It was an experience of burnout in a physician leader that prompted Novant Health, a large integrated health system located in Charlotte, North Carolina, to launch an innovative well-being program for clinicians. After years of increasing administrative duties being added to his clinical work, Thomas Jenike, M.D., sought help from an executive coach. Finding that his professional and personal life turned around after six months of coaching, he created a program with his coach to serve others. The program’s premise is simple: lead the self, lead the team, and lead the organization. The Novant Leadership Development Program includes a three-day, off-site retreat that uses a group coaching model to improve work-life balance and personal leadership. Since 2013, more than 800 health care professionals, most of whom are physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants, have completed the program.
In addition, the organization offers a one-day resiliency coaching program for bedside nurses, in which almost 2,000 nurses in acute care facilities have participated. The resiliency program is now being offered to other health care professionals, such as physical therapists and pharmacists. Administrators also have access to one-on-one leadership coaching, which provides a safe space to talk about growth opportunities and organizational challenges in real time.
The health system has invested more than $2 million into promoting and convening the programs. Hard-number results include an all-staff engagement ranking that increased from 41st percentile in 2015 to 87th percentile in 2018. Among physicians in the health system’s employed medical group, those numbers increased from the 62nd percentile to the 92nd percentile for engagement.