June 04, 2015 | | Comments 1
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And the survey says… Staff retention (try to break these 20 habits)

This week I have the pleasure of reading the incredible responses we received to our Nurses Week 2015 survey. So many of you shared your insights, challenges, and hopes for the coming year—thank you! We’ll be emailing the winners of copies of Kathleen Bartholomew’s Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships in the next couple of days. Keep your eyes peeled for our email.

Your generous responses help us understand your needs and aspirations, and we will try to return the favor by covering those important topics in this blog and in our upcoming books, webinars, and e-learning. For starters, I’ve revived a popular post from the past that deals with retention, identified by many of you as a top priority. Let me know if you recognize any of the 20 bad habits in yourself!

Retain staff by breaking these 20 bad habits

Peter Druker, often called the Father of Modern Management, made the following observation, “We spend a lot of time teaching managers what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching them what to stop. Half the leaders I’ve met don’t need to learn what to do–they need to learn what to stop.” We simply need to adjust our perspective.

Keeping that in mind, an executive coach named Marshall Goldsmith wrote a book in 2007 called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: 20 Workplace Habits You Need To Break. I recommend this book for your reading list! It’s a chapter by chapter in-depth look at each of the 20 habits we should get rid of as we advance in workplace leadership. Goldsmith offers numerous stories from his own career and his executive coaching experiences to illustrate each habit and keep the content “moving along.”

Here’s the list of 20 habits. Interestingly, they’re not reflective of a flaw in managerial skills. Nor do these habits reflect a shortcoming in intelligence or a personality flaw. All of them are indicative of challenges in interpersonal behavior. It may take reading the book’s descriptions to gain the right perspective and apply it to your own leadership skill mix, but here they are for your consideration:

  1. Winning too much
  2. Adding too much value
  3. Passing judgment
  4. Making destructive comments
  5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are
  7. Speaking when angry
  8. “Let me explain why that won’t work…”
  9. Withholding information
  10. Failing to give proper recognition
  11. Claiming credit we don’t deserve
  12. Making excuses
  13. Clinging to the past
  14. Playing favorites
  15. Refusing to express regret
  16. Not listening
  17. Failing to express gratitude
  18. Punishing the messenger
  19. Passing the buck
  20. An excessive need to be “me”

Goldsmith, M. (2007). What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: 20 Workplace Habits You Need To Break. Hyperion: NYC.

Originally posted by Bonnie Clair, MSN, RN.

NOTE: Don’t be surprised if I drop you a note asking you a few questions about your responses, and if you have time (which is in short supply), I hope you’ll fill in the blanks for me. Also, I’m keeping the survey open for anyone who wants to weigh in, so that we can gather feedback through the end of the year. Here’s the link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/hcpronurses2015.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Healthcare communicationnurse-to-nurse hostilityNurses WeekRetentionstaff developmentStaff motivationteam-building


About the Author: Claudette Moore is an acquisitions editor at HCPro, focusing primarily on nursing topics. She is always looking for new books that will create a better workplace for nurses and their managers, so contact her if you would like to publish with HCPro.

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  1. Some of these habits are being practiced in the work place all the time. Although some of these were written in company policy, managers as well as the staff practices one or two or more of these habits every single day. How do you break these habits?


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