What tools can I give my therapists to help them cope with stress, pressures and responsibilities.
Teaching your team how to structure their day is an important first step in this process.
Good time management, maybe with a checklist in the morning ensures that everything is done more efficiently. Knowing that the room is ready and then familiarising themselves with the schedule is part of their mental preparation which will reduce stress. Ideally, they will come earlier in the day and take a moment to close their eyes, take a breath and visualise their day – how it starts and ends and what they hope to achieve.
One of the most important things is to help your team to understand that their body is their tool. They need to take care of it, which requires discipline and repetition in the same way an athlete would prepare for sport or a dancer prepares for a performance.
Lifestyle advice is essential and you should promote the benefits of meditation, yoga, Pilates and physical fitness like swimming or jogging. A good diet is also vital. Can you support this by introducing healthier options at the work canteen? Perhaps you could have a free fruit bowl in the staff room.
I always advise therapists to breath and stretch between treatments. It’s possible to rest in 10 minutes if you stop, breathe, meditate and recuperate, whilst avoiding social media. Take a deep breath before each client and start from zero. See that person as a new person, starting every treatment like it is the first of the day.
But it’s not enough to focus solely on the therapist. This advice will be ineffectual if you don’t create the right work environment. One of kindness, and appreciation that inspires and motivates people.
Teach your team to support and help each other. As a manager, you need to truly understand the complexity of their work, checking if they really do have enough time between each treatment to prepare the room, to talk to the client etc. Foster an open environment with your daily meetings which go beyond KPI’s and targets by making these more personal and engaging. Set aside space for a staff room, that’s a nice place to be, where they can properly rest and recuperate on their breaks.