May 9, 2023
I walked away from the CNO Forum in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, feeling inspired and energized by the amazing things these nurse leaders have accomplished over the last few years. Upon reflection, two key takeaways stood out to me. Firstly, the importance of personalization when implementing recruiting and retention strategies. Secondly, the focus on ensuring that work is fulfilling for nurses and healthcare staff.
The herculean task of personalization
Throughout the different sessions and within many conversations I had, personalization seemed to rise to the top as a game-changer in recruiting and retaining great nurses. However, achieving personalization is incredibly difficult for organizations with thousands of employees. The health systems who participate in the Health Management Academy are some of the largest and most innovative health systems in the United States. It was interesting to hear the differences and similarities in approaches to offering personalization for nurses.
Each nurse leader who presented or who I spoke with had a passion for empowering their fellow nurses and cultivating future nurse leaders. Since each person is unique and on a distinct journey in their career and lives, it’s essential to tailor the learning opportunities to ensure that they are beneficial for everyone. The organizations at the CNO Forum have invested heavily in the learning and development of their employees. Some of the efforts to personalize learning and development opportunities include mentorship programs, app-based learning, incorporating topics into meetings or events to promote further discussion, and creating awards, tokens, or badges to collectively celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Several different ideas were discussed to achieve personalization for nurses, such as creating committees to ensure their nurses and other groups have a voice in decisions, providing training and education in different forms to accommodate different learning styles and generations, and implementing mentorship programs to ensure newer nurses receive 1:1 support. Many leaders were looking for ways to free up managers’ time, so they are able to personally support their direct reports. When trying to accommodate the uniqueness of each employee and tailor their experience, tools like Infor’s Talent Science can help leaders understand the behavioral characteristics of their staff, ensuring that employees are in a position that is a good fit for them behaviorally and culturally, as well as provide additional insights such as how they learn and how they prefer to receive praise or constructive feedback.
Bringing back the meaning behind nursing
At its core, healthcare is about helping others, so it’s hard not to experience some mixed emotions when hearing how hard it has gotten to ensure that nursing is fulfilling and not just an endless cycle of administrative duties. One interesting point was that the things that employees find meaningful may change throughout one’s career and are impacted by external circumstances, again tying back to the importance of personalization. Many attendees had found that older or more experienced nurses at their organizations enjoyed giving back by mentoring or teaching younger, less experienced nurses. Brand new nurses might find meaning in successfully managing their patient assignments for a day, and a nurse with small children at home might place more meaning in having a schedule that allows them to be home for bedtime.
During conversations about making nursing meaningful, I thought about the role technology plays – great technology can remove or automate tasks that take away from meaningful work, and an inefficient technology can do the opposite. One of the attendees said that nurses at their organization have a rule of “nothing for me, without me”. If technology is being implemented, it’s important to ensure that the primary users of that technology are involved and consulted during the implementation to ensure it will provide value rather than being a hindrance. I felt reassured that Infor has a valuable offering to help healthcare organizations address the needs of their people through solutions such as our Talent Empowerment, Learning and Development, and Workforce Management. All these solutions are designed to help personalize the experience for the employees and provide them with flexibility and control in their work.
I left the CNO Forum full of ideas and completely in awe of the amazing work these nurse leaders have done. Each of them had taken on daunting projects amid a global pandemic and made positive impacts for their nurses, their organization, and the communities they live in. In the opening session of this forum, Shannon Barhke, Olympic medalist in freestyle skiing gave the advice to “just say yes” to any challenge you are faced with and then work to figure it out later. These nurse leaders have all shown the impact saying “yes” can have by not shying away from intimidating projects and by diving in with everything they had to find solutions.
In celebration of nurses week, Infor recognizes the nurse leaders who participate in The Health Management Academy and all nurses in various places on their journey. We are thankful for the impact they make on patients’ lives, the hospitals or organizations they work in, and the community surrounding them and are honored to support them in our work.