Emotional health and wellbeing are just as important as physical health and wellbeing but, unfortunately, they sometimes get overlooked.
Emotional wellbeing, or a lack thereof, can significantly impact a person’s physical health, mental health, productivity, attitude, perspective, and ability to be successful. At VetCor, we actively try to improve various aspects of employee wellbeing, so we asked some of our hospital managers how they foster emotional wellbeing in each of their practices.
This is what they had to say:
Praise can make a big different in a staff member’s productivity and morale. Sarah Morrissey of Northwood Oaks lets her team know what they’re doing well on a daily basis and she encourages employees to give shout outs to their coworkers. Dr. Michele Consiglio of West Shore also utilizes a box of appreciation notes which she calls the “happy box” and Dr. Janice Wilson of Indian Valley emphasizes the importance of recognizing hard work.
It can be difficult to schedule shifts around everyone’s personal life but trying your best lets your staff know you care. Sarah says she tries to “be mindful of fair scheduling” and has her team come together to allow other employees to take a day off if they’re exhausted, sick, or need to take a mental health day.
Many hospital managers listed different variations of mindfulness as ways they promote emotional wellbeing. Robyn King of Pet Street Station says she practices being grateful for 10 things each day while Tanya Stiles of Lucerne and Amanda Smith of Rosedale meditate to clear their heads. Amanda notes that meditation can take on many forms, such as partaking in arts and crafts.
Rewards are also great motivators and, really, they just make people feel appreciated. Every few weeks, Alicia Roy of Healthpointe buys her team snacks or a fruit/vegetable tray for working so hard and Dr. Nellie Savage of Poland occasionally buys her staff members ice cream, bagels, and/or lottery tickets. Dr. Wilson, Maggie Kuhn of Ridgeville, and Alannah Labesky of Twinbrook are also fans of providing their staff with occasional treats and gift cards.
Planning fun teambuilding events was another favorite. Alicia discussed her practice’s annual Easter egg hunt, Halloween party, and Secret Santa event. Maggie throws a Christmas in July party every year and Alannah plays a vet tech version of Jeopardy with her staff.
Other suggestions included setting both weekly and monthly goals and having recovering dogs sit up at the front desk with the reception staff so they can receive all the TLC in the world and the staff can reap the therapeutic benefits, as suggested by Carina Chalfant of Fisherville.
Try implementing some of these practices at your hospital to see firsthand how they positively impact your employees and the overall team morale.