How Can You LOVE Work, as a Physician?

by Francine Gaillour, MD on June 2, 2014

in Aligning With Values & Purpose,Career Resilience & Fulfillment,Executive Coaching for Physicians

A recent article in the New York Times, “Why You Hate Work,”  shares the results from The Energy Project, a company that probed over 12,000 white collar employees, on their attitudes towards work.

In a sentence:  the more refreshed, valued and connected we are to our work, and the more spiritually connected we our to our purpose while at work, the better we feel and more loyal we are to our organization.

From my own experience as a coach, I can attest that the we LOVE work is to attend to the FOUR CORE NEEDS as outlined by authors:  Renewal, Value, Focus, and Purpose.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Put simply, the way people feel at work profoundly influences how they perform. What our study revealed is just how much impact companies can have when they meet each of the four core needs of their employees.

Renewal: Employees who take a break every 90 minutes report a 30 percent higher level of focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day. They also report a nearly 50 percent greater capacity to think creatively and a 46 percent higher level of health and well-being. The more hours people work beyond 40 — and the more continuously they work — the worse they feel, and the less engaged they become. By contrast, feeling encouraged by one’s supervisor to take breaks increases by nearly 100 percent people’s likelihood to stay with any given company, and also doubles their sense of health and well-being.

Value: Feeling cared for by one’s supervisor has a more significant impact on people’s sense of trust and safety than any other behavior by a leader. Employees who say they have more supportive supervisors are 1.3 times as likely to stay with the organization and are 67 percent more engaged.

Focus: Only 20 percent of respondents said they were able to focus on one task at a time at work, but those who could were 50 percent more engaged. Similarly, only one-third of respondents said they were able to effectively prioritize their tasks, but those who did were 1.6 times better able to focus on one thing at a time.

Purpose: Employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations — the highest single impact of any variable in our survey. These employees also reported 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and they were 1.4 times more engaged at work.

We often ask senior leaders a simple question: If your employees feel more energized, valued, focused and purposeful, do they perform better? Not surprisingly, the answer is almost always “Yes.” Next we ask, “So how much do you invest in meeting those needs?”

For the all the discussion recently about stresses in healthcare, physician burn-out and dissatisfaction, it would behoove all healthcare leaders to self assess along these same lines.

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