You’ve often heard it said, “Your employees are your best asset.” But at the end of the day, what does that really mean?

Frontline management and neonatologists know that NNPs are the heartbeat of their NICU. They bring a unique set of skills and experience to your unit that even your best equipment cannot rival.

In fact, replacing just one neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) has the potential to easily cost you much more than replacing any incubator, ventilator, or infant CPAP machine.

You probably wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the best quality infusion pump or transport monitor for your facility. And you probably wouldn’t balk over the cost of a critical care ventilator — not if it meant ensuring your facility’s reputation and securing the best care for your patients.

Yet, truth be told, when it comes to the idea of investing in the best available NNP talent, you flinch just a little. To help you work through that mental resistance, here are a few best practices to jumpstart excellent management of your best assets.

1. Invest in Success

When faced with the option to make additional investments in your team, it can be helpful to think back on what you already have at stake. All the money spent to hire and train your NNPs are wasted if it’s the wrong hire, or if a dissatisfied practitioner leaves your facility for another.

That’s why it is essential to develop an effective management process to recruit the best available talent and nurture and sustain your team’s dedication and loyalty.

Here are a few strategies to help you do it.

2. Hire the right people

The key to working with a great team starts at the hiring stage. When you hire the best, your job as a manager becomes exponentially easier. That’s because you worry less about missteps; you spend less time disciplining and coaching.

If you’re like most managers, you usually start the search process at the worst possible time: When your team is stretched to the breaking point, or when a practitioner suddenly quits. But really, the best time to search is when you have the time and bandwidth to send out feelers, start networking, and become acquainted with a specialized and ethical recruitment firm.

3. Partner with a recruiter

It doesn’t cost a thing to start a conversation with a recruiter. You do SO much, but no one can do it all — and you shouldn’t have to! Searching for top-notch candidates is labor-intensive and time-consuming, and takes you away from your core responsibilities. Why not partner with someone who specializes in your industry and devotes 100% of their time to the hiring process?

Once you have your team in place, you’re on to the next phase — retention. Invest in your team’s ongoing high morale, ensure their job satisfaction, and demonstrate your commitment to their happiness, the greatest motivator of all!

4. Compensate fairly

When it comes to salary, your NNPs want to be compensated fairly for their workload and contribution. Money isn’t everything, but what you pay your staff reflects your respect for an acknowledgment of their experience and skills. And respect and acknowledgment are “everything.” So make sure that you offer compensation at or just above your regional average.

5. Recognize success

The power of recognition for a job well done is extraordinarily important to your staff. So easy to do, and do often. Ask yourself what systems you have in place to provide recognition for your employees.

6. Train thoroughly and frequently

One way to demonstrate trust in your employees is to invite them to attend on-the-job and off-site, professional training courses. It’s a great way to boost morale and keep your employees current and razor sharp. Plus, it demonstrates your commitment to their success and career advancement.


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