As the director of an education center in a small, rural hospital who's very involved in mentoring new nurse graduates, I found Kari Ellisen's article “Mentoring Smart” from the August issue very intriguing. Most interesting to me was the concept of aligning the objectives of a program with the organization's mission to increase the likelihood of achieving goals.
In addition to linking the organizational mission, the article addresses the importance of matching the mentor and mentee appropriately. With this goal in mind, my organization uses the following criteria when pairing mentors with mentees: unit location, same shift, and same generation. In previous evaluations, mentors and mentees from our program have expressed more comfort and better relations when being paired with someone from the same generation.
When planning next year's mentor program, I plan to include our organization's mission when deciding on the program's objectives. A successful mentoring program improves an organization's ability to recruit and retain nurses, thereby helping to maintain safe, quality patient care. Thank you for the insight.
Cliques must go
The article “Dissolving Clique Behavior” by Sandra A. Barton, et al. from the August issue was very informative. It's sad that as adults we have to deal with this type of behavior. In my 11 years in nursing management, I've found clique behavior to be the norm for many nurses. I don't feel that most of the nurses who are exhibiting this type of behavior see the big picture and how their behavior affects the organization, or maybe they do see it and just don't care. Either way, their behavior needs to change or they need to go!
Organizational culture has a tremendous influence on employees because it sets the expectations for behavior, as well as what's expected in their job performance. When employees share the values of an organization, they're more committed and loyal, therefore creating a stronger culture. Emphasizing the organization's mission and values, along with education and communication, is a great start.
I do agree that conflict resolution might be more effective than disciplinary action and that team-building exercises done on an ongoing basis are the best way to stop clique behavior. Team building can result in improved morale among staff, and organizational effectiveness is directly related to cultural openness and sharing of leadership roles. My question is: How do you have a blameless culture while at the same time holding people accountable? This is a hard balance for nurse managers.
Susan Doyle, BSN, RN
Donna Nichols, BSN, RN
© 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.