Ask the nursing expert ... about stopping staff turnover

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Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

As one of the leaders in my nursing facility, how do I stop turnover and motivate my staff to improve our performance? 

One of the things you must do as part of your job is to evaluate and observe your staff.  But before you evaluate anyone, you must evaluate yourself and measure the level of motivation you display in the workplace. 

Steve Jobs was an excellent motivator.  One of my favorite of his sayings is, “People with passion can change the world.” Does your passion motivate your staff to want to emulate you?  Do you want to be remembered and what are your goals? 

The leaders in the facility must show the vision your facility has adopted. Your strength as a leader will empower your staff to know and understand that it requires their quality work and assistance every day to make the facility run smoothly. 

Get to know everyone as a person — not as their job — from the direct care staff (nurses, CNAs, etc.) to the indirect care staff (cooks, custodians, office staff). When you value your staff, they will want to please you, which in turn will cause them to value their residents. As the leader, what are you doing to show your staff that you value them? What are you doing to enrich the lives of your staff?  

Show your concern about your staff: Know who they are and what their life goals are. You might have to educate, direct and give some of your staff members information to help them understand why it is important to set goals for themselves and their families.

Remember your passion, believe in yourself, and believe that your staff will be better than they ever thought. Watch what happens when you work as a team. Your quality rating increases, quality measures improve, turnover decreases, and there are fewer wounds and re-hospitalizations.