4 ways to build a happy, high-functioning team

By Aine Cryts

One of your primary care doctors just spent 20 minutes on the phone getting an insurance company to authorize the latest diabetes medication for one of her patients--and that made her late for the rest of that day's appointments. That same day, your receptionist juggled the schedules of three physicians in order to fit in a three-year-old with a stomach bug.

And this is just typical of how physicians spend their days at your practice. Your team members also have family lives and other responsibilities. Put it all together and it can spell one problem: stress.

Here are four approaches, derived from a recent Harvard Business Review article, to increase well-being at your practice:

  • Promote and model well-being. Professional development opportunities such as mindfulness and resilience classes can help reduce stress levels at your practice. Encouraging your team members to go outside for "walking" meetings is also helpful. Even better news? When any of your team members experiences well-being, there's a multiplier effect. When a team member experiences well-being, their colleagues are 20 percent more likely to thrive as well, research has shown.
  • Coach and mentor star players on your team. Taking an active approach with your star players to take on increasingly more challenging projects--while encouraging them to develop great soft skills--can turn them into high-functioning team leaders.
  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy. Leaders who take the time to understand employees' stressors and motivations and create the right supports to make those employees successful find it can have a dramatic impact on profitability and productivity, according to a study cited by HBR.
  • Minimize meetings before lunchtime. Scheduling meetings in the afternoon gives the more introverted members of your team the time they need to get their work done while giving their more extroverted colleagues the chance to talk problems out.

To learn more:
- read the HBR article