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Why should you buy your manager a Christmas present?

Posted by:

18 December, 2012

I was idling my time away on twitter a few weeks ago and came across a blog by Dean Royles, the director of the NHS Employers.

It made me smile.

He bemoaned the fact that “Hardly anyone supports and encourages NHS managers, or shows any recognition or appreciation of the context they work in or the difficult, sometimes intractable challenges they face”.

His blog struck a cord with me.

We often describe managers as faceless bureaucrats, men in grey suits doing terrible things to make our jobs more difficult.

But any nurse who has had to juggle a Christmas off duty will know what it is to make difficult decisions. Hours spent deliberating, manoeuvring and negotiating and despite every effort no one is happy.

I don’t believe any of us came into healthcare to deliberately annoy and antagonise our staff.

I was speaking to a manager the other day who has spent 10 years building a team and service and the last 18 months dismantling it. Clearly staff and patients were angry but funding had been withdrawn and difficult decisions had to be made.

I asked why she didn’t leave and she described how committed she was to the last 10 years and the staff who had made it work. Despite the flak she was getting from those around her she felt she had to hang on in there for the good of the team.

So in the season of goodwill think about your managers and the difficult jobs they have. And to quote from Dean’s blog, “We have some – in fact, a lot of –brilliant managers doing a tough, demanding and mostly rewarding job that they love and care about”.

So if you have one of them, go on, buy them a Christmas present!

Readers' comments (9)

  • There are also "a lot of - brilliant nurses doing a tough, demanding and mostly rewarding job that they love and care about".

    So managers - "if you have one of them, go on, buy them a Christmas present!".

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  • As a ward manager, I do not need a christams gift from my staff, as |I find my staffs loyality, hard work and comitment to our ward team to provide the best possible care for all our patients throughout the year, reward enough, and this is reflected by the positive compliments we receive from those in our care. I think that we as ward mangers should remember to thank our staff for their efforts and contribution to the ward team, so team ward 5fgh THANKYOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS Helen Tx

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  • I really struggle with my manager, as I don't feel her priorities are the same as mine. However last Christmas I bought her a small gift to show appreciation because I realised how she is often huge pressure from above to bring in changes she does not necessarily believe in herself. Hypocritical on my part? Maybe, but every one of us needs encouragement, and I think showing appreciation made our relationship a little easier. Will I do the same this year?- not sure yet!

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  • I wouldn't buy my manager a present just because she is my manager - if she wants to take part in secret santa she will get a present.

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  • I definitely disagree with buying our Managers presents for Christmas. Why on earth should we?

    It reminds me when I was at primary school and some richer children bought pressies for their teachers for Christmas!
    As mentioned previously, a kind word should be sufficient!
    Is the author of this blog a capitalist, by any chance , advocating materialistic values?

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  • I don't understand the rationale for junior staff feeling under any obligation to buy their seniors a Christmas present. A special occasion such as a milestone birthday, leaving or wedding present may be a different case otherwise presents should be a more personal affair and maybe reserved for family and friends or grateful patients who wish to give the staff who looked after them something, preferably as a collective present for the ward or team then there are no difficulties or embarasment or breaking any rules by accepting personal presents.

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  • Surely if you have a good manager you just have someone who is doing their job properly. Christmas is an expensive enough time of year without buying a present for your manager who does after all earn more money. A good manager will know how their team feel by the way they demonstrate respect toward them!! As a manager I believe it is more important to show your appreciation towards your staff throughout the year, a kind word goes a long way.

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  • why can't 2013 be left out as a precaution like Room 13 or Row 13 in many hotels, hospitals and planes?

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  • Adedapo Haastrup

    Merry Christmas and a properous new year ahead to all the hard-working Nurses,Carers and my Friends as well as Colleagues out there.God bless you all.Well done and keep up the good work.

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