Because nursing assistants perform up to 80% of the client care for your organization, they have the power to make or break the reputation of your company. And, as they go about their daily work, nursing assistants serve as your eyes and ears with your patients. Yet, consider these startling facts:
- Nearly half of the people who quit their jobs do so because they don't feel appreciated by their supervisors.
- Praise is the least expensive-and least used-management tool.
- Many supervisors say they don't praise their employees because they are too busy.
Health care supervisors are a very busy group. Recent changes in the health care arena have meant that there are fewer people to do more work. And, a lot of that work falls on the shoulders of the supervisor. However, taking time to notice-and recognize-good behavior among your employees will make your job easier in the long run.
What Is Praise?
Praise is not flattery. It is a sincere expression of appreciation for a job well done. Praise is encouragement, motivation and reinforcement of positive behavior.
What's the Best Way To Give Praise?
Look for signs that praise is warranted. For nursing assistants, this might mean that their clients are improving, that they are not declining and/or that family members are pleased with the care.
Praise is also earned when CNAs demonstrate positive behavior. Be sure to commend your nurse aides when they:
- Set a good example for others.
- Ask for help when they need it.
- Share their knowledge with other.
- Approach their work creatively.
- Come to work/meetings on time.
- Are willing to stay late.
- Set goals for themselves.
- Give help to others when asked.
- Have a positive attitude.
- Volunteer for challenging assignments.
- Look for ways to make new ideas work.
- Do their work with enthusiasm.
- Complete their inservices.
- Do their work better today than they did yesterday.
- Are excited about learning new things.
- Offer or agree to train new employees.
- Learn from their mistakes.
Be sure your praise is sincere...and not laid on too thickly. Try to gauge whether your employees like to be praised in private or in front of a group. Everyone is different.
Remember to praise specific behavior-not just the person. For example, it has more meaning to say, "You handled that problem with Mr. Johnson so well" than to just say, "You're great."
Beware of following praise with a "slap". It's not very encouraging if you say, "Thanks for your hard work with Mr. Phillips today. Why don't you work that hard every day?"
Consider using some adjectives besides "good" and "nice" (as in "Good job" or "Nice work"). Some examples include terrific, wonderful, thorough, complete, superb, creative, essential, conscientious, outstanding, professional, invaluable, dependable, excellent, top-notch and awesome.
It's easy for any busy supervisor to get caught up in "putting out fires" and dealing with negative behavior. Don't take positive behavior for granted! Words of gratitude and appreciation are a free "tool" that you should consider using on a daily basis.
Linda H. Leekley BS, RN
President, In the Know, Inc.
Do you struggle to provide your nursing assistants with high quality continuing education? With over 120 inservice topics, In the Know has the solution to nearly any problem facing your nurse aides. Using our inservices ensures that your CNAs will learn more-and achieve more. As a result, their client care will improve dramatically! And, we stand by the superior quality of our teaching materials with a 60-day money back guarantee.