5 Exercises Your Management Team Can Incorporate To Become Strong Leaders

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Career, Strategies, Work

A strong team is reflective of its managers. Strong managers build strong teams. But managers need support too. Are you providing your management team with the tools and resources needed to be productive leaders? There are several exercises you can implement to build a strong management team.

Trust exercises involve getting members engaged in ways that encourage them to trust each other. Although these are more difficult to introduce, the trust they help to build is worth it. 

Problem-solving exercises are popular types of team-building activities that directly link to what a manager expects from his or her team. Team members focus on working together to solve a problem or make difficult decisions.

Action research is the strategy where managers perform research to examine a specific question. They collect data that could challenge the first approach while learning unexpected procedures and outcomes. This exercise requires members to be open-minded and objective.

Action learning is a combination of taking action and then reflecting. Managers are asked to solve strategic problems in a real-world setting. The settings should vary and include:

  • Structural
  • Managerial
  • Logistical
  • Organizational

Each member contributes his or her existing knowledge and skills. Members will learn new skills and gain insights by reflecting on the problem, behaviors, and the results.

Appreciative inquiry exercises encourages members to focus on the positive aspects of a situation instead of the negative. Members are asked to share positive experiences. Then, they are asked to share what they wish for their team’s future and brainstorm on ways to create it.

There are many activities you can implement to encourage your managers to be influential leaders. Trust, skills, and decision making aptitude begin with managers performing activities and exercises that build the skills they expect their staff to have.

3 Ways Nurse Managers Can Develop Millennial Nurses

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Career, Millennials, Nurses, Strategies, Work

You’ve noticed one nurse is doing exceptionally well. They go above and beyond. First to arrive. Last to leave. You’ve often said to yourself, “she (or he) is ready for more.” Maybe they are ready for a promotion to unit manager. On the other end of the spectrum,  you have another nurse who always seems to be slacking. Documentation is never complete, seemingly always missing the important aspects of patient care. Medication passes are still late. Their communication is subpar, causing delays in the continuity of care. “These millennial nurses are lazy,” you tell yourself. Perhaps you need to let your slacker go? Or maybe they are very close to coming out on the other side but need help improving their weaknesses and developing their strengths. This is where you put your leadership skills (or lack of) to the test. Millennial nurses need more than a manager. They need a leader. As a leader, it is your responsibility to cultivate the strengths of your staff–enabling them to gain confidence. Choosing to help your employees grow, empowers them to take on more responsibility and make better decisions–millennial nurses included. 

Help each employee–individually–develop skills. Professional growth is high on the list for millennial employees. Take the time for one-on-one development. One nurse may be great at documentation but could use training in proper communication. Ask him or her to give other nurses tips on thorough documentation. Not only are you acknowledging this nurse’s strength, but you are allowing him or her to work on a weakness. Let your nurses know that you recognize their strengths! Acknowledge them! Create an environment that encourages your nurses to grow and develop new skills. Provide them with the tools and resources needed to be strong nurses. Make courses and training available–free of charge if possible– and accessible. Schedule the sessions for multiple days and times.

Delegate certain tasks. These tasks should be tasks that help each nurse grow in their weak areas. Some nurses may require these instructions to be step-by-step. Never leave them to figure it out on their own. Be available until THEY feel they no longer need your guidance. Once they have mastered one skill, slowly give them more tasks–showing you are confident in their abilities and building trust. Remember, a competent staff reflects highly on you. Be available to your nurses by making it easy for them to ask questions or get feedback, without the fear of being bothersome. Be eager and happy to answer questions.

Set expectations from the beginning of the manager-employee relationship. What are the goals? Share short-term and long-term goals. Ask questions. Have you asked that nurse why he or she has difficulty documenting? Maybe after sitting down, you realize he or she is not completing documentation because they really don’t know how to accurately chart. His or her short-term goal may be to document on each patient, thoroughly, for a shift. Long -term goal could be for you to be able to accurately paint a picture, based on their notes, in a month’s time. Setting an end goal leaves your employees empowered. Give objective feedback regularly. 85% of millennials say they want more frequent and specific input on how they are performing from their managers. Generation Y nurses want to know how they’re doing, what they can do to improve, and if they’re doing a good job–they want to hear it. 

Along with building skills, millennial nurses want access to leadership. Be available. Be supportive. Connect one-on-one. Know your nurses’ names, their roles, the shifts they work, etc. Listen to their concerns and provide feedback, ensuring that you tell them how much they’re contributing. To successfully manage millennial nurses, you need to learn to develop them. Enable your Gen Y nurses to grow professionally, develop new skills, and have access to you, when needed. 

Using Linkedin to Land your Dream Job

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      So, you’re a new grad or you’re looking for a new job? You’ve submitted applications, perfected your interview skills, and followed up with all of your potential employers.  However, you still aren’t landing the jobs that you desire. You’ve revamped your resume to include all of your volunteer work and internships, but no one is knocking at your door or calling you back. Do you have a Linkedin account? Linkedin is the modern day resume. In fact, more employers are using Linkedin and it’s keyword search to find potential candidates. A professional LinkedIn profile is imperative for today’s workforce.  So, what exactly does one need to have a intriguing Linkedin profile? Let’s break down the anatomy of a dynamic Linkedin profile.

A professional headshot.  An account with a headshot is 11 times more likely to be viewed than one without it. First impressions are important. Be sure to use a professional headshot and not a selfie. If you don’t yet have the funds to pay for a professional headshot, here’s a hack that you can try: have a friend or family member take your picture, with a smartphone or a camera, against a light or white background. Be sure space is clutter free, and use an excellent app to filter the picture, with the goal of getting it to look as professional as possible. Everyone is screaming for a chance, be sure that your first impression makes the statement that you deserve that chance.

Headline.  The headline is essentially a 120 character of who you are! The headline’s primary purpose is to get the target audience to want to read on. It’s the second thing that recruiters will see when they come across your profile. Use catchy adjectives to describe who you are. Be creative and unique!

Summary.  Here is your chance to sell yourself.  It should describe who you are, who you are looking to work with, and what you can do for them. Write in the first person and not third. The limit should be 2,000 characters. It is vital that in this section you include your contact information.

Experience.  Three is the magic number. This is the number of jobs that most people deem as appropriate. You can upload presentations videos, PDF’s, etc. Here is your opportunity to show that you have the experiences and knowledge that your potential employer is seeking. If you are a new grad and don’t have any experience, this where you should list your internships and volunteer experience.

Skills and Endorsements. Brag on yourself here. List any and every skill that you have, that’s beneficial to your field.  Ask that former supervisors, co-workers, mentors, or those within your industry endorse your skills. Having your skills endorsed is equivalent to having your references checked. Your profile is 13 times more likely to be seen if you have skills listed.

Recommendations. These are your references. Recommendations are as good as having someone call up a reference on a job application. Since people are actually confirming you and your skills by recommending you, this shows that you have made an impression on others whom you have worked with.  

Accomplishments. Here you list certificates, accomplishments, and courses that you have obtained. This is your chance to boast and brag. Show yourself in a good light! List every and any accomplishment, no matter how grand or mediocre.

Publications. If you have had any work published such as blogs, articles, journal entries, etc, this is the place to list them. This is an excellent opportunity to show potential employers that you are versatile and that you bring exciting and outside perspectives. It also showcases your intellectual capabilities.

There are other tools that you can use to optimize your Linkedin:

  • Share your perspective on what’s going on in your industry
  • Share publications that you have written
  • Join groups
  • Weigh in on industry development.

Optimizing your Linkedin account is the new way to land that dream job!

4 Tips to Retaining Millennials

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Career, Millennials, Nurses, Nursing, Strategies, Work

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, make up one-third of the workforce. In 2015 they became the largest generation in the workforce. In 2016, they surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation. Although more and more Gen Y-ers are entering the workforce, retention is a rising challenge for many organizations. Gallup estimates that 60% of millennials are open to new job opportunities and are the generation most likely to switch jobs. Millennial turnover costs U.S. companies $30.5 billion annually and according to the Advisory Board’s research, the cost of replacing every nurse that turns over is approximately $90,000. With Baby Boomers retiring, retaining millennials is no longer an option, it’s a priority. Here are four tips for retaining millennials.

Define and Understand Millennials

Who are millennials? There are varying dates for when the millennial cohort starts and ends. Generational diversity expert Bruce Tulgan range millennials for those born between 1978 and 1991.* Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996. Tulgan notes that millennials grew up in the “Decade of the Child.” Parents focused on building their children’s self-esteem, boosting their confidence, and instilling in each child a unique identity. Gen Yers grew up in the era of “everyone receiving a trophy.” They were not taught to compete but to collaborate. From Kinder years throughout high school and college, Millennials were taught to have their own identity and to express themselves. Tattoos, colored hair, and piercings are no longer taboo and are a part of cultural acceptance. One millennial nurse I spoke with stated, “I’ve earned my MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing) if a company doesn’t want to hire me because I have tattoos, then I’ll just move on to the next one. A tattoo has never stopped me from doing my job or saving a life!” Assembly line work and conformity is no longer going to work with millennials. They need the ability to express themselves and grow.

Diversity

Gen Y is the most diverse generation in US history. Approximately 44% of this generation are a minority. A Deloitte study found that millennials differ from non-millennials as Gen Yers want to achieve diversity by incorporating ideas, perspectives, and a sense of belonging amongst their peers. It is no wonder that millennials network and collaborate well. Teamwork is a strong suit and many millennials thrive and excel in this type of environment. Not only do millennials desire diversity and inclusiveness, they expect open dialogue about it. As a matter of fact, 83% of millennials are actively engaged when they believe their employer fosters an inclusive culture.

Professional Development

In a recent independent survey that I conducted, 81% of Millennials stated that professional growth is important. Gone are the days of working 20 years with the goal of one day climbing the ladder. If you do not offer your millennial employees, from day one, opportunities for professional growth and development they will leave. It is not far-fetched that millennials are the most likely to speak out against unfairness or outdated policies and procedures and then implement problems to the solution.

Millennials are multitaskers; have more access to technology, knowledge, and resources than any other generation before; and are comfortable with the rapidly changing technology. Along with building skills, Millennials want access to leadership. This means that they want the opportunity to sit down with senior executives, managers, and etc. Millennials will show up, implement ideas, perform at a high level, but they want to know that someone is watching and that when the time comes they will be recognized for it. 85% of millennials say they want more frequent and specific input on how they are performing from their managers, in a survey by TriNet. This not only keeps them informed and at the forefront of professional development, it improves overall performance.

Purpose

The Great Recession is a distinguishing event in the lives of many millennials. During the decline that the economy faced at this time, many millennials were just graduating college, entering the workforce, or starting to build families. The impact of the Great Recession is evident in how millennials save, invest, and spend their money. Many millennials were allowed to vote, for the first time in 2007 and were influential in electing the nation’s first Black president. Millennials want social impact and change and they need their employers to have a sense of community and purpose. In fact, approximately half of Gen Yers say they would be willing to take a 15% pay cut to work for an organization that aligns with their values.

Millennials are not going anywhere. In fact, we are to stay. Mold us, support us, give us purpose and we will flourish in the workplace. Deny us what we need and prioritize and we will flee.

“Yes, millennials will be more difficult to recruit, retain, motivate, and manage than any other new generation to enter the workforce. However, this will also be the most high-performing workforce in history for those who know how to manage them properly.” -Bruce Tulgan.