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Why do you think the nurses are not motivated?

Based on the dialogue below answer the two following questions.

You are the supervisor of nurses in the pediatrics section of a 700-bed hospital in a metropolitan area. You have been in your job for six months, having moved from a similar position in a much smaller rural hospital.

You: I just can't seem to get my people to perform. They're all extremely competent, but they don't seem to be willing to put forth any extra effort. Take last Saturday evening. I thought Sue was going to have a fit when I asked her to help tidy up the nurses' station. She was quick to explain that that was the janitor's job.

Friend: Exactly what are the duties and responsibilities of your nurses?

You: They don't really have much responsibility. That always seems to fall on me. Their duties don't vary much from those of the average nurse?make sure medicines are taken on schedule, perform periodic checks on patients, and provide general assistance to doctors and patients. Of course, pediatrics does require a certain disposition to deal with children.

Friend: How do you evaluate their performance?

You: Mainly based on complaints and my general feeling about how they are doing. It's hard to evaluate the quality of their work since most of it is fairly routine. However, if I receive
several complaints on a nurse, I can be pretty sure that the nurse is not doing the job.

Friend: Do you receive complaints very often?

You: That's just the problem. Recently, complaints have risen noticeably. The number of
complaints is much higher here than at my former hospital. The worst part is that the
nurses don't seem too concerned about it.

Friend: What financial rewards does the hospital offer?

You: They're all well paid?when I think that I started 30 years ago at $25 per week! Base
pay is determined mainly on the basis of longevity. They also get paid vacations, insurance plans, and all the other usual goodies. I don't know of any complaints about compensation.

Friend: How about the promotion possibilities?

You: Well, all I know is that I was brought in from the outside. I really don't think many
of the nurses aspire for promotions.

Friend: Have you considered firing any of them?

You: Haven't you read about the nationwide shortage of nurses? Who would I replace
them with? I figure that half a nurse is better than no nurse.

1. Reconsider the situation. Why do you think the nurses are not motivated?
2. What could you do to improve the situation?

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Solution Preview

1. First of all, it seems like they don't really get rewarded based on the good they do but rather only punished if they do badly and the punishment is only in the form of a complaint and not any kind of reprimand. They know there are not enough nurses so there is no motivation to do well since they know they probably will never ...