Nursing is a fast-paced industry with an abundance of high-stress situations and intense shifts. Given the difficulty that can sometimes come with being a nurse, developing a supportive team culture for your nursing staff is immensely important. Having some guidance around strategies and techniques to improve team culture can make the process easier for your nursing team to implement.
Here are some ways to develop a positive team culture within your nursing team.
Assess Current Team Culture
Before making real changes to your team’s culture, it’s important to take stock and assess all of the areas that can be improved. By examining what your team’s current weaknesses are in terms of team culture, you’ll have an easier time knowing where to begin making changes and improvements.
To get a better sense of how you can improve team culture, it can help by asking nurses on your team what they think can be improved. This can be done in group meetings, one-on-one sessions, or even through anonymous questionnaires. This way, you’ll understand what your team needs to feel content in their roles and can start implementing solutions accordingly.
Promote Inclusion and Diversity in Your Team
For teams in any industry, prioritizing inclusion and diversity can help improve team culture and make team members feel more supported. When teams aren’t diverse and don’t work to be welcoming to all types of individuals, it can make employees feel alienated and less content with their work life.
Diversity in healthcare can bring a number of benefits and help make your team more cohesive and impactful. When nursing teams are diverse, they have more perspectives that can help contribute to coming up with diverse ranges of solutions to a variety of problems. In addition, it can make your nursing team more effective in dealing with patients from a variety of backgrounds by cultivating better cultural competence.
Prioritize Open Communication
Nursing can be a stressful job that takes a toll on those who work in the role for extended periods of time. This can be exacerbated if nurses feel like they are unable to express their thoughts and emotions to other team members and team leaders.
To ensure that no one on your nursing team feels this way, it’s vital to encourage open communication and expression. By doing so, you’ll allow nurses on your team to feel more comfortable and at ease in tiring and stressful work settings. The more comfortable nurses feel expressing their feelings at work, the more positive the team culture will become.
Reward Achievements Consistently
Being recognized for hard work is a distinctive trait of employees who are happy in their career roles. Conversely, those who feel like their contributions go unseen and unrecognized will feel discontent and associate their job with negative feelings. As such, if you’re intent on increasing positivity in your nursing team, it’s important to make a habit of rewarding both individuals and the team as a whole for outstanding achievements.
Nurses on your team can be recognized in many ways depending on different factors. For example, you may present a gift card to a night-shift nurse who was kind enough to pick up shifts to help other nurses get some time off. By engaging in these types of acts, you encourage your nurses to excel in their duties while also imbuing the team with a more positive team culture.
Encouraging Professional Development
An important factor in any work atmosphere is the opportunities for employees to advance professionally. Without these opportunities, employees will feel unmotivated and unsatisfied in their roles. As it pertains to your nursing team, helping your team members find paths to advance their careers can be an amazing way to boost their esteem and cultivate a more positive team culture.
In the field of nursing, career advancement can come in a number of different forms. It could be through pursuing a specialization or through pursuing an advanced role in one’s organization. To truly encourage your team, it can be beneficial to provide your staff with various forms of support to advance their careers in different ways.
Champion Work/Life Balance
Nurses work some of the longest and most grueling shifts of any professionals. This can sometimes result in pervasive feelings of exhaustion that can make nurses both less effective in their professional roles and less content in their personal lives. Championing work/life balance is an effective method to promote a deeper sense of wellness in all of the nurses on your team.
To do this, it can help to look at some ways nursing unions typically promote work/life balance. Getting guidance from these types of examples can give you a clearer roadmap to cultivating a more positive team culture. Encouraging nurses on your team to engage in better work/life balance will also make them more motivated to perform at work as well and feel happier in their nursing roles. This being the case, ensuring that the nurses on your team have a good work/life balance will make team culture more positive and enjoyable to be a part of.
Make Respect and Kindness Commonplace
As you’re likely aware, nurses have an incredibly stressful job that can easily cause those in the role to feel overwhelmed. While there’s not much that can be done to change the stressful nature of nursing, changing how nurses are treated can have a tremendous impact on team culture and levels of employee satisfaction.
Always treating employees with kindness and respect, and ensuring that they treat each other similarly as well, can be a key component of crafting a more positive team culture. As such, making kindness and respect a priority in your department can help cause a radical shift in how nurses on your team experience their professional lives.
Positive Team Culture Should Be a Priority in Nursing
Though nursing can be a difficult role to step into, team culture can have a dramatic impact on one’s experience of the role. By engaging in some key practices, you have the ability to make your nursing team’s culture more positive. From prioritizing open communication to creating paths for professional advancement, there’s no shortage of methods you can engage in to boost your team’s morale and motivation.
As such, positive team culture should be a priority for any nursing leader intent on helping their team achieve greatness.