While you’re addressing your patients’ coronavirus concerns, you mustn’t forget about your team. They have their own anxieties and fears. This crisis has put everyone in the unenviable position of worrying about both their health and finances at the same time. And like everyone else, your team is nervous about the health of their families, worried about how they’ll pay their bills, and troubled about lost retirement funding. And while you can’t personally handle the health or finances of your team members and their families, you can be compassionate and supportive.
You should also be sensitive to the fact that many of your team members may have lost their biggest peer group. Most team members spend more time with the orthodontic team then they do with their own families every week. And as practices shut down and staff members are sheltering in place, practice teams are finding that social media or smart phone communication isn’t nearly as comforting as actually being with your peer group in the office each day.
In the same way you are reaching out to your patients, you must make the effort to communicate regularly with your team, offering positive thinking without being over-the-top. There’s no need to ignore the reality of what is happening around us. Just keep them up to date on what is happening, address rumors to the best of your ability, and provide some level of assurance that this will get better and the practice will be up and running, as soon as possible.
This is the time when leadership is so important. Sure, you have a lot to deal with and have many concerns of your own. But you must be the leader your team needs through this difficult period. It is the right and compassionate thing to do.
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