Building Resilient Staff

By Cari Wade Gervin
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Use the lessons learned from the pandemic to improve staff mental health.

Even if a medical practice hasn’t been directly involved in treating COVID-19 patients over the past year, team members still may have experienced stress and trauma. With unprecedented levels of stress and changes in protocol in addition to everything happening in people’s lives outside of work, the psychological challenges of the pandemic have been immense.

With the prospect of herd immunity around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect and assess how changes made during the pandemic can improve working conditions across the board to build a more resilient staff. A study of Turkish medical professionals during the pandemic found that enhancing the “quality of sleep, positive emotions and life satisfaction” — in other words, the basics — helped improve the resilience of staff.

Practice leaders may want may want to ask: Is the practice overscheduling employees? Do they have a decent work-life balance? Is their pay enough to prevent financial stress?

Writing for Becker’s Hospital Review, Quint Studer, author of The Busy Leader’s Handbook, and Hospital Executive Consultant Diana Hendel, PharmD, have this advice for leadership team members:

  • Overcommunicate. Stay in touch with staff, including checking in on a one-to-one basis.
  • Recognize efforts. Then reward staff for their hard work.
  • Destigmatize mental health treatment. Encourage staff to seek help if needed.