- Posted Monday October 29, 2018
The winter season is looming and with that comes the inevitable added pressures; the practice is busier, flu jab season’s here, patients are affected by adverse weather, you’re affected by adverse weather… Then of course there’s Christmas.
Sadly you can’t build a helpful minion to lend a hand with the winter pressures, but you can’t let those pressures turn you into Frankenstein’s monster either!
With that in mind, here are 5 monstrously good tips for managers:
1. Share the load - Possibly the oldest trick in the spell book and, as we all know, often easier said than done. However it’s a good rule of thumb that as your workload increases, so should your delegation list. It’s not necessarily a ‘one-in, one-out’ mindset, but some assistance with a large project will really help you out and get even the most fiendish of jobs finished more quickly.
2. Keep it positive - Again this is one thing to say, another to achieve - especially when you have a chock-a-block waiting room, staff off sick and a locum gone missing. Even simply remembering to say ‘thank you’ to staff after a long and stressful day will help maintain a positive work atmosphere. Nobody wants to go home and have nightmares about their job...
3. Celebrate little victories - If you notice that November’s DNAs are down even by 1%, celebrate it! If a member of the admin team has conjured up a way of reducing a task from half an hour to 10 minutes, celebrate it! In most aspect of life we seldom tend to focus on the positives, so always remember to celebrate those little moments of magic.
4. Exercise emotional intelligence – Unlike the cold-hearted critters that may appear on a moonless Halloween night, we all know that kindness is not a weakness. It’s important to remember that everyone has their own issues at this time of year.
If you think a member of staff is a little off and it’s affecting their workload, take them to one side and ask how they are doing. Sometimes just being asked how you are doing makes you feel better, because you can see somebody cares.
5. ‘There’s a policy for that’ - OK so you don’t actually need a policy for everything, but you do need one for the important things. Sadly, as winter rains down on us and pressures rise, patient/practice relations can get a little frayed. Whilst exercising compassion is important, it’s also important your staff know you have a clear-cut complaints procedure and a zero tolerance policy to harassment or aggressive behaviour.
Ultimately, there’s no sugar coating it. The winter will be hard, but it’s important to remember you have a great team behind you, you’re an amazing manager and you’re never alone.
FPM is here to support you, with a network of people who have been there and done it – the former practice managers at First Practice Management know the difficulties you face and the wonders you work every day. Plus, we offer invaluable HR support and access to hundreds of policies to save you from any unexpected frights...