As a nurse manager, you are responsible for creating a professional workplace for you and your staff. In addition to supervising your employees, you need to make sure that they are keeping a professional demeanor during their time on the job. Unprofessional behavior can take many forms, including gossiping, withholding important information, and even workplace violence. To prevent this kind of behavior, you need to make the rules clear for all your employees and enforce these workplace policies at all times. Use these tips to create a professional workplace environment.
Types of Disruptive Behavior
Nurses interact with potentially hundreds of patients and other medical professionals throughout the day. During this time, nurses may act out in all sorts of ways as they go about their daily routine. Disruptive behavior may include:
- Discussing personal issues on the job
- Withholding important information
- Using inappropriate language with staff members and patients
- Inciting workplace violence or abuse
If you notice this kind of behavior in the workplace, you need to stop it in its tracks and hold your employees accountable for their actions.
Implementing and Enforcing Employee Guidelines
Your employees need to understand the rules before they can obey them. Every time you hire a new employee, you need to clearly spell out the guidelines for workplace behavior. You need to use specific language that details how your nurses should behave on the floor. This information should be made readily available, usually in the form of an employee handbook. Talk to your employees about the rules and make sure they understand what’s expected of them.
You may realize that you need to update your existing workplace policies to make sure everyone understands the rules. To accomplish this, you should conduct employee training sessions that instill these rules in your employees. You can use examples of unprofessional workplace interactions and disruptive behavior in your training sessions to show your employees what kind of behavior is allowed and what isn’t. Have all your employees sign off on these workplace changes to make sure they understand the rules.
Holding Disruptive Employees Accountable
Your employee guidelines should also include information on the disciplinary timeline. Be sure to include the following when training your employees on these workplace guidelines:
- How will employees be held accountable for their actions
- How employees should report disciplinary behavior
- What kinds of behavior will lead to disciplinary action
When implementing a disciplinary policy, remember that some actions may warrant less severe punishment. If an employee discusses their personal life on the job, it may constitute a penalty of some kind, while workplace violence will be grounds for an immediate dismissal.
You need to make sure your employees are aware of all workplace guidelines and the penalties for not following these guidelines before you can effectively enforce the rules. All guidelines should be easily accessible and made clear from the start to avoid any confusion down the line. If one of your employees suspects unfair treatment or believes the rules were unclear, it could compromise your authority as a nurse manager. Be firm and adhere to the rules when managing your employees.