Healthcare organizations continue to try to do more with less, which can make it difficult to increase productivity. Sometimes the lack of resources cannot be easily controlled, but an awareness of the attitude conveyed, and how workplace challenges are approached and communicated can be addressed.
If you’re in a management or leadership role, the way in which your attitude is perceived could impact your productivity, as well as those within the work environment. An attitude which focuses on the negative aspects can decrease employee’s motivation.
Focus on Motivation
Productivity is a familiar word in the nursing environment. So much that some nurses may cringe when they hear the term from a productivity obsessed leader. But by focusing solely on the end result, and not taking time to nurture a positive work culture, can result in employees becoming disengaged, losing motivation, or loyalty.
The factors that motivate employees in the workplace are changing. Many employees today are motivated by more than a paycheck and job security. They’re seeking genuine relationships and positive growth in their position. Healthcare opportunities are plentiful, so your employees are not as likely to stay in a work environment with a negative culture. This increase in turnover can create staffing challenges that contribute to this stressful cycle.
Manage Your Attitude
Having a positive or negative attitude can be infectious. Everyone can have a bad day, but if negativity is ongoing—whether it’s coming from management, or coworkers—it may impact the work environment.
Most are familiar with the common expression regarding considering a glass as half empty, or half full. This saying refers to whether a person chooses to view a situation in an optimistic, or pessimistic, manner. The way managers lead and develop their healthcare teams can impact their work performance.
Chronic negativity in the work environment can result in:
- Increased absenteeism
- A lack of collaboration
- Increased stress
- Poor motivation
- A reduction in teamwork
- A lack of commitment to the organization
A positive work environment can result in:
- Growth of workplace creativity
- Increased retention
- Attracting new staff
- An increase in engagement
- Maximizing each employee’s potential
- An ability to respond appropriately to constructive criticism
Check Your Communication
A positive work culture can enable employees to feel more connected to their organization. This may inspire employees to choose to go above and beyond so they can share in the organization’s success. Consider your working relationship with your managers and coworkers. Most will find the individuals they enjoy working with are able to look for the positive, or see tasks as a challenge, instead of fixating on the negative aspects.
Sometimes, many may not even realize that they are presenting in a negative manner. This may be due to poor communication skills, unawareness of their body language, or habitual complaining.
A few ways to work to avoid being a “negative Nelly” include:
- Before speaking consider if what you are expressing appears as if you’re finding fault with the person, instead of the situation.
- Consider how you can convey what needs to be accomplished without focusing solely on the negative aspects.
- Be aware of your body language and determine if it aligns with what you are saying. Consider your tone of voice, posture, expressions, and how they might be perceived.
- Set the tone for conversations with employees by starting each conversation with something positive.
As more facilities, and healthcare employees, try to do more with less to meet and maintain productivity levels, focusing on positivity may help. Healthcare employees take on tremendous responsibility with many essential daily routine tasks going unnoticed. Recognizing even small wins for each day, or week, can help to show gratitude and appreciation.
Increased positivity among management and staff may help to improve your organization’s culture. In addition to having a more pleasant work environment, it may prompt new staff to want to work for you.