While the workplace settings of nurses have evolved, their common goal has remained the same: to be the client’s advocate and provide optimal care. As every nurse knows, that responsibility comes with its share of sacrifices. And as every administrator knows, when the sacrifices start to outweigh the benefits, it can be a prescription for problems in staffing and the work environment.
There are 4,148,730 professionally active nurses in the United States, and their role in healthcare is being honored by the American Nurses Association, which has declared 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse.” Whether you join the initiative for National Nursing Week (May 6 – 12), on Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12th), or on any day this year: it’s the perfect time to show gratitude for the efforts of your nursing staff.
Beyond the intrinsic importance of treating your staff well, here’s how being good to your staff is also good for marketing your business:
- Happy, healthy nurses and caregiving staff will make a positive impression on your customers.
You know what they say about first impressions? It takes only seven seconds to make a positive impression. Once a bad impression makes its mark, it’s difficult to remedy. By making the health and well-being of your nursing staff a top priority, those feelings of validation and job satisfaction reflect in the way nurses treat their patients and their patients’ families. A positive experience by an aging patient often leads to a positive review — in fact, in a study Caring.com did in December 2014 and again in February 2015 looking at the words most used in reviews on its website: positive descriptive words (“nice,” “great,” “excellent”) and comments about “staff” were the most commonly used (with staff mentioned in higher frequency in reviews than the building, activities and amenities). And positive reviews lead to more business.
- Happy nurses will provide better care.
Whether it’s increasing wages or staff-to-patient ratio, taking care of your nurses means they take better care of patients. For example, Julie Aiken, CEO of Ameritech College of Healthcare schedules massages. “We bring in a massage therapist for students and staff every few weeks where they can receive a 15-minute neck and upper back massage.”
Another way to increase productivity: try doing something both positive and unexpected. “When something surprising happens, our brains automatically pay closer attention, lending these events greater emotional weight,” Forbes contributor Martin Zwilling says.
When the cycle of showing appreciation for your nursing staff leads to better care, that leads to a better reputation and word-of-mouth reviews for your business (refer back to point #1 above).
- Happy nurses lead to better recruiting opportunities.
With referrals being such a large part of the nursing industry, a nurse who is happy with her job is likely to encourage friends or recent nursing school graduates to apply at the same facility.
“The best way to get referrals from your current caregivers is through an employee referral program,” Aaron Marcum, CEO and Founder of Home Care Pulse, says. “This will incentivize your caregivers to refer their friends and help you recruit the best caregivers.” When analyzing caregiver recruitment sources and methods, Marcum found that the most common method is referrals, stating 21.6 percent of referrals come from employees through employee referral programs.
To ensure you are meeting the mark in providing a pleasant work experience that is worth promoting–just ask. “Ask what they would love you to do differently to reduce frustrations and improve work conditions,” CEO and Founder of Purposeful Culture Group S. Chris Edmonds says. “Ask them what they would love you to begin doing that would make them appreciate working there even more.”
Aiken understands the stress that often accompanies the responsibilities of a nurse. So she encourages faculty and staff to participate in weekly yoga sessions and daily group walks. This results in positive internal marketing for your team and better recruiting outcomes.
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