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Staffing expectations

May 11, 2011
by Frieda Stewart, RN
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I wonder if supervisors in long-term care facilities realize that their staff members often only live up to the “boss’s” expectations. If we expect mediocrity, then that is what we will get.

I have been working with several facilities to decrease overtime, tardiness and call-ins. I am shocked that in fewer than two weeks, one facility has cut their tardiness and absences to almost zero. It’s amazing that when we expect our staff to actually show up and be on time, they will do it—IF we communicate our expectations to them and hold them accountable!

Additionally, the overall morale is improved by leaps and bounds. Staff really is happier when everyone shows up on time to not make shift change a nightmare.

Take a look at the morale in your facility and then print your time sheets and see if there are areas where your staff needs to improve. Employees really need boundaries and someone to care enough to punish them when an expectation is not met—or to praise them when they are. Author Frieda Stewart, RN, is the Director of Nursing at Corn Heritage Village in Corn, Oklahoma; the owner and CEO of VitalAttitudes, LLC; and a public speaker who travels all across the United States.

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Very, very true! Expectations should be discused along with the consequences of not meeting them. Then the big part is follow thru. Everyone knows the atteendance policy and that it comes with progressive discipline. When those that are tardy or abuse the call offs don't get disciplined...moral with the rest of the staff suffers and more call offs ensue.

I can tell you that as one of the only people that shows up on time on my shift that I get tired of running around covering everyone's sections until they stroll in. No one ever says anything to them and it sure makes me feel like coming in late especially since the shift leaving doesn't like to answer the calls coming in just minutes before they clock out, which is understandable.

Frieda Stewart

www.vitalattitudes.com

Author Frieda Stewart, RN, is the Director of Nursing at Corn Heritage Village in Corn, Oklahoma...