Advocacy for employees absolutely affects patient care and patient outcome. A happy satisfied nurse affects the care that is given to their patients. Coming to work with a positive attitude, knowing you are supported by your managers and knowing they have you back creates moral. First and foremost, in order for management to truly know what their nurses need they need to work on the front lines. They need to be in the trenches with their employees, experiences what they do on a daily basis to understand the needs and to make the changes that are required to support and boost moral and improve patient care. Leaders must possess the ability to problem solve, communicate clearly and concisely, influence others, collaborate with others to achieve goals (Orchard, Sonicare, Morse, Collins & Al-Hamad, 2017). When managers are able to advocate for their staff to address workplace concerns and promote positive working environments, it results to high nurse satisfaction that leads to positive patient care and outcomes.
Leaders advocate by including staff in the decision-making processes, and by getting feedback for change that needs to happen. Leaders also have a responsibility to resolve conflict, and to resolve it fast, so that it doesn’t poison a department. They have to deal with the problem people on a one to basis and they need to ensure that the negativity is kept to a minimum. To effectively advocate for employee’s needs, they have to know what’s hindering their success. They need to find out which roadblocks are in their way and help them overcome them. Most importantly, they need to be active listeners (Kittaneh, 2020). As a manager, they need to create an environment that provides staff members with both structured unstructured opportunities to share feedback about their experiences at the organization. Make these opportunities a normal part of scheduled feedback sessions and regularly ask about their needs during other interactions. Once you have listened and know what they need, they need to remember that they are their employees voice to upper management (Kittaneh, 2020). They need to back them up and fight for them. Never just take no for an answer. Even if a battle is not won, they way they fight it will build trust and respect amongst staff.
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