Duke Health Referring Physicians


Unconventional Strategies to Boost Productivity

When it comes to boosting productivity, sometimes the best ideas are the least conventional. Consider implementing the following tips to motivate your employees.

Go Green…or Blue
A recent study from the University of Texas found that white office walls can reduce efficiency and increase human error, whereas green, blue, and aqua can have a soothing effect on emotion and increase performance. Unsurprisingly, color specialists also suggest that drab paint colors (eg, beige) lack energy and can leave staff subconsciously uninspired.

Have Fun
A little levity goes a long way, says Charlene Mooney, consulting executive with Ohio-based Halley Consulting. One physician she works with implemented a game of cards in the break room and, more recently, introduced board games. “It’s become a great way to socialize and do something fun together,” says Mooney.

Be Flexible
Parents with young children and caregivers of aging parents may value a flexible work schedule even more than a pay raise, says Mooney. By giving your staff members the option to start their shift an hour early or an hour late, you can make your employees happy and improve patient access with extended hours.

Allow Texting
Many managers maintain a strict policy of no personal phone use during the workday, but that may not be entirely practical in the 21st century, says Owen Dahl, a medical practice consultant in The Woodlands, TX. In particular, many millennials use social media, email, and texting to communicate with their peers—both in personal and professional settings.

Consider designating personal time (5 or 10 minutes should do) before and after lunch to let them text. “We have to recognize the world is changing and adapt our work environment to support staff and, at the same time, maintain productivity,” explains Dahl.

Create a Compelling Environment
Monotony is the enemy of every manager. By creating a compelling work environment, establishing social outlets, and granting your staff permission to decompress when frustration sets in, you are far more likely to move the needle on productivity. In turn, you can improve morale and minimize costly turnover.