Approximately two thirds of GPs say that being happy is the most important thing at work. This means that keeping staff happy and healthy is of utmost importance. After all, a happy workforce is a productive one. However, this isn’t the only benefit of a happy work environment. Research has also shown that a happy environment can help medical practices to recruit new GPs. Keep reading below to find out more:
The Demand for GPs
The NHS is facing some of the most serious difficulties in its 70-year history. Medical practices all around the country are struggling to cope. Not only has there been a huge increase in demand for medical practitioners, but practices are also struggling to recruit staff. This means that patients are having to wait longer than ever before to be treated.
GPs face an increasingly intense and complex workload, thanks to an ageing population coupled with the rising levels of multimorbidity. Alongside these challenges, GP practices have also been at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caring for Patients with Fewer GPs
Despite the number of people choosing to train as a doctor in the UK, the number of GPs has not been able to keep up with the growing demand for services. In fact, the number of full-time GPs has decreased considerably since 2015. In order to keep up with demand, we have seen an increase in the number of sessional/salaried GPs working in the UK. This includes GP retainers and locum GPs. The main reason for this change is because GPs are choosing to move towards more flexible working options that offer them a better work-life balance.
How to Successfully Recruit GPs
As we mentioned above, there is a huge shortage of GPs in the UK. In fact, it has been described as the “biggest challenge facing the NHS since its formation”. While there are no miracle cures out there, and no one person can solve this problem, there are some things you can do to attract new GPs to your practice. This includes:
- Offering job shares – this will provide them with a better work-life balance
- Don’t hang around when recruiting – doctors will usually apply for more than one role at a time
- Create a happy environment – evidence suggests that this is one of the most important things GPs consider when looking for a new role
Why a Happy Environment Helps Medical Practices Recruit New GPs
Numerous studies show us that happiness is linked to higher results. GPs who feel disgruntled, uninterested, or unsupported by their employers have very little motivation to do anything but the bare minimum to get their paycheque. This helps no-one.
Therefore, medical practices that cultivate a positive, nurturing, and engaging work environment will not only watch their bottom line grow, but will also be more able to recruit new practitioners too. So, a happy environment is a win-win for both the GPs and their employers.
How to Create a Happy Environment
There are lots of things you can do to improve the environment of a medical practice and make it more attractive to recruits, such as:
- Making sure they have the right GP surgery supplies – this includes things like aprons, blood pressure monitors and ECG machines
- Allow GPs to personalise their space
- Encourage communication between employees
- Open the windows, add some plants, and hang some pictures to make the environment more relaxing
- Schedule regular breaks for all staff
- Encourage a work-life balance
- Show appreciation and support
Evidence suggests that creating a happy work environment significantly impacts employees’ attitudes towards their role, their performance levels, and their productivity levels. However, providing a good working environment goes far beyond the workspace to include the leadership style and the company culture too.
Medical practices that create a happy environment for their staff are much more likely to be able to recruit new GPs to come and work at the practice. Research suggests that not only does a happy environment increase employee happiness, prevent long term sick leave, and decrease employee turnover, but it can also make a business more productive.