Joy, you say? What about the stacks of charts? Those patient records won’t update themselves!
True, amid all that we have to do on any given day as health professionals, during this season of thanks+giving, how-in-the-EHRs do you have time for spreading goodwill+joy around the clinic?
Not only do you have time during the holidays, but as ADEPT ℠ leaders, you will gain a considerable advantage from the consistent practice of cultivating joy. The rewards, found with increased productivity, engagement, and ultimately, a happier workplace, will reap benefits that are measurable and consistent in terms of clinical quality and patient satisfaction.
So, to plant the seeds of high morale, where do you begin? While advising and leading teams during specific periods of growth and change, I’ve found three key areas to focus on. They communicate to your team that you regard the people in front of you and it affirms their role with your organization.
- Courtesy: We learned in kindergarten to say “please” and “thank you” but does that extend to the clinic setting? Of course it does! Whether patient or staff member, there is specific joy found when being regarded with polite behavior. For some, courtesy comes second nature. For others, it takes a specific commitment. Courtesy recognizes that each person has a soul. People come to work because they know they have work to do and they know not to foul it up. Our job is to encourage each other while doing that work.
- A sense of humor: On any given day, we deal with very serious circumstances. Are you injecting a premise and way for your people to find humor? Having a sense of comedy, even laughter, helps lift one another up rather than get bogged down by the dire odds that often face us and the patients we serve.
- Discipline: Now, I’m not talking about the yardstick kind of discipline. This is not about creating rules and delivering punishment for breaking them. Do you know what matters and understand everyone’s role within your practice? Do you commit, daily, to focusing on those activities? That kind of discipline creates confidence in one’s actions and that makes room for joy.
Since the time of the druids, winter has been regarded as the season of renewal. While it’s dark and cold outside, we are regenerating, like seeds underground. After a time, we will be ready for the next season, to come, of growth and spring. Encourage your staff members. If they need a break, give them the grace to take a walk and breathe deep. Help them laugh. Give them the gift of predictability in an often-unpredictable setting. Wrap up some professional development so they, too, can recharge their batteries and be inspired and ready for the next season, to come. Help your team learn and become ADEPT ℠ at courtesy, good humor and the discipline of knowing what to do and when to do it. The rewards for your investment of time will be more than worth the effort.