No one ever wants a labor dispute to happen at their hospital. Job actions are stressful, costly and risky for patient care. So, how can you sidestep the pitfalls that can lead to a job action? Follow these 4 steps to avoid a labor dispute at your hospital:
- Give your nurses the tools they need to succeed: Does your nursing staff have the necessary equipment and training to do their job well? Do they feel safe in their working environment? Research has shown that improving your nurses’ working conditions may improve both nurses’ and patients’ satisfaction as well as the quality of care. Plus, a happy, productive nursing staff is unlikely to go on strike.
- Meet with union representatives regularly: Keep the lines of communication open with your union reps. They’ll be less likely to view you and your hospital as the enemy and more like a friendly business partner. Regular meetings can also help you address workplace challenges before they become a major problem.
- Don’t send mixed messages: Labor disputes are often the result of poor communication. So, stay open and honest with your staff at all times. Remember, your nurses just want to know their opinions matter, that they can trust their hospital’s leadership team, and that they will be treated fairly.
- Use collective bargaining effectively: The art of negotiation is a delicate balancing act. Use it effectively and you won’t have to bend over backwards for your union reps every time you sit down at the bargaining table. Be fair, but recognize that people typically ask for more than they are willing to accept.
With these tips, we hope you can avoid a costly labor dispute at your facility. However, if the worst should happen, it’s nice to know you can rely on Nurse Bridge to coordinate experienced replacement personnel at your facility.