Physical therapists work hard to help their patients have less pain and easier movements. Helping others feel better is often what keeps us going each day—and loving our jobs. But, we all have had those days or weeks where it is tough to feel motivated and excited about our work. Let’s see how you can boost morale for yourself or for your team—getting folks back to their happy place!
One way to identify ways to boost morale is to drill down into why PTs are feeling low. Is it workload? Compensation? Career advancement? Management? It might be one or a combination of these and other reasons. A starting point helps you to make changes that generate positive impacts for your PTs.
At the end of each day, ask your PTs to fill out a simple survey such as a scale of 1 to 5 how they feel about the day. Collect these surveys for one to two weeks and analyze the results. What is the average score? Anything in the 4-5 range is great! An average of less than 3 indicates work is critically needed.
Now, review the scores by day and by PT. You are looking to see if certain trends appear. You can do this easily by charting the PTs on the vertical axis and days of the week on the horizontal axis with each day’s score plotted. What do you see?
You might see that some PTs give the same score each day. That might be a good sign, they are scoring a 4-5. But, if they are giving a consistent score of 3 or less, you need to see what systemic problem is occurring. Consistently low scores indicate that morale is impacted by something beyond the day-to-day. This could be compensation, advancement, management etc.
If you see some PTs giving a range of scores for different days, this often indicates that morale is impacted by daily issues. Commonly, workload or patient volumes can be huge drivers of dips in morale. Look at the days when the scores drop and see how many patients that PT saw. Is that higher or lower than their average? Were they running behind or double booked? Proper scheduling with adequate time to treat patients, complete notations and stay on top of administrative tasks is key to workplace morale.
Building a process to regularly assess and track morale is an important part of running a PT clinic. If you have happy employees, you will see great results from both your team and your patients. Conversely, catching morale dips early can prevent unhappy staff and help you retain top talent to serve your patients.
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