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Using social business to support employees

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A principle role of the modern manager is to support their team and aid them in the work they do.  With social business, that responsibility is spread around the organisation, with support able to come from any corner.

New research underlines the value this can bring to an organisation.  The research took place on a hospital ward, and aimed to investigate the role professional support plays in both the well being of the doctors, and of the hospital as a whole.

The study saw doctors on a night shift afforded various levels of support in the form of a specialist nurse made available to the doctors.  The nurse was on hand to coach on skill use, pass on patient information from previous shifts and provide emotional support.  The aim was to test how each doctor would respond when they do, and do not, have such support.  In particular they wanted to see if providing doctors with support gave them the time and energy to both improve their own skills and feed back into the business the many ideas for improvement that they were having, or whether the extra time afforded them by the nurse would simply be redirected into doing more of the same.

So, in other words, they were testing to see whether supporting key knowledge workers would give them time to work on the job or in the job.

They found that not only did the nurse help free up the doctors to make the hospital as a whole better, it also significantly improved their personal job performance.  When junior doctors are strained and experiencing anxiety, support merely provides an important safety valve. But when they are spared these negative influences, the resources offered from support allow them to broaden and build their skill-set, and engage in changing their organisation for the better

It’s a nice reminder that providing communities of support can not only improve the professional performance of employees, but also their emotional wellbeing.

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