By Vicki Abelson, ACC
TLG Senior Consultant – Healthcare
Wellbeing and vitality are at the heart of any organization, especially organizations providing a service to a customer or consumer. Afterall, that is their main organizational purpose: taking care of their customers.
Leaders and staff alike go the extra mile to make sure that the customer experience is at the highest levels.
This is just as true during “regular” times as it is during more urgent times, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. I would argue that what changed for organizations during this time, is the pace and intensity of taking care of the customer’s needs.
At the end of the day, who is taking care of the people that are taking care of us?
The Need for Vitality
In any organization, the opposite side of vitality and wellbeing is burnout. Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles have been written about the negative effects of burnout on the individual and the organization. Proactively battling burnout is imperative. This is especially true in healthcare organizations.
According to the International Council of Nurses, 20-30% of nurses have stated that they have an intention to leave the profession within the year. Over 40% of hospitals in states like New Mexico, Vermont, and Rhode Island have reported staffing shortages in the last month.
Unfortunately, there is no one solution that will help improve well-being and vitality in every organization. There are, however, many practical steps that we can take today to start curbing burnout in a meaningful way.
Five Practical Steps to Beat Burnout
1.) Connect the daily work to the organizational mission, vision and values. Connect each individual to that mission, vision, and values everyday. Knowing that you have a purpose to your work is pivotal.
2.) Ask yourself, what is my team doing that is not meeting the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Can you delay or delete any of these tasks?
3.) Address salary gaps and disparity within your organization and within the industry.
4.) Ensure that team members take real breaks. Limit (ideally stop) scheduling lunch time meetings.
5.) Offer opportunities for employees to share their stories, meet with a mental health professional, or partake in activities that help reduce stress and build resilience.