Utilising the power of purposeful working in General Practice
Why is purposeful work important?
Since 2008 Here has recognised the value in working with a defined, shared purpose. We feel this is critical to having engaged, effective teams working together to deliver something that makes a difference. This value has been carried out into Practice Unbound.
We are purposeful creatures – everyone one of us is working towards something, consciously or unconsciously. Without this sense of purpose we lose our way and become demotivated and less effective.
Often people move through their work feeling unmotivated and under-appreciated, but they keep going. Even when they experience dissonance at work, many push it to the back of their mind – focusing solely on a personal purpose, be that making money to support the family or getting through the 9 – 5 so they can continue with their hobby. This is unsustainable: employees become unhappy, demotivated and stop fulfilling their potential.
Understanding a GP Practice’s purpose
In healthcare, an organisation’s sense of purpose should be obvious. People should be clear on the aims of the Practice and are able to relate to and understand how these can create a better world for themselves and the people they serve.
Understanding and articulating this purpose begins with open engagement with staff – taking time to understand why they come to work, and what they believe the Practice’s purpose to be.
The key is giving people a sense of purpose outside of financial gain. Aligning employee’s performance goals to company values will help them feel that their daily work is contributing to a broader purpose.
Dr Paul Deffley, Clinical Director
“Studies have shown that when people are contributing to a higher purpose, they are likely to have a healthier outlook on life, are more resilient to stress, and more effective in their work.”
How to build a purposeful General Practice – 5 simple steps
1 – Align goals within the teams to reflect the broader Practice strategy and encourage understanding of how organisational values can help them achieve success
2 – Align employee’s performance goals to the organisational purpose, values and strategy
3 – Encourage staff to share their goals across the teams, building affinity with their colleagues and ownership across functions
4 – Encourage staff to work interdependently across functions to achieve their goals, working outside of perceived role boundaries in pursuit of the broader purpose
5 – Communicate and reward behaviour consistent with values