Physician burnout is a real issue in Canada. Thankfully, Dr. Dike Drummond provides nine simple leadership skills that, when performed intentionally every day, can drastically reduce some of the factors that lead to burnout. We have already written about four of a Physician’s New Activities of Daily Leadership, here are activities five to nine. By implementing these Activities of Daily Leadership over time, you will be on the path to sharing the workload more efficiently and have more fun leading your team.
In Part 1 we went over four other activities of daily leadership. I wanted to reiterate the first activity we talked about because, if you only do one thing on this list, this is it:
- A Well Run Team Huddle At Least Once In Every Practice Day: As we mention above, If you can only do one thing on this list, this is the one to start immediately. Ideally, you and your team should huddle immediately before any block of patient care visits, like first thing in the morning. If it feels like a burden, keep in mind that for every minute you invest in a quality team huddle, you will most likely save a minimum of five on your workday. Huddles provide an opportunity to anticipate patient needs and prepare staffing and logistical matters, so the day runs more smoothly. Over time, they can serve as a platform for additional practice improvement, and role expansion.
- Last about five to 15 minutes, maximum
- Start at a consistent time that integrates smoothly into the practice’s workflow
- Include a check-in at the beginning of the huddle to get everyone on the same page
- Give a shout-out to a teammate or tell a story about exceptional care provided to a patient.
- Clinic leaders should model being on-time, engaged and prepared.
Okay, now back to the list…
5) Batch Processing
Take all the tasks that are non-urgent and do them in a batch twice a day. All of a sudden all of those lingering jobs are done, and those little interruptions disappear. In a standard office day where you have an AM and PM schedule, some good times to do batch processing are 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM.
6) Check In With Your Team
Check in with your team members during the day and ask how they are doing. Find out what is working and what is not. They should feel like their one-on-one conversations are a safe place to speak freely. Whether they want to know more about the direction of the business or their performance, they should never be afraid to ask a question or share concerns. Demonstrate your self-awareness and find out what you can do better too.
7) Hold Well-Run, Monthly Staff Meetings
Monthly meetings allow you to improve your working practices, getting better at coordinating care and distribute the workload efficiently. Here is a checklist for a successful monthly meeting:
- Schedule each month
- Talk about:
- Things that you could improve
- Things that we can stop
- Things that we don’t do that we could
- Anything else
- Thank your team
- Check in with team
- Come together around successes you have
8) Get To Know Your People As People Too
Make small connections with your team. They are people beyond the workplace – do they have children, hobbies, tasks in your practice they enjoy? Make human connections, because when you care everything gets easier and more fulfilling.
9) Be On the Lookout For Your Programming
Notice when your accountabilities cause problems in the workplace. Recognize when feelings of taking on too much responsibility, demanding perfection, and not delegating take over, as that programming will drive both you and your team crazy.
When properly made a part of each day, these tasks will create a group that is happier and more efficient, thereby preventing burnout for you and the team as a whole. Remember too that this is DAILY leadership. It is essential to practice these skills every day and to follow through with them.
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