Most people will be part of many different teams throughout their work and personal lives, and, within each team, they’ll need to be able to work effectively with others on a range of different tasks and activities. Having the skills to be able to do that productively every single time is key for efficient and productive working.
For new partners, this is evidently crucial. Research has shown, for example, that one of the primary reasons a GP decides to join a particular partnership over another is that they have a high-quality, well-functioning team already in place. What is more, partners will have many different working relationships and will be part of many different teams.
- First, they have their new practice team and, as a new partner, are responsible for their workforce, both clinical and non-clinical. Having a clear understanding of who can do what in the team and where each team member’s strengths and skills lie is key to a productive team. In addition, with the extra responsibilities that come with being a business owner, partners need to be able to manage their workloads effectively. Evaluating the skills of the whole team can help to ensure that the most appropriate team member is completing a given task and can release time for members to focus on the work they need to do. Just like the mantra of care navigation, ensuring that our patients get the most appropriate care – ‘right person, right place, right time, right location’ - applying these guiding principles to our own team can ensure that tasks get done as efficiently as possible.
- Secondly, they have another team in their partnership - the other partners who run the practice. As a partnership, they will need to make decisions about their practice and one of the biggest challenges we hear from partners we have supported is the ‘never-ending circle of reaching a decision’ – with time and effort often wasted leading to a feeling of unproductiveness. Team productivity can support a partnership to build consensus and make effective decisions together, and importantly help partners to understand each partner’s different viewpoints, preferences, and styles of working.
- Additionally, partners are part of broader system-wide teams, working with others across their community such as care homes, pharmacies, and other practices within primary care networks. Here, team productivity plays its role in the need to create that common ground of working together, achieving that common aim, and agreeing on a common way of working together. For partners, this can often mean a considerable chunk of the working week is spent in meetings working with others outside of the practice. Anything that can be done to improve the running and efficiency of those meetings can help make the most of the time spent together and boost the team to work as productively as possible.
Team productivity is all about helping the team work together to get things done while making the best use of their own unique combination of strengths.
A team that works well together, efficiently, and productively, offers benefits for each team member in the form of greater job satisfaction, increased morale, and improved retention. It means an all-around happier staff! Moreover, team productivity not only carries benefits for the individuals who make up the team but also enhances the overall performance of the team as a whole, improving the focus and energy of the practice.
Look out for Part 2 of this blog to hear how new partners have improved their team productivity.
Xytal is one of the leading British consultancies in the health sector. If you found this article beneficial, you might also consider checking out our New to Partnership Programme.
This blog was written by Sophie Dunwell.