In our unit, I'd give my curling iron up if our manager would come by ONE SINGLE TIME and say something positive to someone. She breezes through, doesn't stop unless she's got something to ***** about or criticize you for. When I say breezes, I mean she walks so fast by us in the morning that she'd lift my skirt if I was wearing one. Superspeedy, zipping from one side to the other, fussing at one person, then the next, and so on. It doesn't matter how clean we keep the unit, or what we do to go out of our way for, or how nice we are, or anything. The only words that come out of her mouth are negative. No "How are you all this morning?" or "Wow, the unit is spotless!" or "Everything go alright last night?". NOTHING. It's all "You forgot to do this..." or "Why didn't you do this?" or "You did this wrong and you have to stop doing it" or whatever.
It would improve morale on OUR unit if she'd shut the hell up and treat us like hardworking adults, or, at the very least, like valuable team members (which we certainly are).
When we approach her with ideas, suggestions, etc., she turns her hand to every single one. It's always, "No, we can't do that..." or "No, that's not going to work...". You ask why, she's got an excuse. Then, in our meetings, they actually encourage us to speak up! LOL! For what purpose? So you can tell us no again?
As for our meetings, they're held once a month and we have to actually attend 6 in person, for which we remain on the clock until the meeting is over. The other six we read the minutes of in a large binder and have to sign off on. They're held in the mornings, at shift change, and they're alternated (days) each month so all of us can attend at least half of them.
I'd also suggest having two meetings- one for days and one for night shifters. It's not fair to always make the night shifters stay late and the day people never have to do that. You could ask for suggestions and then actually IMPLEMENT some of them, no matter how small.
We've got a reward system where if another nurse or staff member does something good, anyone can write up a little card-thing and give it to them saying what a good job they did. When you've gotten three cards you get a little pin and become a member of the Service Excellence Team. At the end of the year, all those who got three or more cards get a little treat of some kind, and get entered into a raffle for a gift basket.
Another thing we wanted to do (but of course it was vetoed) was "How well do you know your co-workers?". We were going togive everyone a questionnaire about curious aspects of their lives, or things that most people wouldn't know about (like bizarre hobbies or collections, favorite candy or ice cream, how they met their spouse, secret desire, etc.) and then type it up and post one each month on the bulletin board. People could submit votes, and if no one could guess who it was, that person would get a prize of some sort.
I think ultimately, though, we'd be much happier if we felt our opinions were valued and we were getting positive feedback of any sort from SOMEONE in charge. When you are treated as if you don't count, you aren't going to be very wiling to come up with new ideas or be interested in making changes.
On the money issue, I wouldn't want more money if I was happy where I work. However, I'm not, so therefore, I do.