With Anger Awareness week in full swing, we are addressing the key triggers for this emotion and how we process and manage it.

Anger is a natural human emotion, however, how we express this feeling is imperative. This is advice you can take with you in all walks of life, but let’s focus on the workplace. Did you know a staggering 90% of a company’s productivity is undermined by stress in the workplace? Conflict, anger and stress can all be directly linked, with work related conflicts causing a ripple effect, but can they all be avoided?

Anger and the workplace

Conflict in the workplace comes in many shapes and forms, from individual clashes to disputes with management, the average employee in the UK will experience conflict of some sort at least once in their working life with 45% of us losing our temper at work.

How you deal with conflict is vital to relationships and your future career, especially as a clinician, which is why it is so important to get to the root of the problem before reacting.

The top reason for conflict in the workplace is miscommunication. Every action has a reaction, “if you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot”, taking a moment to assess the situation gives you time to focus and appreciate the importance of communication. Professor Mehrabian combined the statistical results of two studies and came up with the rule that “communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal. The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent)” (YAFFE, 2011)

How does this affect Locums?

For locums, whether you are a Nurse Practitioner or a General Practitioner, the key to a happy working day is clarification and communication. Here at AppLocum we always provide our locums with essential details for the clinics required, ensuring they feel included, informed and relaxed.

On the day of your clinic, we advise that you make yourself known to the Practice Manager, breaking down the communication barrier and ensuring that you feel comfortable addressing any issues within the practice on a one to one basis. It is vital that you feel supported throughout your shift.

What AppLocum do to help you

Our recruitment consultants ensure that you feel well prepared for your shift, we will provide you with all the details and information required in order to produce an organised, calm working environment prior to your clinic.

Our team of experienced, friendly consultants are on hand 24 hours a day to support you throughout your clinic and provide guidance through your shift. From working hours through to home visits, our advisors are happy to help and diffuse any situations that may arise on the day.

Tips to ensure you stay relaxed:

1. Provide our advisors with all of your relevant details, including: GMC/NMC pin, Smartcard number, contact details, skills list, etc.
2. Save our number in your phone and always feel free to contact us. Let us know if you have any issues, we will do our best to help. We are an open point of contact; our advisors are always happy to hear from you.
3. Gain as much feedback on the surgery as you can prior to accepting the shift to ensure you feel comfortable.
4. Introduce yourself to the Practice Manager, build the relationship and work as a team together.
5. Take time to relax. It is important you take care of yourself, make sure you have breaks in the appropriate places, take a moment to breathe.

Conflict and the Practice

As a practice, it is important to be prepared and know the locum you have selected. We understand the stress involved with appointing locums in your surgery. Our recruitment consultants get to know your practice as well as they possibly can so they can find the perfect locum for you. It is important to build relationships with your locums and ensure you communicate as effectively as possible throughout the clinics.

Prior to advertising for a locum to join your surgery, we feel it is imperative to underline exactly what you need from them. As an agency, we feel it is important to communicate with our clients; we will gain all the information needed in order to recruit effectively for your vacancy.

From a personal perspective, one of the biggest causes of conflict in the practice, that we experience, is the knowledge of the system used. If a Locum is unfamiliar with a system, EMIS for example, this causes tension and time management issues. This is why we find it is important to be transparent through the recruitment process. Be sure to make it clear which system as a practice you use and if possible be flexible. If it is possible to provide a quick taster of the system prior to the surgery date we would advise this to ensure the day runs smoothly and without any system issues.

Office layouts can provide a calming atmosphere. Take into account that the Locum may never have worked within your surgery before. The key point to providing a comfortable working space and reducing stress, is to provide your locum with all the necessary equipment, contact details and support throughout the shift. We are here for you 24 hours a day, should a problem occur, we are ready and available when you need us.

Tips to ensure the clinic runs smoothly:

1. Always ask for a Locum skills list, this is to ensure the cases you book into clinics reflect exactly what the locum can see and treat.
2. Break down the communication barrier with the locum. Make sure you greet them and make them feel welcome, supported and confident prior to the clinic.
3. Provide your recruitment advisor with a detailed overview of your surgery, the clinic and future clinics. This instantly provides you with an organised approach to the recruitment process minimising future stress.
4. Give feedback to your recruitment advisor on the locum. Make sure the locum feels appreciated by giving them positive, constructive feedback.
5. Keep in touch with us! We are always happy to help with any situations you may have, in some cases use us as a mediator if necessary.

Communication is the answer

One thing that appears to be a reoccurring theme throughout anger in the workplace is communication. Communication provides people with reassurance, a feel of support and a united front. When provided with these key factors, stress, anger and tension become reduced and manageable.
With the number one cause to conflict being miscommunication. Here at AppLocum we aim to bridge the gap between Locum’s and Practice Management, by providing a transparent, approachable service to all.

If you have been affected by anger in the workplace or have found yourself struggling with Anger Management, we welcome discussion below. Please leave your comments, tips and tricks to support your fellow Locums and Practices.

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This is a great article!