Welcome back! This is the second in our series on addressing what your CNAs value at work. Last time we covered what your CNAs look for in your organization and this time we will drill deeper and examine their thoughts on supervisors.
Major research shows that CNAs typically have poor relationships with their supervisors or have supervisors who show little interest in them. Culture makes a huge impact on your employees. It’s sometimes easy to forget this and to think that pay is the only driver. Surprisingly, hourly pay does not seem to influence turnover (Rosen et al., 2011) in the same way that their relationships with their bosses and peers does.
So, if these things are drivers of turnover — not pay — how can you keep your CNAs around? It’s time to you look deeper than the CNA role itself. Coming into these roles is a whole other animal, namely the millennial generation. most new CNAs are younger, digitally savvy and have expectations on us, their managers.
What do CNAs want from their managers? Let’s dive into five major things that you can do to be an asset to your workforce:
- They want a supervisor that will help them navigate their career path. If you were with us for the last blog, you’ll remember that a clear career path was a driver for what CNAs want from an organization. Drill that down a bit, and we see that their supervisor needs to be involved in this important aspect of their work lie. Once your organization can provide them a path, you must help your supervisors understand their important role in the process of developing your front-line staff. Supervisors should always be surveying their staff so that when folks are ready for the next step, they can be guided there. This requires understanding of what the “next step” means and what deliverables that supervisors and the organizations have to help employees reach their goals. Once supervisors are educated in how important career paths are and how to facilitate upward motion, they must be held accountable for CNA success. This may look like CNA and supervisor check-ins, metric analysis, and goal evaluations.
- They want supervisors that can give them straight feedback — good or bad. Feedback can be fraught with issues, given its multifaceted nature. In order for feedback to be effective and nurturing, it must be balanced and timely. New employees in particular need to know if and when they’ve missed the mark — but they should also be notified of what they’ve done correctly too! This is so important in your employees’ learning process. When folks here “you’re doing it wrong” they lose their motivation to keep learning and to perform well. They deserve to know what WHY what they did is wrong and WHAT they can do going forward to fix it. Balanced feedback is key — address mistakes, outline solutions, lead by example, and provide positive encouragement when applicable.
- They want to be mentored and coached. This goes along with feedback, but mentorship programs have proven very useful in helping CNAs feel supported at work. This doesn’t have to all fall on your supervisors either. Establish a peer mentor program where your newer CNAs can shadow star team members.
- They want supervisors who will sponsor them for formal development programs. We mentioned in the past blog how young CNAs expect organizations to guide their professional development. As a matter of fact, this is the number one driver when millennials choose their employer. All things considered, most millennials will choose organizations that provide better development resources. Supervisors are the keys to the kingdom in this regard. For millennials to be sponsored or recognized by their boss for a formal program can be better than a raise. Their self-esteem and development improves when you are a hands-on facilitator of their progress. Don’t limit it to formal programs, either! A kind word, handwritten note, or a bit of public recognition can go a long way.
- They are looking for supervisors that allow them to balance work life and home life. Life happens! Employers don’t always have the luxury of being flexible, but giving a little when possible makes a world of a difference in your employees’ lives.
These are some of the reasons many organizations come to us at Straightaway — they seek programs that help their nursing supervisors with these soft-skills of management. They are vitally important in keeping your workforce — particularly your younger folks — engaged. Let us help! Click here to learn more about CNA Edge.