12 Ways To Make Your Nurses Happier


By Shelly Lopez-Gray

With so much focus on patient satisfaction, it's easy to forget about employee satisfaction. Here are 12 ways you can make sure your employees — including nurses — are happy to come to work every day.

1. Say thank you. It sounds easy enough, but you'd be surprised how many managers and leaders don't say thank you. Maybe they think good work is an expectation, so gratitude isn't required. But this couldn't be further from the truth! If you want your employees to stay — and stay happily — you have to say thank you for the good work that they do.

2. Be transparent. It's easy to misinterpret what your goals are, what you're thinking and your motivation when you're not transparent.

3. Don't leave without saying goodbye. This is just rude. You're heading home because the work you have to do it in the office is done. We have to stay because the work we do on the floor is not. Be courteous and say goodbye. By the way, if you think you're slipping out unnoticed, you're wrong!

4. Acknowledge hard work. Again, it may be an expectation that people are going to come to work and work hard, but of course, not everyone does. So when you notice that people come to work and give you 100 percent, acknowledge it! If you do, they may be more likely to work just as hard next time.

5. Ask for our input. There are so many decisions made without even asking the opinions of the people who would be affected the most. Do the right thing and ask for feedback from your employees. They're the ones doing the grunt work.

6. Back us up. It's so scary making a mistake and not knowing if your leaders will back you up and support you. I have made mistakes in my career, but I was fortunate — I never questioned whether or not I'd have the support of the people around me.

7. Feed us. Because we all like food, and it's a nice way to say thank you.

8. Remember our birthday. This is going the extra mile, but I actually have a director who sends her employees birthday cards through the mail. Like, she actually takes the time out of her day to write a message on my birthday card and she puts a stamps on it and sends it to my house. It makes me feel so appreciated.

9. Listen. If we come to you to talk, give us your undivided attention. Don't look at your texts, or answer your phone or stop in the middle of our conversation to do something else.

10. Forgive us. Understand that we're doing the best we can, and we're all still growing. Forgive us when we're not the best employees we can be. Instead, help us get there.

11. Provide us with the necessary tools. We all need mentoring. If you see us struggling with a certain skill, provide us with the resources to learn. And provide us with the necessary tools to our jobs more easily, to do our jobs better.

12. Remember: you're management. It's easy to forget that employees are employees. Sometimes it's expected that we will think and act like managers, too. But we aren't managers! So if we do something that upsets you, or if you think we could have done something better, take a step back and remember that we don't act like managers because we're not managers.


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