Brand new ward (unit), brand new team - how to build team spirit?

  1. Hi there
    I am in the fortunate position to have been chosen to be part of the management team of a brand new ward. (Assistant nurse unit manager ANUM). The ward is still being painted at the moment but we are aiming to be in by 31st Jan to unpack and set up for 2 days before slowly opening to capacity over 7 days.

    This new ward will be surgical and general trauma ( no plastics or orthopaedics). As there are many nurses coming from inside and outside of the hospital there is going to be little cohesion. I am lucky in that I worked with one of the other ANUMS and a CNS on another ward, another one of the ANUMs works around the corner to me and we all help each other out. I am also taking one of the nurses who just finished our Graduate Nurse Program up as well. So I may have a head start over the rest.

    Other than the unpacking of equipment and labelling shelves with a Dynamo for what to put where what else can we do to encourage a team attitude??

    I really want to take the teamwork attitude from my current ward with me to this new place. We all are extremely busy but will help out and have a laugh with each other.

  2. Visit K+MgSO4 profile page

    About K+MgSO4

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 1,438; Likes: 1,826
    nurse unit manager; from AU
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Surgical, quality,management


  3. by   Mrs. Sparkle Pants
    I definitely think you should try to have some "get to know you" activities. They are so cheesy, but everyone gets a laugh and it helps to break the ice. Also, maybe you could all go out to eat one night before the big day so you can have some time to unwind before things get crazy. As the boss if you let people know you are approachable and really want the group to be a team, I think you are off to a great start. Good luck, what an exciting time for you!
  4. by   RxOnly
    I agree with the above post - a few get-to-know-you activities wouldn't hurt. Try and squeeze whatever "staff unity" activities you can think of into what little time you have until that ward gets full!
    You mentioned that you'll be gradually moving up to capacity over the course of 7 days, so those first few days may offer some opportunity.
    What about a little "meeting" disguised as a pizza or ice-cream party. There, you could re-introduce yourself to the staff and discuss what you'd like from them in regards to teamwork, and then open the conversation up to the other staff. Just my two cents
    Everyone is busy in healthcare, but every little activity may help get staff more comfortable with each other because in this case it seems like everyone may feel like "the new kid"
  5. by   Mrs. Sparkle Pants
    Maybe you could make a get to know you board with fun facts about each employee? Also try to do as many recognition things as you can. You could have a box where employees can wrote down when They see.someone else going above and beyond. Really anything that males people feel special and like What They do matters.
  6. by   roser13
    Truly, you are halfway there already because of your attitude. Your own and the other management team members with whom you already share a good working relationship.

    Not saying that you don't have to make the efforts that you're making (good for you) but attitude comes from the top. I imagine that you'll do fine.

    I will say that one thing that can sour a unit faster than anything is allowing a dysfunctional staff member to stay on when he/she has evidenced that they're not willing to play nice (and we all know the type). I firmly believe that some units spiral downward in attitude because management doesn't take action quickly enough in these cases. Being an all-new unit, perhaps your management team can present a united front in managing potentially problematic employees when/if they start to show themselves.
  7. by   HelenofOz
    Quote from kah5209
    Maybe you could make a get to know you board with fun facts about each employee?
    That is a good idea, thogh some may be reluctant to part with too much information about themselves so early in the piece, so how about a photo board.

    Either baby/childhood photos, or graduation photos, esp of those older nurses who trained in hospitals, and see if people can recognise them. That way they are chatting to each other for ideas, and usually enjoying the conversations & guesswork. We had one for a while and everybody had fun with it, lots staff came from throughout the hospital for a look, and it was an opportunity to share nursing stories between the older & younger staff members (hmm, I may have bored a few people now I think of it and how on earth did we manage to work in heavily starched uniforms in 40 degrees C with no air-con?)

    Another idea is to have everyone bring a plate to share on your 2nd set up day for lunch, morning tea whatever.

    I know setups are hard work, but they can be lots of fun too before the patients start arriving!
  8. by   K+MgSO4
    Thanks guys. I was chatting to the ANUM who works around the corner from me today and we agreed on morning tea on our second day and a meet and greet kind of thing to crack the ice - what area of nursing we have come from, what country we have come from etc. And a lot of unpacking!

    Roll on 31st Jan! Exciting times ahead.
  9. by   Jonathank
    Did you check the big google machine?
  10. by   Up2nogood RN
    I worked on a unit that had a board for staff to post pics of their pets. It was something staff and pts got a smile from when they walked by and a great conversation starter without being too personal.
  11. by   K+MgSO4
    I have $0 to spend on this and we cannot go anywhere for a team building day. This is the public hospital system in Australia!