To paraphrase Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a’stressin.”
A recent article in The Journal of Applied Psychology found that workers who are concerned about their own mortality due to the COVID-19 virus are more stressed and less engaged at their jobs.
However, the study also found that the right type of leadership can offset much of the stress associated with coping with the pandemic.
The online journal Science Daily reviewed the study and noted, “...the employees' anxiety and engagement were influenced by the type of boss they had. Employees did better if their boss exhibited what is called "servant leadership." As the name implies, servant leaders prioritize fulfillment of others' needs, attend to employees' emotional suffering, work to empower employees, and emphasize serving the community.”
The researchers from Ohio State University conducted three studies, one in China and two in the United States which confirmed the results.
It’s A Balancing Act For Dentists
At a time when many dental practices are struggling to get back to their pre-COVID collections, it’s all too easy for a dentist-owner to remain focused on the bottom line.
That’s certainly an understandable, and necessary, short-term focus, but it may not be the best one as new case counts are rising sharply and employees are faced with the possibility of another round of shutdowns.
By definition, dental practices are overwhelmingly small businesses. Unlike larger corporations, a single disgruntled and/or dysfunctional employee can wreak havoc on the business’s performance and culture. And, also unlike a larger business, losing one or two employees can have a huge impact on the dental practice’s sustainability.
Based on the results of these studies, dentist-owners who make a point of encouraging open discussion about stressors; who are openly supportive of helping their team members balance work and family; and who set the example of “servant leadership” will prosper.
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