Let it go, let it go, let it go!
I just saw the movie Frozen
and can’t get that song out of my head. As I hum the chorus, "let it go," I’m thinking nurse managers should let some things go. Do you think you’re the only one who can do things right on your unit--let it go. Are you the sole decision maker in your area--let it go. Are you still developing the work schedule--let it go. You may need to work on these gradually, but you really can let them go.
Make a list of your staff members and give close consideration to strengths and skills demonstrated by each person. One might be great at writing policies, another may be a strong negotiator, and another might be excellent at working with groups to get tasks accomplished. As new initiatives arise, match your staff members and their strengths with rising challenges to ensure success. Provide clear expectations and make yourself available as needed.
If they come to you with questions, ask “What do you think is the best option?” and be ready to support their recommendation if it moves the group toward its goal. If not, redirect them by providing additional suggestions.
If your unit isn't using self-scheduling move forward toward developing a group to establish boundaries and discuss its implementation. Although initially, some staff members may be skeptical, nurses appreciate the autonomy and participation in shared governance.
If you’re not seeing the specific skills needed among your staff members, look for the potential to develop them. When listing staff members' strengths and their potential to develop value-added skills you determine that some of your staff have neither, you may need to take a note from Frozen
and let them go.
Dennis R. Sherrod, EdD, RN