• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    How one practice conquered burnout

    Two years ago, when Mission Health in Asheville, N.C., gave their standard employee engagement survey, only 17.5 percent reported being “fully engaged,” says Ronald A. Paulus, MD, Mission’s president and chief executive officer.

    A year and a half later, 40 percent of employees reported being fully engaged. “It was a dramatic change,” says Paulus.

    Mission achieved this by rolling out what Paulus describes as “a three-legged stool.”

    While none of these three legs are perfect, they’ve had a profound impact on Mission Health’s burnout rates, which he compares to “light showing through the blinds.


    RELATED READING: 9 ways to combat physician suicide


    “I think the sense of movement creates hope, hope creates energy and energy creates problem-solving,” Paulus says.


    Team engagement 

    Paulus says the practice took to heart the advice that “you can separate out high-performing teams from low-performing teams by how frequently they interact, and how often individuals get to work in their areas of strength.”

    Using an app, each team member checks in with his or her team leader at the beginning of every week. A team leader is not necessarily one’s boss, either. 

    Each week, the team leader asks each team member three things: what they need from the team leader, what they loved about their week and what they loathed.

    “That gives you insights into the highs and lows, and allows you to redirect people out of the lows,” Paulus says.

    Then team members list their priorities for the week. The team leader might help them to change these if needed.

    Lastly, they rate themselves on the following two characteristics:

    • How much value do I feel like I contributed last week?
    • How much did I get to work in my strengths last week?

    This creates a kind of “real-time, concurrent view of an employee engagement survey,” Paulus says. This continuous feedback is the first and most important leg of the stool.

    Next: Reduce hassles, increase joys

    1 Comment

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • Anonymous
      When Mission Health makes all providers sign nondisclosure agreements that they will never speak badly of Mission publicly it is pretty easy to say that no one is burned out. As a provider working in this area I wish the author had done a little more research into staffing turn over and provider shortages before writing this glowing article.

    Latest Tweets Follow