Improving Performance in Small Teams

A cheerful working atmosphere in which employees enjoy working increases motivation and willingness to perform, reduces stress, keeps sick leave low and leads to identification with the clinic or practice.

What is the difference between a thundery, motivating working atmosphere and a sunny, motivating one? If you started a survey, the result would probably be a long list of highly different factors. “The most important characteristics are probably team spirit, opportunities to work independently, the willingness of colleagues to cooperate, recognition by superiors, participation in decisions and good development opportunities,” explains Dr. Ingo Schmehl, Chief Physician at Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin. A bad working atmosphere, on the other hand, is usually equated with intrigues among colleagues, blackening at superiors, fear for the job and a lack of recognition.

The state of the working climate can be seen from the symptoms: The performance of the employees decreases, they react with flight movements: into inner resignation, into illness, into demotivation. On the other hand, a good working atmosphere is reflected in the fact that the employees feel comfortable and work with fun and enjoyment. Doctors with personnel responsibility should observe how the team’s willingness to perform develops, whether absenteeism is inexplicably high, whether employees identify with the employer’s goals or whether they merely perform “duty by the book”. Are they willing to go beyond the required workload? If not, the physician should take action.

Continuous communication

Doctors who are interested in a good working atmosphere give their employees feedback – on good and not so good performance. They praise and criticize in equal measure. “The doctor,” Schmehl recommends, “should make every effort to ensure that information flows, from the bulletin board and e-mail information to team meetings and one-on-one interviews.

Employees must have a legitimate feeling that they are being taken seriously by the doctor and that he is keeping them informed, and therefore informed about all events and decisions that are relevant to them. The slogan of turning those affected into participants should not be a mere empty phrase, but should be lived.

Competence-oriented leadership

The quality of the working atmosphere rarely depends solely on the level of capital investment or motivation programmes. Most employees do not just focus on material benefits if they can work in an atmosphere where working is fun. Therefore, employees should be managed in a competence- and personality-oriented manner and used according to their strengths, talents and talents.

But what does “personality-oriented leadership” mean in concrete terms? An example: It is counterproductive to torment the communicative-creative employee with routine tasks and to instruct the introverted employee in a team task with things that mean pure communication – unless the doctor wants to help him to develop further at this level.

Observe value orientation

Human interaction and mutual respect between the members of the team are often decisive. “The doctor can set a good example,” says Schmehl. He observed: “If the manager treats the employee with respect, the employee will also be respectful towards the patients and colleagues.

It is helpful if the people in the clinic or practice move on the same value level. That’s why doctors should communicate the corresponding values. Of course, the question arises as to which values these could be. The values commission “Values Conscious Leadership” has defined some values that have a high degree of general commitment and are therefore likely to be relevant for clinics and practices:

Sustainability means making decisions in the area of conflict between short-term profits and long-term profitability and in harmony with economic, ecological and social parameters.

  • Integrity means being sincere towards oneself and others.
  • Responsibility means subordinating selfish interests to the common good.
  • Respect implies renouncing the dominance of one’s own way of thinking.

Perhaps these definitions can serve as suggestions to discuss the values that are important for the clinic and the team and to define a canon of values that offers orientation.

Building a culture of error

A mistake is always the starting signal for a new learning process. The error must be clearly addressed – but not to criticize an employee, but always to draw consequences for future action and to ask what must happen so that it does not repeat itself: To what extent does he even help the team to improve? According to Schmehl, anyone who does not regard mistakes as a starting point for criticism and measures, but uses them productively to set improvement processes in motion, contributes to a brighter working atmosphere. “By establishing an appropriate learning culture, the doctor ensures that employees lose the fear of making mistakes and also dare to break new ground and try out new things”.

Offer further training

Good training offers increase employee loyalty, lead to close ties to the employer and brighten the working atmosphere. Optimal training opportunities are often an important factor for job satisfaction. Therefore: The doctor meets regularly with the employees in order to jointly filter out those further training offers that benefit everyone.

Tips for the right team spirit in your start-up company

In order to achieve your goals, you need to keep your team’s spirits on the go. We’ll show you 8 ways to keep your employees’ morale high.

Show appreciation

Don’t give anyone on your team the feeling of being interchangeable. Each and every one of your employees is responsible for your joint success. This esteem can be conveyed very well through short daily staff appraisals.

Create a community

Your goal should be that your employees see themselves as a team in which everyone can blindly rely on each other. Project work in which several employees work together is conducive to teamwork. Employee evenings or day trips also lead to a stronger cohesion in your team.

Plan joint charity activities

Even better for a sense of community: reserve a few hours a month to work together for a good cause, e.g. in your region. This gives you and your team a good spirit and you can report about it very well on your homepage and in social media.

Reward your employees

Man strives for recognition. Therefore you should reward individuals or your entire team after reaching your goals or improving your sales figures. You can do this materially in the form of money or immaterially in the form of dinners, excursions, parties, etc.

Improve the workplace

The workplace is the daily environment of your employees. Avoid a dreary open-plan office landscape. With small tricks such as moving tables, setting up plants or setting up a break room, you can considerably improve employee morale.