Nurse Engagement Strategies: Committed nurses mean better outcomes
Nurse Engagement Strategies

Nurse Engagement Strategies: Committed nurses mean better outcomes

If you ask a nurse to describe a typical workday, you’ll likely get one of the following responses: a raised eyebrow, a grunt and shake of the head, or straight out laughter.

All three say the same thing: There’s no such thing as a ‘typical day’ for a nurse. The job is stressful and physically demanding, with daily duties that include: physical examinations, changing dressings, administering medications, assisting with physical therapy, drawing blood, conducting diagnostic tests, consulting with physicians, maintaining detailed patient records…

And that’s all before lunch.

So, it’s easy to see how nurses can begin to feel unengaged or burned out. Career burn out in the nursing profession can have a serious impact on the overall quality of patient care, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. Paycor knows how important it is to mitigate employee burnout and turnover, and to build a stronger feeling of professional engagement in nursing.

A 2019 National Nursing Engagement Report surveyed nearly 2,000 hospital nurses to measure their level of engagement and commitment to their respective hospitals. The report defined engagement as: “the extent of workforce commitment, both emotional and intellectual, to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organization.”

Fully engaged nurses have an emotional and intellectual connection to their hospitals and care about the success of their workplace. They have fewer voluntary absences and are always looking for ways to improve the quality of their patient care.

By contrast, an unengaged nurse is one who does the bare minimum of the job requirements and is ambivalent to the success of their hospital. The report found that overall, 14.4% of hospital nurses and 20% of ER nurses describe themselves as feeling ‘unengaged’ in their jobs.

The study also identified three main drivers of engagement: 1.) Autonomy, 2.) Collaboration and Support, and 3.) Responsive Leadership. Let’s take a closer look at these nursing employee engagement ideas.

Autonomy

Autonomy

Nurses have said they are more likely to feel engaged when they are actively involved in the decision-making process regarding patient care and when they feel their opinions are valued by leadership. They also want more control over their nursing practice and to be allowed to make more job-related decisions.

Paycor recommends:

Scheduling Flexibility

One way to improve autonomy for nurses is to get them more involved in creating their own work schedules. For example, the flexibility to work shorter shifts will give them more control over their work/life balance. A 2016 study found that the number of nurses reporting burnout increased as shift length increased. Other research found that errors and complications increased with extended shift lengths.

Career Path Control

Another way to foster autonomy among your nursing staff is by giving them an opportunity to develop their own career path for growth within the organization. This may include creating a career ladder program so nurses have a clearer choice in what direction they want to take. Paycor can help develop individualized career plans that include specific, actionable steps toward realistic long-term goals.

Collaboration and Support

Collaboration and Support

Secondly, nurses stated that they feel more engaged when they are part of a supportive RN team. This provides a network of support, collaboration and respect for one another. Teams that work together consistently express higher engagement with the organization and demonstrate better outcomes.3

Paycor recommends:

Recognition and Rewards

Develop a recognition program that rewards nurses for going above and beyond. This could consist of some type of monetary compensation. Share inspiring stories of the nursing staff in the hospital newsletter or internal communications.

Mentor Program

More experienced nurses, who may be nearing retirement and possibly interested in working shorter hours, can be paired with new nurses as mentors. This makes good use of their years of knowledge and experience, ensuring it gets passed on to the next generation. New nurses can gain valuable insights and confidence by having a mentor on hand to guide them through difficult situations.

Personal Assistant/ Daycare Services

Some hospitals may provide their nursing staff with personal assistants to help run errands to reduce the stress that many nurses experience. Offer daycare services or assistance to provide much needed help for nurses with young children.

Wellness Programs

In a similar vein, look for ways to sponsor free wellness programs that offer yoga or exercise classes or courses on healthy cooking/eating. These could be offered before, after, or even in the middle of a shift to give nurses a break from the stress of their duties.

Access to Leadership

Access to Leadership

Nurses also indicated that their level of engagement is driven by greater access to management. Fully engaged nurses feel that leadership is trustworthy and responsive to their needs. In fact, the report found that trust is a ‘foundational component’ to building an engaged workforce.

Paycor recommends:

Town hall meetings

One way for upper management to improve their visibility is to schedule regular town hall meetings with staff. This will help improve communications and give them an opportunity recognize outstanding performance of nurses. It will also provide staff opportunities to ask questions or voice their concerns directly.

Shared Governance

Upper management should create a shared governance program. Establish a staff leadership council to increase responsibility for RNs and empower them to influence change.

Happier Nurses Mean Better Outcomes

Happier Nurses Mean Better Outcomes

Paycor’s platform can help your HR Team better track and monitor employee engagement. Our Compensation Planning tool gives your business an edge in attracting and retaining quality employees. Additionally, our Pulse Survey tool gives you more accurate, timely data on how your employees are feeling so management can respond more quickly and accurately to their concerns.

Experts agree that improving nurse engagement is a key to improving patient care and clinical outcomes. Nurses who are more engaged in their work are happier and more committed to their organization’s mission.


Paycor product demo

More to Discover

Webinar: Critical Thinking: An Essential Skill in Turbulent Times - 12/17 @2pm ET

Webinar: Critical Thinking: An Essential Skill in Turbulent Times - 12/17 @2pm ET

Logic. Reason. Rational thought.In the heat of the moment—especially during volatile and turbulent times—we can lose sight of our ability to solve key challenges. Emotions prevail and hasty actions create bigger problems that could have been prevented with a healthy dose of critical thinking.Register for our upcoming webinar to learn best practices on expanding your ability to think critically when the unexpected happens.In the session, we will discuss building this essential skill and how it can help you: Evaluate options Solve problems Resolve conflict Make confident decisions Improve your negotiating Help influence others Speaker: Deb CalvertDeb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions and a former HR executive...

Webinar: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Spotlight: Ask an HR Expert

Webinar: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Spotlight: Ask an HR Expert

We’re providing an hour with leading Manufacturing and Construction expert Jon Thurmond to answer your most pressing HR questions as they relate to the unique challenges in manufacturing.This is a great opportunity for you to get complimentary HR expertise for your organization.Speaker: Jon Thurmond Jon Thurmond serves as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Human Resources Manager for Team Fishel, a utility engineering and construction firm. His experience includes working across multiple industries in roles encompassing Employee/Labor Relations, Recruiting, Training, and HR leadership.

Case Study: Unified Wire and Cable

Case Study: Unified Wire and Cable

A lengthy, manual timekeeping and payroll process prompted Unified Wire and Cable to seek a modern, streamlined solution with Paycor. “Paycor is on top of it. I don’t have to worry about a change with the tax code or child support a garnishment because Paycor just takes care of it. Everyone at Paycor really knows their stuff.” - Cathy Haener, controller, Unified Wire and Cable Prior to Paycor Unified Wire and Cable, based in DeKalb, Ill., had a disjointed timekeeping and payroll process that took a lot of time to compile and was fraught with potential for errors. HR leaders had to manually gather the in/out punches from the timeclock, tabulate total hours worked, separate overtime and double-time, and add vacation time or any...

A Paycor Survey: The State of the Long-term Care Industry: 2021

A Paycor Survey: The State of the Long-term Care Industry: 2021

Paycor surveyed HR and finance leaders in the long-term healthcare industry to find out what they’re thinking at the close of the year and how they’re planning for 2021. Paycor delivers these insights to help you better understand what you need to do at this critical moment. Download this survey to learn about: Part 1: Compliance Long-term Care (LTC) Providers are 17% more concerned about compliance than other industries, with 77% saying they expect compliance to be more of a concern in 2021. However, a surprisingly large minority (39%) of LTC Providers don’t use HCM to mitigate risk. As we dug deeper, we found only 8% say their HR technology is “very effective” at mitigating compliance risk. It could be that the leaders of LTC...