The Great Resignation has hit all industries hard, and healthcare is no exception. The stress that workers feel is real, and the result is droves of employees leaving the field. If your chiropractic staff is feeling it too, it might be time to get digital support to help lower their stress and increase their loyalty.
But how can managers turn this into action instead of just a talking point? Reducing stress for staff is possible with the right strategies and tools. This step-by-step guide will help you reduce stress and retain chiropractic staff at your clinic.
Step 1: Understand their stress by listening to their feedback.
The starting point for working with others begins and ends with listening. Effective clinic managers listen to staff and troubleshoot solutions as a team. Through this process, employees will likely find that one or two specific tasks add to their stress more than others. It is also likely that there is an automated solution that can help alleviate this stress.
Step 2: Remove “mindless” tasks so staff can do what they do best.
A deeper understanding of what this looks like will become apparent during the feedback phase, but there will definitely be tasks that staff will name that could be automated. An aggressive approach might be to automate as much as possible, but you can start with one or two tasks to see how it goes. Depending on the technological acumen of the staff, this transition might require a partner to help migrate a few of the processes to automated solutions.
Step 3: Identify and decrease the “stressful moments” as much as possible.
What are the most stressful tasks that staff is asked to do? Is it insurance? Patient management? While we cannot completely remove every stressor from the workplace, if we can find solutions to automate a few of them, it can create a better work environment. For example, patients tend to become upset because of billing questions, calendar conflicts, or mistakes made through human error. Digital solutions can help with this. Automation can be a solution for catching errors that might lead to upset patients, resulting in less stress for staff and happier clients.
Step 4: Make sure not all feedback is negative.
Using Google Reviews, companies like ZingIt can help you find the best, most loyal customers giving feedback. This provides an outlet to share stellar reviews with employees. This is not “stacking the deck”; in fact, most of your patients are probably quite satisfied with their care. But your front-office staff likely doesn’t hear from them enough, and this is a process to ensure that this step happens. If the only feedback that they ever experience is negative, the stress levels will rise and turnover will continue.
Maintain a feedback loop to ensure that the “solutions” are working.
After implementing this four-step plan, go back to Step 1 to see if stress levels are actually lower. Sitting down to talk with one or two staff members is a great way to understand the impact. For large offices, an employee engagement survey might be more beneficial, as all staff can provide feedback and the information can be both quantitative and qualitative. Regardless of the format, the actions in Steps 2 through 4 might need tweaking to continue the improvement cycle. Also, make sure any infusion of technology does not add to overall stress. Proper training and support must be put in place for all staff as part of the planning phase.
If stress levels are too high for your chiropractic staff, the entire business might suffer. Retraining new staff is expensive if turnover is high, and poor patient experience will impact your bottom line. With this plan and the support of automation and technology, chiropractors, patients, and staff will all be happier and less stressed.