monster hostilities. Hostilities that caused some great Nurses to leave while others continue to search for employment elsewhere. They've lost some very good Nurses. Nurses that are hard to replace.

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NeosynephRN specializes in ICU, PACU, Cath Lab.

7,299 Visitors; 564 Posts

We have something like that. If someone helps you out, or goes out of their way then you fill out a card. I do not see the big deal, it has never seemed to offend anyone at my facility. I mean it is not like you are saying, well usually you do a crappy job, but today, not so bad. I mean it is just something to give you a little recognition, in a job where we do not tend to get much. We save our cards and when you get so many then you can trade them in for prizes....movie tickets, gas cards, gift cards etc.

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Havin' A Party! has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

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Yup, unless very well thought out, many of these "management cons" don't work.

And worse, as alluded to previously, many simply backfire, and accomplish just the opposite of what was intended.

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Yup, unless very well thought out, many of these "management cons" don't work.

And worse, as alluded to previously, many simply backfire, and accomplish just the opposite of what was intended.

Why is it these things go so wrong? Could it possibly be that some employees are not happy, chose not to be happy and will complain and find fault in anything?

I tend to be an optimist and I believe in the motto that you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. If someone makes a good gesture, consider it just that and be happy about it.

Of course those who do not receive any rewards or the cards have two choices, 1 - chose to believe that the world is against them. They do a great job all the time and no one will acknowledge it. 2 - Make an extra effort. Go out of your way to help another co-worker, or have a great attitude.

I think the latter is what management is trying to get at anyway, but I have seen plenty of #1's in my day as well.

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3,137 Visitors; 267 Posts

Why is it these things go so wrong? Could it possibly be that some employees are not happy, chose not to be happy and will complain and find fault in anything?

I tend to be an optimist and I believe in the motto that you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. If someone makes a good gesture, consider it just that and be happy about it.

Of course those who do not receive any rewards or the cards have two choices, 1 - chose to believe that the world is against them. They do a great job all the time and no one will acknowledge it. 2 - Make an extra effort. Go out of your way to help another co-worker, or have a great attitude.

I think the latter is what management is trying to get at anyway, but I have seen plenty of #1's in my day as well.

I've seen exactly what sister--* described. There have been plenty of really good nurses who for some reason never got those little recognition cards. Who knows why? Telling them to work even harder or get a better attitude ignores the possibility that there may be some real problems in the facility that little "Care-grams" aren't going to fix. It blames the wrong people.

Reminds me a lot like stuff we did in elementary school.

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4,828 Visitors; 1,119 Posts

Just my own opinion here.

1. I think when facilities spend a lot of time and money on campaigns like this, yet choose to ignore the REAL problems and issues their nursing are facing, it only adds to the frustration of the staff. Your short on supplies, staff, equipment, etc, yet there is money to spend on a campaign like this. Your expected to attend these inservices for 30 min or more, yet usually I find it tends to occur when you have patients to be taken care of and inadequate coverage tends to be the norm when staff are mandated to attend these inservices. Dealing with the real issues that the staff are facing would go further in increasing morale than these "feel good" campaigns.

2. If not done right, these campaigns can backfire. They can also backfire even when done right. Recognition is based on subjective opinion, if there are already cliques present that opinion can already be extremely biased from the start. I've seen not-so-good nurses frequently get recognized in campaigns like this, I've also seen where exceptional nurses do get recognized also. More often than not, it's been my observation that it tends to usually be the same people who receive the recognition regardless of whether they are exceptional or not-so-good at their jobs.

3. Involving incentives such as prizes also creates conflict, where the amount of conflict created is directly proportional to the value of the prize. A five dollar gift certificate is less likely to cause conflict than something far more valuable. Yet again if it tends to always be the same people rewarded, it will create conflict.

4. Recognition and acknowledgement DOES go a long way to improve a person's morale. We can all relate to how it makes us feel when we've been acknowledged and praised. A good manager understands this, so will a good co-worker. I'm not against encouraging and making people aware of the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the contributions of their co-workers, I'm only against making something like this into a competition.

Before I read this thread, I was already in the process of writing a letter to my unit manager which included a request to forward a formal acknowledgement and thanks to 2 NAs that were floated to our unit on Friday, and also to recognize the ourstanding performance on the part of 3 of our own staff members on that day. I had also made a point to recognize and thank these people personally that day.

I guess I think it's a sad commentary that when our co-workers go above and beyond and step-up to the plate that management thinks we need to mandate acknowledgement. This really should be something we're already doing.

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3,137 Visitors; 267 Posts

It's even worse when you go above and beyond so much and so often that it becomes the expectation from management, and they never say "thank you" at all.

ETA: As far as I'm concerned, they can save their movie passes, pizza coupons, etc. Just give me adequate staffing, safe working conditions, fair compensation for my knowledge and skills. I don't need little plastic tchotchkes, fast food...just treat me like a professional.

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4,828 Visitors; 1,119 Posts

It's even worse when you go above and beyond so much and so often that it becomes the expectation from management, and they never say "thank you" at all.

:yeahthat:

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montieICURN has 20 years experience and specializes in MICU/SICU.

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The hospital I worked in had that program. It's a mixed message. Our boss would complain when we handed one out saying, "Why would you thank someone for doing their job?". Okay, what are we doing again?

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