I’ve been a registered nurse for 20 years. I’ve been lucky to have worked with different teams across those years and I’ve also left some amazing jobs that I’ve loved. I’ve got to know so many people. Wonderful people, great managers and true friends.
I am super passionate about my work, but I have a personal situation that means I just cannot take on a permanent position at the moment and it’s tricky for me to plan very far in advance what my work pattern will be. In spite of a tricky few years employment-wise I have felt valued and am so grateful to those around me that have walked this journey with me and allowed me to follow my nursing passions, particularly in the area of informed consent, in the way I can.
Where I have felt valued is where people have known me, known my name, known my circumstances, known my strengths, my weaknesses and listened to what I have to offer. Maybe there is something in this. In looking at retaining a workforce, what if it’s not just about the rules, about the buzzwords, about the catchphrases. What if it’s about knowing our workforce as individuals – really knowing them – and valuing them where they are at, life thrown in, whilst creating the best environment we can for them to thrive.
It’s important to know what’s important. There are layers of importance. What does the service absolutely need to happen in order to function and function well? There are needs of other staff members – it may be that by flexing somewhere it impacts on someone else… how do they feel about this? We can only go so far and sometimes, in some circumstances it’s going to be the right decision for someone to leave the team. But even that can be done well and relationships can be preserved.
But I think the bottom line is that to retain our workforce, the workforce needs something back. Money, sure, but so much more than that. I think it’s probably a sliding scale in some cases and different people have different wants and needs. Respect, dignity and a safe working environment should be a given. I think that creating an nurturing environment where all know they are valued and have the opportunity to thrive (yes, even if by doing so they grow wings and fly off elsewhere…) is also key.
So. Know people’s names. Know them. Accept them for who they are and help them to thrive. #Retention