With physician burnout rates rising rapidly, hospital institutions should be taking immediate action to improve morale among their staff. Here are six easy changes you can make in your hospital or private practice to create a positive work environment for you and your physicians.
1. Respect the work-life balance
It goes without saying that physicians regardless of their specialty are low on free time and high on stress. An overworked physician is likely to burn out quickly if they don't get time off when they need it to unwind and mentally recharge. Offering flexible scheduling or even just an extra vacation day to your physicians can go a long way in keeping your physicians happy.
2. Adjust your physician performance indicators
A large complaint among physicians is the disproportionate weight placed on patient satisfaction surveys as a key measure of physician performance. Placing too much importance on this indicator is not only frustrating for physicians who are compensated based on these scores, but downright dangerous for your patients. Take a close look at the performance indicators you use to compensate your physicians to make sure they make sense and aren't adding unnecessary stress to your staff.
3. Give them a voice
Listen to what your physicians are telling you. If you haven't already, have your team nominate a committee for physician happiness from among their ranks. Physicians can take their complaints or suggestions to the committee, who will act as the voice of their constituents. Make sure to schedule time to meet with this committee regularly - this is incredibly important in understanding what improvements you could make that would have the biggest impact on your team.
4. Upgrade physician uniforms
Most physicians are restricted to wearing only the lab coats and scrubs issued to them by their workplace - and sadly, most medical apparel out there is ill-fitting, unisex, and of horrible quality. Make your hospital or private practice stand out from the rest by outfitting your team in professional, tailored uniforms at up to 40% off. Your physicians will be sure to thank you for the boost in confidence and compliments they receive while projecting an image of professionalism and poise to their patients and colleagues.
5. Give recognition where it is due
Celebrate and honor your team members who have gone above and beyond for their work. Give praise where praise is due. Even a small gesture, like a card signed by your staff, or a Starbucks gift card will make a difference. Doing things to make your physicians feel like their efforts are noticed and rewarded, even in the smallest of ways, will go a long way in making your team feel more fulfilled by the work that they do and proud to be a part of your institution.
6. Foster team and leadership growth
Schedule keynote speakers, networking luncheons, and educational opportunities to nurture your physicians' professional and personal growth. Organize recreational activities for your physicians to kick loose and enjoy themselves outside of work as a team (for example, start a team for your local adult kickball league). Creating opportunities for your staff to have fun with their colleagues will promote harmony within your hospital or private practice and increase physician morale.