As an employer, I am always thinking of my team and how I can provide a fulfilling work environment that is profitable, and pays everyone’s wages, whilst also creating a place that fosters good mindfulness in my team members, and prevents burnout. I have felt burnout in my career many years ago, and, going into my own business, I was very determined to never run a workplace where people feel overwhelmed and under appreciated. Here are three ways that I think are a good place to start to prevent burn out in our employees. Even if you don't employ staff, you can apply these concepts to your own setting.
1. Saving time with shortcuts – why go the long way around for tasks such as letter writing and clinical notes? Our practice software system allows for templates and macros. Templates mean we don’t have to reinvent the wheel everytime we write a letter, and they can be customised for each staff member with their details, and commonly written statements, such as “please contact me via the following email if you have any questions…”. Macros mean that when we type a code word, our program then inserts a particular paragraph, which saves a lot of time typing. For example, if we type the word 'Int2' – we get a paragraph on what our InterX machine is, what it does, in language that is consistent from letter to letter and clearly explains things. It means for items like this that we use regularly, we are not having to re-think each time we write about InterX. Keeping attuned to items that take up time for your staff, and trying to problem solve ways to reduce these will help make each week more manageable.
2. Providing great supervision/mentoring and training – such an important concept. If you can create a great space for open and honest sharing of information, teaching and collaborating of ideas in a weekly or fortnightly session, there is great chance that staff will feel grateful for your time and supported. Nothing is worse than feeling alone at work or that you are struggling with clinical cases on your own. Sharing problems and learning new tips and tricks builds confidence, and contributes to professional development in more ways than one.
3. Knowing your staff – I recently read an article that indicated if you are the first to work and last out at the end of the day, you are well on your way to being burnt out. I don’t agree entirely. Everyone is very different in their working abilities and attitudes, and the quicker you can get in tune with your staff members' individuality, the better. Whilst one staff member might find admin time more productive listening to music, another might find this distracting. Whilst one staff member might relish the ability to complete admin work at home or out of the office, others might feel this is taking work home with them, and find it overwhelming. Some staff can easily fit into a ‘walk-in’ emergency patient, and others might find this very stressful. Work out what your team members are able to tackle and know the things that create stress for them and try to individualise the environment to suit.
Hopefully, these tips can help you in your workplace, maybe you have already incorporated some of these concepts - drop me an email to let me know!