3 ways practice leaders can leverage stress

Even the smoothest day of running a medical practice can be stressful--for physicians and staff alike. While practice leaders should take care to protect their teams from burnout, there are also positive ways to harness the inevitable daily challenges that practice members face, according to a post from Harvard Business Review.

"I firmly believe that one of the greatest keys to getting employees to fall in love with their companies is actually stress," wrote Shawn Anchor, a happiness researcher and expert in employee engagement.

In organizations such as the National Football League or the military, he argued, members bond and get stronger through hardship. But that effect is not a given. To truly reframe and leverage stress, business leaders must take the following steps:

  • Root out bullying. Healthcare workers are under enough pressure already, and a culture that tolerates any type of hazing or bullying will not toughen people up, only tear them down. Eliminating the dangers of workplace intimidation, harassment and other bullying behaviors requires a multi-pronged approach that emphasizes employee education as well as creating a culture of accountability, FierceHealthcare reported previously.
  • Rise to challenges as a team. Part of a CEO's job is to train team leaders to regard stressors as a meaningful group challenge, Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford told Anchor. Whether the obstacles are resource limitations, administrative burdens or actual walls, it's in the group's best interest to help each individual overcome them.
  • Connect stressors with meaning. If your office has patients waiting and phones ringing, those are signs that people need the care your practice exists to provide. Behind every one of these stressors is the opportunity not only fulfill your practice's mission but also to develop as a team.

To learn more:
- read the post