Nursing facility is a special environment which has a great impact on employees and their perception of duty and responsibilities. The nursing process is a dynamic and continuous cycle that aims to place the patient as an individual at the heart of the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care. Researchers states that the satisfaction of helping others and recognition and reward programs are the main factors which motivate employees of a nursing facility.
On the one hand, there is a belief that nurses have an influence on patient care and ultimately on health outcomes. Satisfaction of helping others motivates employees to do their best and provide patients with the best services. The nursing process can be described as a merger of decision making skills with caring ability and is influenced by knowledge, research and experience. For the individual employees, satisfaction of helping others begins with a conscious choice to become involved in life beyond the self, not only because of personal reward, but because the activities tie them to the shared efforts, hope, and experiences of the broader community. Satisfaction means that an individual will seek to become fully engaged in the world of the community.
Participation in community acknowledges the interdependence of human beings. In the ideal situation, employees seek to be integrated within the self and with helping people whose lives are touched by the mission of the agency. Satisfaction of helping others emphasizes belonging and duty above desires and rights. For nurses, satisfaction places acceptance of duties ahead of consideration of benefits. Work is undertaken not only as a response to a given set of incentives, but more importantly, because of a deep personal attachment to productive participation in the community (Recruitment and Retention 2000).
Recognition and reward programs show that work and skills of employees are appraised by administration that value their efforts and knowledge. In many nursing facilities, the foundation of the performance appraisal and merit pay systems assumes that workers are primarily motivated by financial rewards which result from the accomplishment of clearly established and measurable performance goals. The recognition and reward are closely tied to eligibility for salary increases or, in the case of eligible middle managers, for merit pay adjustments. The system provides financial rewards and recognition in return for the achievement of monitored performance goals.
The reward system relies on definite goals and expectations which are established and clearly understood between the supervisor and nurses. Theoretically, when these mutually understood conditions are present, employees are motivated; they draw on and apply their energy in appropriate directions to meet organizational objectives and are then appropriately rewarded (Beardwell et al 2004). The recognition and reward system depends on consistent and predictable procedures that can accurately establish and track employee performance.
This involvement or attachment is chosen not just with a specific expectation of reward, but more importantly because the activity or attachment is meaningful in itself (Jennings, Murray, 2005). It might be assumed that any changes these employers made to the pay system would introduce a greater degree of individualization of reward.
This could be achieved by simply increasing the proportion that was based on merit. The rewards to those who are seen to be outstanding performers are of two kinds: the formal and the informal. Many nursing facilities operated special annual award schemes for employees who made exceptional contributions. The award is a corporate-wide scheme designed to reward outstanding work and motivate employees.
In sum, to be effective, an individual performance evaluation and reward system must first have credibility among employees. The pivotal issue in motivating employees to perform in organizationally defined ways is employee confidence that the system can produce the results it promises. The satisfaction of helping others and recognition motivate nursing staff and increase their commitment to work.
Beardwell, I. Holden, L., Claydon, T. (2004). Human Resource Management, London Pitman Publishing.
Jennings, B., Murray, T. H. (2005). The Quest to Reform End of Life Care: Rethinking Assumptions and Setting New Directions. The Hastings Center Report, 35 (6), 52
Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Nurses. (2000). Retrieved 12 March 2007 from http://www.va.gov/OCA/testimony/docs/14je01TG2.rtf