If you own or manage a private practice, you're well familiar with the various challenges that come with overseeing your staff to make sure that your employees feel respected and happy. You want your practice to be a place where people want to work, which can be easier said than done when you're juggling a million other little things.
With that in mind, here are some easy ways for physicians with private practices, or managers of departments within hospital systems can boost the morale of your staff!
Plan Team-building Adventures:
While some companies like to go all-out with activities like zip-lining or even renting out a boat, company outings can be as simple as holding a potluck, or planning a fun day at the nearest park. Not only are they fun, but they’re a great way to build positive relations amongst colleagues in a casual, social setting. Just make sure that while all employees are welcome and encouraged to attend, such events are not mandatory. Employees who run very busy lives outside of work will appreciate the company’s consideration of this. No one should feel as if their job might be affected by their attendance to an extracurricular activity.
Stock the Office With Employees’ Favorite Healthy Foods:
This is such a simple perk that shows employees the company cares about them. Especially with the long, often hectic hours medical professionals are used to working, finding time to eat, much less eat something healthy as opposed to easy-to-access junk food, can be difficult. Allow employees to write in suggestions, and build a fully stocked office pantry that they can access whenever they need a quick bite.
Celebrate Holidays and Birthdays:
This doesn’t mean you have to hold a full-blown office party for each and every occasion. But bringing in some cupcakes and taking 20 minutes to bring the company together adds some excitement and diversity to the typical workday. If it’s someone’s birthday, have everyone in the office sign a card for them. Even the smallest gestures of recognition can make the biggest difference in the way an employee feels about their workplace.
Hold a Competition:
Friendly competition, even if it isn’t directly related to your work, is a great way to boost energy and motivation throughout the day. Pick a competition that best suits your work environment and offer fun prizes to the individual or team that one's. Some workplaces hold health-inspired FitBit competitions to see who walks the furthest distance over a week. Other companies hold sales competitions, or reward employees who volunteer so many hours. And some business just hold good-old fashioned trivia competitions.
Encourage Real Lunch Breaks:
Depending on the type of job, many employees are hesitant to leave their desk or workstation for a full break. The fear is that they will lose time getting work done, as well as come across as slacking off on the job to their peers and superiors. However, proper breaks throughout the workday are vital to employee satisfaction, and some states now have strict laws to ensure companies are providing enough break time. Taking personal breaks prevents job boredom, reduces emotional and mental exhaustion, and boosts employees’ confidence and motivation to take on more work.
Create a Pet-Friendly Office:
Studies have shown that having dogs in the office improves employee morale, reduces employee absenteeism and lowers stress-related ailments like heart disease and diabetes. In a medical setting such as a doctor’s office, designate an easily-accessed but enclosed space such as the front desk, where pets (well-behaved ones, of course) can hang out. Here, your furry friends can even benefit patients who might be nervous about their medical appointment. As Lisa Conklin, public relations manager at dinnerware retailer Replacements says, “If you are in a position where something is stressful, seeing that wagging tail and puppy smile brightens the day--it can turn around the whole environment.”
Recognize Achievements and Milestones:
Whether it’s a job anniversary, promotion, etc., making a group announcement or simply sending out an official email that spotlights an employee’s work is a wonderful way to motivate more great work, as well as show staff that they are truly valued at the company.
Encourage Employee Feedback:
A review at least once a year of employee's’ work is typical of most companies, but it’s important for them to give their feedback as well. Whether they have critiques on a member of management, have suggestions to improve productivity, or simply think it would be nice to put some flowers in the office, listening to employees and taking their concerns seriously shows that their input truly matters in helping company grow inside and out.
Offer Flexible Vacation Time and Sick Days:
Managing one’s allotted days away from work can be a stressful task, especially for employees with kids or other binding obligations that might conflict with work hours. Develop an absentee policy that is lenient and manageable for workers, but still emphasizes work responsibility and time management. Even if all employees’ needs cannot be met, a company’s willingness to work with them shows respect for their personal lives and will motivate employees to return that same attention to their work.
Have a Daily Huddle:
No one likes work meetings. But a quick office pep talk? That’s a different story. Gather everyone together for just a couple minutes every day, whether in the morning before things get busy, or even as a breaker sometime throughout the workday. Use this time to dispense company information and news, address small issues, maybe call out someone’s birthday, and commend the staff for all their hard work.
Aptly named, Enclothed Cognition is the official Medelita blog for medical professionals interested in topics relevant to a discerning and inquisitive audience. Medelita was founded by a licensed clinician who felt strongly about the connection between focus, poise and appearance.