Thanksgiving Reflection (by guest blogger Lindsey Radcliff)
Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I have taken on a new role as a leader in the last 8 months and have noticed morale can be influenced by the busyness of clinics. I am sure we all have times like this on our units. I have been working hard to host events and come up with ideas to get some comradery in the atmosphere. I decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner for my staff.
My husband is a chef, so I had an “in” to the catering! I knew that doing something like this could be expensive but when I did the budgeting of items I was able to serve about 65 people for less than $150.We served homemade turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and pumpkin pie!
I really wanted to make this as traditional as possible so I reserved our conference rooms where I could set up tables like we all have at home on thanksgiving. I had linen table cloths with a centerpiece and a few decorations scattered around the room. I did have one request before staff grabbed their plate and that was to write what they were thankful for!
This was more than just a lunch, I found staff and myself to truly be thankful and blessed! As much as I thought this was just going to be a Thanksgiving lunch served to staff it was much more than that. It was a time of thanksgiving.
There were coworkers sitting around the table and enjoying conversation and lunch! We had multiple disciplines represented at the table all at one time. I overheard conversation among those sitting at the table getting to know each other, as they don’t see each other often, even though they work on the same floor. I also had staff sharing stories about their Thanksgiving traditions with each other and learning about each other.
I had rounded on my units in the middle of the lunch to see if I could bring them a meal and I had an APP leader mention to me that she would cover her staff as she wanted them to get the experience. This spoke volumes to me of just how important it was for staff to get the comradery and not just the lunch.
As people were leaving, I heard them mention that they were going to make sure that their coworkers made it down. I received multiple emails and verbal “Thank You’s”, not only from the ones that typically will say these things but from those who rarely comment. This experience meant something to my staff. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I have a feeling it was the homemade feast and sense of time that was recognized by those who attended.
I had someone say to me, “Thank you! It was simply perfect, you didn’t try to over do anything.” As a leader I can say I learned more about people in those two hours than I have in the last 8 months.
Our Guest Blogger, Lindsey Radcliff, is the Nurse Manager of the Medical Oncology and Infusion Units at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.