Staff wellbeing takes more than a one hour workshop.

Learning the skills of wellbeing takes more than a one hour workshop.

It’s truly wonderful to see colleges and healthcare organisations thinking more about wellbeing and recognising that these conversations need to start earlier in a doctor’s career. We are fielding so many requests for one hour workshops just now, it’s wild!

People who organise events for doctors are cognisant that the doctors are time-poor and hope that something is better than nothing. To some extent they are right.

Often just one sentence at the right time can help a person see something new that allows them to make an important change to their behavior or mindset.

I am grateful to be invited to share what we have learned about doctor wellbeing.

While the intention is good, we find that potential participant often don’t commit to these workshops. In the immediate moment of a busy day,it seems like the least consequential thing to delete from their diary. Or they arrive and leave early, distracted by their phone or other competing pressures.

What to do…

Our experience is that a longer-term approach gets better traction and has more impact for individuals and for organisations. Yes, it’s a bigger commitment – and – it seems the old adage applies, you get what you pay for…

  • Check your intention, do you want your whole team to benefit?
  • Is it useful to train the leader and have them teach the team?
  • Or would there be more momentum if you trained several champions?
  • Do you need ongoing support to embed new habits and a new system?
  • What structure and resources can you provide to make the learning a reality that results in sustained change?
  • Will you follow up with anything – another conversation as a group, a project? Is it an entry point to a bigger leadership program?

Learning happens when the learners feel safe and relaxed, when it’s fun, and when there is time to experience the new learning, to experiment with the ideas and tools being taught.

Learning happens best when people value it, the more people the better. The learner, the others, the bosses – do they all value what is being taught?

For healthcare to find a way to take better care of the workers, we need radical change not tweaks at the edges.

A short workshop with no follow-up, no support, no budget, no reflection, and no accountability, smacks of ticking the box and the people know it.

Why would you bother?

  • A series of conversations over time is better.
  • A structure that supports the conversations makes it better, and gives it a real chance.

For example, can you create a system that allows all the interested people to leave the floor and focus properly?

Healthcare workers who value their wellbeing know that it’s going to take more than a one-hour workshop.

Wellbeing is everybody’s business. We all want to be well.

We want you and your team to be well too. It’s the only way we will have a healthcare system to speak of…

You can be an employer of choice – when wellbeing has a budget, time and priority.

I hope we can talk soon,

May you be well


Find out more about Sharee and her work.

Sharee’s new book The Thriving Doctor is available in all good bookstores on online.