South Africa


  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 2012/11/06

The five successful habits for improving workforce motivation and productivity 

As we examined the world’s healthcare systems to find best practices, we identified many providers that had successfully increased the productivity of their professionals while also achieving gains in quality and enhanced attractiveness of healthcare work.

What we found was that, while providers vary in structure, resources and culture, there were a number of commonalities that characterized the systems that had found a recipe for productivity, quality and attractiveness gains. We call these the five successful habits for improving workforce motivation and productivity.


The first characteristic is that successful organizations tend to exhibit a strategic focus on value for patients, accompanied by empowered professionals who are responsible (often jointly with line management) for the organization of the care delivery process. Successful organizations also demonstrate strong capabilities in intelligent task and business process redesign. This means that care tasks for patients are re-allocated in a way that allows the different skills of professionals to be maximized in an environment where no task is seen as ‘out of bounds’ for some professions because of boundary disputes. As a result, decisions and responsibilities are handed to those who are best equipped for the task regardless of ingrained customs. This empowerment of different professionals goes hand in hand with the fourth habit of successful organizations which sees the control of these professionals over the outcomes of their work enhanced through increasingly sophisticated ways of steering on outcomes by leveraging available management information.


Indeed, with the proper information, professionals are often able to monitor their own work processes and improve quality and productivity performance. In addition, access to management information has been shown to help create greater levels of accountability between the professionals and organizational leadership. Finally, successful organizations also tend to actively manage staff performance in a way that empowers staff to flourish through the adoption of a variety of policies such as developing clinical leadership and accountability, training and education, intelligent absentee management and so forth.

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Anuschka Coovadia
Head of Healthcare Markets
Tel: +27 (0)82 719 2813