My manager is interrogating staff, what does this mean?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    My Nursing Manager is calling in nurses and aides to her office to ask" how are you doing
    ? Is there anything you want me to know? What is going on in general?"

    These are some of the questions others have told me.
    I asked the manager at work when is my turn? She said, "Oh you will get your chance, I am seeing everyone."

    Beth, I have never had an inquisitive out of the blue manager before. What the heck? I am feeling like she is voting people off the island....census is low, we are using PTO, tried to make next schedule online but no openings...? I asked why? my charge nurse said there is a glitch in EPIC system...hum? What do you think?

    I was awarded the DAISY Award (statue) this year. Receive Daisy pins all the time. I am the oldest nurse there on Med Surg intermediate unit.

    Dear Inquisition,

    Conducting these 1:1 meetings without communicating the purpose is not a good idea. It creates fear and anxiety among staff. When there's a void in information, people will fill the void with their own ideas. You mentioned you're the oldest nurse on the unit, and wonder if your position is targeted.

    Don't take it personally. If the manager were cutting staff, this is the not the way she would go about it.

    There are several reasons she could be doing this.

    Needs Assessment

    A new manager may use this method as a way to learn about the unit. If the manager hears the same concerns from different sources at different times, she can pretty much be sure that the concerns are valid. She can then prioritize her action list. It can be helpful for both manager and staff.


    Another example is when a hospital is non-union and there are threats of a union being voted in. Managers could be instructed to feel out the staff and address their concerns. They may be seeking intel on the union movement, although they are not allowed to ask directly.

    Leadership Initiative

    The problem could even be with the manager. She may have been told to round on her staff, or communicate more with night shift. Perhaps all managers were encouraged to schedule 1:1s with staff to increase engagement. Is this being done on all nursing units, (in which case it is the brainchild of someone higher-up), or just on your unit? Did your manager recently attend a conference? This could be an idea she brought home and thought she'd try.

    Have you thought about asking her? "I'm feeling nervous about the 1:1 meetings. Can you tell me more about them?"

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 24
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,566; Likes: 4,700
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Nurse leader rounding is very common. I wouldn't worry!
  4. by   llg
    Sounds like the manager went to a conference (or was told by her boss) that she should meet with everyone who reports to her assess things on the unit. That's a pretty common tactic for assessing a unit and "establishing relationships with your staff."

    Use the opportunity to improve your relationship with her.
  5. by   TessLJ
    I schedule regular 1 on 1 meetings with my staff, but I try to give them fair warning they're coming, so they don't think something is wrong. I also try to let them know ahead of time what I suggest we discuss, like their goals, etc, unless it's an informal one where I want to just give them open informal chat time. Sounds like your manager is just doing a "temperature check" with everyone. She probably could have communicated it a little better.
  6. by   katydidit1964
    Not to be redundant and repeat everyone.. however I worked in a facility that required the DON to round with the supervisors quarterly to review their meetings and documentation on their quarterly rounding with the employees. At first it was interesting..then it became annoying as I felt each time like I was being called the the principles office. It wasn't until after I let her know how I felt that she explained the reasoning. After that it was a good time to catch up and discuss situations that maybe didn't go as well as I'd have liked. I really miss that aspect...
  7. by   Have Nurse
    Be thankful you have a Manager that cares enough to ask.
  8. by   maryannquiroz
    Our director does that but it is a positive 1:1 meeting ...questions are is there anything you need to do the job, any equipment ? Do you want to recommend anyone for a good job, etc I love our meeting s nothing to be afraid of for us .