Factors Influencing Productivity
Productivity implies effectiveness and efficiency in individual and group performance. To be effective, the objectives must be achieved. To be efficient, the objectives must be achieved with the least amount of resources.
This short lesson introduces the factors that influence team productivity and will enable the learner to understand how management approach and leadership skills impact
Productivity implies measurement. Productivity involves the relative use of skills and the relative use of knowledge. Measurement of skills work is easy, but it becomes more difficult to measure knowledge work. The 91B10 may take and record vital signs of 20 patients in one hour. The team leader may use eight hours completing next month's schedule, while directing subordinates. One difficulty in measuring the productivity of knowledge work is that often the output contributes indirectly to achieve end results. Factors affecting the nursing team's productivity are:
(1) The number of team members. A team that is too large wastes time and fosters indecision. The team should be large enough to complete the assigned tasks, but small enough for adequate communication among its members.
(2) The number of assignments. Whatever the situation, the team members must learn to organize their work so that they are able to give adequate care to all of their patients.
(3) The types of tasks to be accomplished. Team members should be competent in performing all tasks that may be assigned. Non-nursing tasks such as answering the telephone, emptying the garbage, and transporting non-acute patients should be eliminated from their duties.
(4) The time allocated to complete the tasks. As conservation of scarce resources such as time, money, and supplies is more vigorously enforced, the need for nurses to be "faster and smarter" in delivering patient care will increase.
(5) The environment. A smaller staff will be on duty during the evening and night. There will be fewer members to a team, and each member will be assigned to care for more patients. Although more personnel are available during the day shift, more patient services are provided. Continuity of care is the key; communication between shifts is vital.
(6) The management style of the team leader. Whether the team leader has an autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire management style, he must have a thorough knowledge of nursing and an intuitive understanding of human behavior if the team is to produce efficiently.
(7) The skills and experience of each team member. Each team member should have the needed skills for the technique, treatment, or procedure they are to perform. If in doubt, they should know where to find the SOP (standing operating procedures) if required.
b. Although the terms management and leadership are sometimes treated as synonyms, there is a distinct difference between a manager and a leader. The key functions of a manager are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. Leadership is an important aspect of managing; however, there can be leaders of completely unorganized groups.