Two job actions in 2016 cost the Minneapolis-based Allina healthcare system roughly $149 million, according to a recent Becker’s Hospital Review article. While there’s always a financial cost associated with labor disputes, staff morale also takes a hit.
So, how do you get your facility’s operations and your staff back on its feet after a work stoppage? Here are four ways you can help welcome your employees back with a smooth transition as they return to work:
- Review your hospital’s processes: Take a moment to review or create return to work procedures and ensure that your leadership team knows what’s expected of them in the days ahead. For example, it is illegal to single out or discipline employees who participated in a work stoppage.
- Repair relationships: Emotions can run high during a job action, so it’s important to help ease tensions with positive communication. Remind your nursing staff you all share the same goals for quality patient care and safety. Let your nurses know you are committed to putting the work stoppage behind you with a plan to move forward and guidelines for expected professional behavior.
- Meet with your employees: Determine what caused the job action in the first place and meet with your employees face to face. Communicating with these individuals can help you identify and address workplace issues. Additionally, you should let your nurses know that you are invested in their long-term commitment to your hospital, not just temporary union demands.
- Bring in outside help when necessary: Sometimes, to help your facility recover from a damaging work stoppage, you need to bring in outside help. Post-strike specialists, including Nurse Bridge, can help you get back to business as usual when the job action is over.
Has your hospital ever gone through a labor dispute? What helped your staff get back on track in the days afterward? Let us know in the comments below!