6 steps to transform your team - Firstline
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6 steps to transform your team
Ready to relieve your stress at work? Consider these stress busting, team building activities that we practice often at our clinic.



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1. We cook. Whether it is one of our many theme food days or just a fun potluck lunch, we get together over food. We find the act of eating together increases connectivity and decreases stress. It’s fun seeing what our coworkers come up with, especially when we do a theme. At our Mexican fiesta, a coworker brought virgin margaritas to spread smiles.

Photos courtesy of Julie Mullins

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2. We celebrate our team members. There are seasons of stress when you’re short staffed or plagued with illness, equipment failure or angry clients. When a stressful period of time occurs we select one team member to celebrate and throw them a “You Day.” Everybody is in on the surprise except for the person being celebrated. We’ve made them wear silly hats, posted photos around the hospital of them, and let our clients know why they rock! This increases morale amongst everyone—especially in the spirit of the person we’re celebrating.

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3. We compete together. We have runners in our midst, and they run. We have cheerleaders in our midst and they go and cheer on the runners. It’s cool to see everyone either competing or cheering. It’s a real stress buster and a morale booster.

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4. We get silly. When the front office has an opportunity they have impromptu “dance parties” for a few seconds to a minute. They are professional about it, of course, and wait till the lobby is clear. But the laughter from this moment of silliness carries their spirits for the remainder of the day.

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5. We talk about it and work it through. OK, so maybe this isn’t a fun one. But sometimes you need to face those stressful moments head on and work them through. It may end with our practice manager telling us all, “This is how it is going to be, put on your big girl pants and carry on.” But the act of being heard is huge for stress relief.

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6. We have contests. On of our most popular contests were our “Sarcasm Award.” We created a heavy medal for the sarcasm award and kept a tally to see who made the most sarcastic comments—funny, but sarcastic This person was awarded the medal. We also gave an award for creating positivity. We had the white board with the words, “It has been ____ days (or minutes) since our last negative comment.” It was lots of fun.

Work is hard. There is stress in it, so look for positive people to add to your team and keep note of the pulse of your clinic. When you notice that the morale is low throw a fun day, dance it up or face it head on! Whatever you do, don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore it. It will not get any better and you’ll have a nose full of dirt.

Julie Mullins is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and the lead trainer at Doggone Healthy in Calabash, N.C.


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