Positive work relationships feel good. They heighten our morale, boost our confidence, and improve our health. The offshoot is greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and better patient care. While your personality or management style might not click perfectly with every member of your medical team, here are some effective strategies you can use to win over even your most challenging and quirky co-workers.
Acknowledge your co-workers every day.
Recognize the power of a proper greeting. Every worker wants to feel significant and valued by peers, colleagues, and supervisors. Making eye contact, referring to them by name, and offering a smile and a “hello” at the start of (and throughout) your shift shows co-workers they are important to you. This simple gesture can go a long way towards promoting good moods and goodwill in the workplace and keeps the engines of cooperation running smoothly.
Create an atmosphere of diplomacy.
When a problem crops up in the workplace or a staff member in a sticky situation seeks your advice, try to remain calm and unflappable–even when the demands of your day wear you thin and test your tolerance.
- Listen attentively without interrupting, and ask questions for clarification.
- Do not be judgmental or use accusatory language.
Even when a co-worker’s point of view differs from your own, help them to problem-solve rather than find fault with their actions or perspective. Over time, you might discover that helping a co-worker maintain respect and avoid humiliation builds trust and empowers them to rectify a wrong and deal more effectively with workplace challenges in the future.
Use Effective Communications.
If policy or procedural changes need to be disseminated, or questions crop up that demand your timely response, learn how your co-workers prefer to receive information. Some favor texts or phone calls; others rely on instant messaging or personal interaction. Back up all communications with email since some workers prefer a written response to their questions, desire a stored copy of work-related documents, or like to get caught up with work late at night. Bottom line: Finding what works best for each member of your team and using their preferences to keep them engaged demonstrates your efforts to meet their personal needs.
Your hospital staff literally has their hands full—every day, all shift long. To help relieve overworked co-workers and prevent stress-related burnout, offer your assistance. Little gestures mean a lot. When a worker puts in a double-shift the day before, offer to come to work the next day a few minutes early to allocate and dispense their patients’ meds, change a dressing, empty fluids, or check a few vitals. On your way to the nurses’ station, grab a few supplies from the stock room to replenish the crash cart. Every step you take to help your co-workers breathe a little easier paves the way for stronger work relationships.
On-the-job situations can breed tension among workers, so schedule a monthly meeting to clear the air. Set guidelines in advance: no ranting, no trashing other workers, no whining, and no accusations. Instead, encourage your team to calmly express their worries, doubts, difficulties, and suspicions without fearing public indignation. Then open up the floor for suggestions on ways to prevent, trouble-shoot, and deal effectively with whatever issue ails them. This on-the-job therapy can do wonders to encourage honesty and build teamwork.
Highlight the positive.
Human error, mechanical malfunctions, and communication breakdowns can tear into a co-worker’s shift at any time. When something bad happens on their watch, self-reproach can overshadow self-confidence. Now is a good time to step in and offer positive feedback. Point out what your worker did right in handling an adverse situation, and, to level the playing field, describe a few of your own professional misfires. Empathy and a vote of confidence can help take the sting out of a worker’s worst moment.
Catch a co-worker doing things right and offer praise.
It’s contagious—in a good way. It boosts worker morale, stimulates feelings of self-worth, encourages good performance, and inspires teamwork.
If you are looking for more ways to approach issues in the workplace, rely on BOS Medical Staffing to provide the most relevant and timely information in the healthcare pipeline. Since 2008, BOS Medical Staffing has brought talented nurses, therapists and medical administrators together with top facilities. Contact BOS Medical today to talk about customized staffing solutions.