Purpose 1. Identify creative strategies for engaging a multi-generational nursing workforce. 2. Examine the use of social media for work-related purposes for enhanced communication, information sharing and team bonding.
Description: Dwindling staff meeting attendance, challenges accommodating convenient times for employees working 24-hour schedules in patient care areas, and low employee interest in utilization of work-issued email accounts all posed communication challenges to a nursing leader. With a rapidly changing health care environment, dissemination of information is critical to keep employees abreast of changes and engaged in their work. To combat these challenges, optional private Facebook groups for inpatient medical- surgical nursing units were created. With many community and regulatory rules welcoming staff to the pages, structure was provided to ensure the social media hub remained workplace-appropriate.
Evaluation/outcome: Soon after creation, the online space transformed to a place that became an extension of the unit that brought the nurses together cohesively. Despite many staff beliefs that the tool would primarily be used by the younger part of the workforce, analysis showed that members of the Facebook group represented all generations. While about half of users are millennials, 22% are Gen-X and 16% are baby boomers. Pictures of new team members are posted, which quickly illicit welcoming comments from the existing team. Staff meetings are live-streamed to allow for consistency in messaging and the ability for employee flexibility for those that can’t attend in person. Staffing trades and open shifts are discussed between nurses. Leaders post polls to quickly gauge interest in varying work-related topics. Development of the tool was initially created as a convenient communication alternative but has shown additional unexpended benefits as an engaging vehicle that all hospital environments should consider for the generations of both today and tomorrow.