Happiness in the Workplace and Beyond
For the majority of nurses and healthcare professionals, working long hours is simply a part of their everyday job role. With 12 hour shifts becoming the norm, it comes as no surprise that these long hours start to leave workers feeling stressed and worn down both mentally and physically. While passion and purpose is what drives nurses and healthcare professionals to take care of people every day, failing to take care of their own needs can have a detrimental effect on their work.
It comes as no surprise that nurses are seriously stressed out at work, with a high level of burnout being prevalent across the health sector throughout the UK. Results from the 2017 Staff Survey in England found that 38.4% of staff said they had felt unwell due to work-related stress over the year – this is up from 36.7% the previous year. The survey also found that more than half of staff – 56.6% to be precise – went to work despite feeling unwell due to pressure they felt from their manager, colleagues or themselves.
Prolonged stress levels cause the body to become overworked, weakening the immune system over time and making the body more susceptible to sickness. It can also lead to more serious health problems such as depression and insomnia. Naturally this is bad for both healthcare workers and their patients as it causes a drop in the level of patient care standards.
A survey of 10,000 staff by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found that 62% had thought about leaving because they are under so much stress in their job. A further 61% felt unable to give patients the care they wanted because they were too busy, while 83% believed their workload had increased over the year. Nurses and healthcare workers join the profession because they’re passionate about being able to make a positive change in people’s lives through the care they give, but as staff shortages grow and stress levels rise, more and more nurses are starting to feel like they’re unable to continue working in a job role they once loved.
A 2018 study by NHS Digital has found that more than 33,000 nurses walked away last year – this is 20% more leavers since 2012/2013 – meaning there are now more leavers than joiners in the field.
Here at JobMedic.co.uk, we understand the need for nurses and healthcare professionals to be in control of stress levels and, of course, happy in order to get the most out of the incredibly fulfilling professions they’ve chosen to step into. So the question we have to ask is, what can healthcare organisations be doing in order to ensure stress is reduced and staff are happier in the workplace?
Introduce more social engagement
There are of course, organisations that are already making progress towards understanding how to reduce stress levels and promote staff wellbeing in order to keep staff retainment rates high.
One way in which they’re choosing to do this is by introducing more staff engagement activities in order to create more fun and enjoyment in the workplace. Some organisations have started planning different celebratory activities such as special team lunches, activity days and socials in order to help people unwind and get to know each other better. Team building activities such as this are a brilliant way to raise staff morale and motivation and give staff fun incentives which help them feel more positive about their workload.
Align staff goals with organisational goals
When nurses and healthcare professionals make the decision to join a healthcare organisation, one of the first things they will be aware of is that they’re choosing a role and organisation that meets and matches their own personal ethics and moral code. They will have a career path in their mind and they need to be sure that the organisation they’re joining supports this.
Staff nurses and healthcare workers generally enter the field because they possess a strong passion for helping others. It’s very important for organisations to communicate the same goals clearly and consistently to staff in order to give employees a strong reference from which they can set their own personal career goals and grow within their chosen fields. This is a great way to motivate staff and encourage better performance while reducing levels of job dissatisfaction.
Employee empowerment plays an integral role in contributing to raising morale and delivering higher job satisfaction in the workplace. A lot of healthcare organisations have already started introducing ways to empower their staff members by prioritising their learning and development and opening up an avenue of different opportunities to enable them to move forward in their careers.
Giving employees access to meaningful learning and development opportunities results in building a more engaged workforce. It also contributes to improving psychological empowerment. When staff are given a way in which to grow their skills and progress in their careers, they are automatically more motivated to provide the best care to patients. Empowering employees is a way to make them happier in their job roles and will automatically lead to a lower level of emotional exhaustion and raise personal accomplishment levels.
Acknowledge and appreciate
There’s nothing easy about nursing and healthcare. It takes great strength, determination and selflessness to do the work nurses and healthcare workers do on a daily basis. This is why it’s crucial to make sure they’re acknowledged and appreciated. When employees are shown recognition, it resonates in their work. Motivated nurses and healthcare workers are more ready to provide better patient care and have a more positive approach to working in such a high-stress environment.
A lot of healthcare organisations have already started to take steps to create workplaces in which nurses and healthcare workers are provided an environment in which they have the ability to flourish in their chosen career paths, but a lot more still needs to be done to ensure staff retainment rates remain high.
Here at JobMedic.co.uk, we’re proud to say we work with a number of outstanding healthcare organisations who are committed to making positive work environments for their staff and promoting the health and wellbeing of staff as a top priority. If you’d like to see what job roles they currently have to offer, start browsing our extensive database here today: www.jobmedic.co.uk