Employees may perform better in smaller groups

A new study shows that more competitors doesn't necessarily result in stronger competition.
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Dec 16, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

If your veterinary team works as one big group, you might want to rethink your management strategy—particularly if your practice is especially large. According to a new study, employees might be more productive when allowed to work in smaller teams.

Researchers from the University of Haifa and the University of Michigan carried out a series of studies to test participants’ motivation when completing tasks. In the first study, researchers examined SAT scores across the U.S., taking into consideration various socioeconomic variables. In the second study, researchers gathered results from psychological tests taken by University of Michigan students, again analyzing test scores and demographic variables. In each study, the researchers found that the fewer the test takers at a specific site, the higher the average results.

In a third study, researchers asked 74 students to take a short, timed quiz when sitting alone. Half the participants were told there were 10 total people taking the survey; the other half were told there were 100. They were also told that the first 20 percent to complete the test—without compromising the accuracy of their answers—would receive $5. The researchers found that those who thought they were competing against nine others finished the quiz significantly faster than those who thought they were competing against 99 others. The results showed no difference in test scores between the two groups.

So if you employ a large staff at your veterinary practice, perhaps it’s time to departmentalize. Your team members might start working smarter and faster.