Article Review
Strengthening the Workforce Through Meaningful Recognition
Have you noticed that a lot of what we read in the media is focused on what’s wrong with health care and not necessarily what’s right? We often hear about problems, impossible budgets, staffing issues, and either the nursing shortage or how new nurses can’t find work. Ugh!  When scanning articles, blogs, tweets and posts, I try to sift through the negatives and find something positive about nursing!  I recently read this article in Nursing Economics and wanted to share a quick summary of the author’s work with my readers. I love that the author provides us with a look at what’s right in health care!

In this article, the author investigates meaningful recognition as a key element in creating healthy work environments. Dr. Lefton uses the AACN’s definition of meaningful recognition as, “acknowledging one’s behaviors and the impact these actions had on others, ensuring the feedback is relevant to the recognized situation, and is equal to the person’s contribution.” According to the author, when others recognize people for their specific contributions, they feel valued. When people feel valued, they are more satisfied, engaged and will stay in their current role.
I interpret this to mean that recognizing the actions of others is more than just saying, “good job” or “here’s a pizza for you”. Meaningful recognition identifies a specific action or behavior and what result occurred. Perhaps saying, “Wow. You were the first person to recognize that Mr. Rossi was going into sepsis. We were able to intervene quickly and prevent him from being transferred to the ICU.”
The author shares the results of her study that looked at the DAISY Foundation that formally recognizes the contributions of nurses. Over 2,000 patients, family members and nurse colleagues were asked via survey to describe extraordinary nursing behaviors. The top 5 behaviors associated with extraordinary nurses included:
·      Demonstrates genuine compassion and caring
·      Reeks of professionalism
·     Contagious positive attitude
·     Accomplishes more than ever expected
·     Teaches others
Lefton, C. (2012). Strengthening the workforce through meaningful recognition. Nursing Economics, 30(6), 331-338.

Notice what’s not on this list – “excellent at inserting IVs”, etc. What these results tell me is that being an extraordinary nurse is more behavior and attitude than skill.

What can you do today to recognize your colleagues in a meaningful way according to this author’s recommendations? Creating a healthy work environment always starts with you!
Thanks so much for reading. Would love to know what YOU’RE doing to recognize your colleagues in meaningful ways.
Take care and stay connected
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