Wellness-centered leadership refers to the idea that the behaviors of health care leaders influence the organizational culture, which is a powerful driver of well-being for health care professionals. Leaders are responsible for generating trust in their organizations, internally among clinicians and other team members, and externally among patients and the community. This trust fosters clinician well-being and is critical for good patient care.
No matter how solid your organizational strategy is, the organization’s culture, as created and modeled by its leaders, is foundational for success.
A key aim of this playbook is creating a “culture of wellness,” which we define as a work environment that embraces a set of values, attitudes, and behaviors that promote self-care, professional satisfaction and growth, and compassion for colleagues, patients and self. This culture is essential for achieving the Quadruple Aim of health care, which includes improving patient care, reducing costs, improving population health outcomes and improving clinician well-being.
Successful leaders are confident in their position, willing to tackle difficult problems and bold enough to explore diverse views to help find new approaches and solutions.
Five leader behaviors to cultivate positive leadership
A trusting environment can be nurtured when a leader authentically exhibits the five behaviors below.
Include: Treat everyone with respect and nurture a culture where all are welcome and psychologically safe.
Inform: Transparently share what you know with the team.
Inquire: Consistently solicit input from those you lead (participatory management).
Develop: Nurture and support the professional development and aspirations of team members.
Recognize: Express appreciation and gratitude in an authentic way to those you lead.
Organizations focused on developing these five leader behaviors report substantive turnarounds in morale in units facilitated solely by a change in the leader’s behavior.
This Wellness Centered Leadership Playbook (PDF) is for:
- Health systems and organizational leaders
- Medical directors and departmental leaders
- Operations leaders
- Practice managers
- Physicians and other clinicians who are aspiring leaders
Anyone interested in leading change to improve health care organizational culture and clinician well-being can learn from the content outlined and linked to within this playbook.