When leadership from both nursing and human resources at UNC REX Healthcare came together to solve a nurse retention problem, their collaboration resulted in a new onboarding initiative. Born out of the system’s strategic goal to inspire a caring environment for one another, the program standardized how nurse managers engaged with their new nurses during the first year of employment.
Katie Pollara, UNC REX Healthcare’s manager for nursing workforce development and strategy presented the program highlights during an April 25th Laudio webinar (AVAILABLE IN OUR WEBINAR KNOWLEDGE CENTER). In addition to explaining how the internal teams designed the model, she showcased the data integration they co-developed with the Laudio product team – which ultimately scaled the program and allowed the participating managers to be more impactful through A.I. technology.
One of the foundational elements of the program became the new hire check-ins. These points of engagement, while previously were encouraged but not mandated, have become the standard. Internally, representatives from respiratory care, inpatient rehab, inpatient nursing units, long-term care, and learning and organizational development were involved. They culled both internal and external best practices; they incorporated guidelines and suggested content from existing human resources materials; and they looked for input from high performing managers who were already demonstrating strong retention rates in their units.
According to Katie, “The check-in meeting was a great way to help build connections and to provide us an opportunity for them to express concerns.” The group decided on a timeline that included 30-, 60-, and 90-day check-ins as well as check-ins at 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. They agreed upon which questions to ask at each meeting and which level of manager should participate. The program welcomes, in addition to managers, team leads, directors, and the CNO for “skip level” check-ins.
“I think when folks come into the workforce, they know that their leadership cares about them,” added Katie. “They have a direct line to leadership and have a better understanding of the purpose, the strategy, and the reason for the organization.”
In addition to the “skip level” check-ins, they incorporate “stay interviews” and “career coaching” as part of the latter meetings. The steering committee realized that a new generation of nurses was bringing a different set of expectations to its first nursing role and this program needed to address those sensibilities.
“With career coaching, our leadership was able to talk with new nurses about future goals and what it takes to get there, which is especially important to millennials,” said Katie. “They hit the ground and they want to know what the next step is.”
Once the program was developed, it was time for implementation. According to Katie, “We were very excited as we took on this program, but we knew we were asking managers to track different new hires at 6 different points. How were we going to do that? Laudio helped us do that.”
UNC REX Healthcare, which piloted Laudio in early 2018, began rolling out the platform to the all nursing units to help build engagement using artificial intelligence. Designed for nurse managers, the technology aggregates data from the HRIS and time and attendance systems and uses an algorithm to deliver individualized insights on each nurse, with the tools to proactively engage with them.
Who should be recognized?
Who need to be held accountable?
Who is at risk of burnout?
Who could benefit from employee development?
According to Katie, the onboarding work she was working on fit naturally into the employee development framework within the platform, which they were already using as a management tool.
So the team took their staged questions and built the timeline into Laudio so that nurse managers are automatically alerted when they need to meet with their new nurses based on the predetermined schedule.
Questions are populated for each step. The tools to communicate are a click away. And more importantly, documentation of each engagement is tracked and catalogued in the platform.
“We know everyone is stretched for time and has too much to do,” added Katie. “Laudio helps them get it done.”