Since 2020, we have been hammered with chaotic occurrences that have made it hard to remain motivated. With the COVID-19 pandemic isolating us from friends and family, combined with other unfortunate incidents, morale has dipped to an all-time low in the healthcare field. Luckily, the medical workforce has powered through to remain functional.
If you are looking to help re-energize your staff and restore their morale and motivation, even during a pandemic that continues to rage, you can take action. Here’s how.
Step 1: Communication
It might seem trite, but actively engaging with your staff can go a very long way in helping with low morale in the workforce, especially for high-stress professions like healthcare. One of the most significant ways to demoralize a workforce is to make them feel as though they have no voice in the affairs at work.
Ideally, you should always maintain a space where your team may freely ask questions and exchange ideas to enhance your employees’ quality of life. However, it goes beyond even this. All too often, even the most skilled employees can feel like they’re nothing more than cogs in a machine.
If your staff is low on morale, it can be beneficial to simply engage in a friendly conversation when they are not actively occupied with a task. Tell a joke, ask about their day, and help them keep in touch with one of the most human traits in the world.
Studies conducted by Colorado State University found a direct correlation between workplace humor and productivity.
Communicating with your employees increases the human element of being part of the workforce. That human element helps keep your employees connected and motivates them to give their best effort.
Step 2: Recognition
Healthcare workers are among the most underappreciated professionals on the planet. They deal with intense, high-stress situations regularly that would leave most people in the fetal position. However, they are seldom thanked for their efforts in a meaningful way and, unfortunately, tend to go unrecognized by their employers.
If your staff’s morale is low, it might benefit them to begin acknowledging their accomplishments, even if they are small. Recognizing the achievements of healthcare workers helps to reinforce their best practices rather than making it feel like they are expected to perform specific tasks that are considered above and beyond the call of duty.
Surveys have found that 66% of employees are more likely to retain their motivation to work when receiving praise or acknowledgment from their employers. Additionally, 63% of employees revealed they would consider leaving their place of employment should they fail to receive either from their employers. Any appreciation for an employee’s efforts, especially in healthcare, helps keep them happy and ready to tackle any task that may come.
Step 3: Mental Health Awareness
While it is becoming more and more understood as time goes on, there remains a lot of misconception and underappreciation for the toll of mental health strain. The fact is, there exists no greater drain on morale than poor mental health. The more stressed we are, the more underlying issues such as depression are exacerbated and the less motivated we become to fulfill our duties.
There is a phenomenon that is directly tied to morale and mental health: burnout. When we are exposed to consistent and extreme stress, burnout leads to a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that leaves us utterly unmotivated to do anything, let alone work. For people with underlying mental health conditions, this stress is made much worse. The mental, physical, and emotional strain of conditions like anxiety, depression, and even ADHD can compound into burnout and make it nearly impossible to function in the most basic ways.
One way to help avoid burnout is to allow your employees to take the time they need to gather themselves mentally, be it breaks during the workday between tasks or even allowing them to take a mental health day. Acknowledging the mental health needs of employees, especially those who work high-stress jobs like healthcare, will keep them from suffering from burnout and give them a much-needed morale boost.
How Does This Apply to You?
While boosting the morale of your employees is vital, it means nothing if you do not hire the best you can find.
If you want to ensure that you are hiring the best healthcare professionals, you can contact HCRI today and let us help you help others.