Behavior is dynamic; it is as a result of opposing forces that drive change and sometimes cause employees to act out of place. According to (Kritsonis, 2005), restraining forces in the work place hinder change and make it difficult for management to enforce changes that would enhance the workplace experience. The first step in changing behavior is change the status quo. This should be done gradually to minimize the chances of change being rejected. The status quo refers to the current nature of things within a given environment. It is, therefore, necessary to unfreeze the status quo in order to eliminate complacency and group conformity. This can be done by direct the group towards positive change, usually, by using a person they trust. The second step includes changing behavior within groups. It is necessary to move people from a state of equilibrium to that of change in order to realize great results. The first step is using the power of persuasion, convincing the employees that their current habits are not beneficial to them and hence, encouraging them to view problems from a fresh perspective. As management, providing relevant guidance and information goes a long way in creating change. Additionally, getting influential nurses to support change reduces the risk of rejection (Huber & Diane Huber PhD RN FAAN CNAA BC, 2013)
In dealing with resources and the risk of termination, the manager should develop strategies to cushion the nurses from termination or explain the reasons for termination clearly. In competitive markets, nurses are under pressure to perform and therefore, are vulnerable to making mistakes. Reduction of nursing staff sometimes is pushed by financial constraints. Therefore, the manager seeks to clearly explain to the nurses, even using illustrations and statistics, on why their termination is justified (Everhart, Neff, Al-Amin, Nogle, & Weech-Maldonado, 2013). A nurse, for example, who has received a verbal warning before, should be offered written communication on the reasons for their termination.
In admonishing nurses, the language of communication is very important. You should be direct and avoid gross generalizations. A good strategy would be to assume that their action is out of character for them and therefore, this makes it easier to reprimand them. In addition to this, offering verbal counselling comes in handy but must be preceded by questions regarding the intent of their actions (Kavanagh, Cimiotti, Abusalem, & Coty, 2012). The sandwich technique is effective because it acknowledges the nurse’s good traits before delving into their mistakes that require reprimanding. This softens the blow and ensures that the matter is dealt with appropriately. Part of admonishing is allowing staff to explain their side of the story before making a disciplinary decision. This involves encouraging them to come up with solutions to resolve the issue. For instance, they could take up a training program or make up for the mistake by putting in more hours. This also helps in preserving their dignity and respectability.
Termination should be a last resort for management after all avenues have been exhausted. The nurse or employees should have been offered an opportunity to change. The nurse should be given a fair hearing before being dismissed and upon appealing, the decision should be reviewed. Giving feedback is important when discussing termination and therefore, the nurse should be offered an appointment to discuss their conduct and reasons for termination. This is a better alternative than out right dismissal of the employee. It also minimizes the chances of legal actions, such as suing management for wrongful termination (Johnstone & Kanitsaki, 2005).
- Everhart, D., Neff, D., Al-Amin, M., Nogle, J., & Weech-Maldonado, R. (2013). The effects of nurse staffing on hospital financial performance: Competitive versus less competitive markets. , 38(2), . Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4543286/
- Huber, D. L., & Diane Huber PhD RN FAAN CNAA BC (2013). Leadership and nursing care management (4th Ed.). Alexandria, VA, United States: Elsevier Health Sciences.
- Johnstone, M., & Kanitsaki, O. (2005). Processes for disciplining nurses for unprofessional conduct of a serious nature: A critique. Journal of advanced nursing. 50(4), 363–71. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15842443
- Kavanagh, K. T., Cimiotti, J. P., Abusalem, S., & Coty, M.-B. (2012). Moving healthcare quality forward with nursing-sensitive value-based purchasing. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44(4), 385–395. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2012.01469.x
- Kritsonis, A. (2005). Comparison of Change Theories. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity.