#50: Measuring and Boosting Productivity in Aged Care

Season #4

Show notes:

Episode #4 – Special edition    


In the fourth episode of our 6-part special edition series of the Voice of Aged Care podcast, we look at productivity in aged care – the core elements of productivity, the barriers to productivity, individual strategies for boosting productivity, and some strategies you might use for your team.

So what is productivity? And when is it difficult to be productive? Maybe you are procrastinating and putting off something that needs to be done. This can involve perpetuating, side tracking, spending time on social media, and more.

At its core, productivity is understanding how we can get the best out of ourselves with the least amount of resistance. In other words, how can we be sustainably productive, so that we are enriched, feel good at the end of the day, and are not at risk of burnout?

Barriers to productivity can sometimes be about your connection with clients. We are naturally drawn to some people more than others, so we might be more productive and more willing to support them compared to others who may not want our care.

Strategies we might turn to when we are under a lot of pressure include working more hours, moving deadlines, or maybe multitasking. But while these strategies can help you in the moment, they are more reactive and can only help you in the short term. It’s not sustainable to keep working long hours and moving deadlines, so these strategies don’t actually help you become more productive. They can actually reduce your efficacy and effectiveness, where you might take longer to complete work, your performance and concentration are affected and you might make errors.

So how can we minimise our distractions and focus on one task at a time? It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. For example, instead of popping in to see a client 5 times to tell them little bits of information (which they are unlikely to remember), instead do it once. Give them your undivided attention for 2 minutes, maybe even writing down a couple of notes for them to help them remember.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

In order to boost productivity, we really need to look at what the barriers are that are affecting it. For example, being overworked, looming deadlines or compliance to meet. It could also be teamwork challenges, where someone feels like they’re doing a lot more than someone else.

And so being able to articulate what the actual problem is an important first step in learning how we can respond to what is going on. To understanding what the things are that we can change and what we can’t.

So my top strategies for individuals includes … look for easy wins. Start the day with a task that is easy, to get yourself moving and feeling accomplished. Also consider your deadlines – are they realistic? I recommend spending a week writing down when you start a task and finish, so you can use the data to know what is achievable within that limited timeframe.

How about boosting productivity for teams? One way is to examine the frequency of meetings. Also setting up a question time so there is not constant disruptions. Another strategy that can work well is making tasks visible for everyone to see, either by sharing calendars or adding tasks on whiteboards. Also having a standardised method for emergencies, so that we come together as a team, and all know how to escalate it.

Productivity is something we all need to work on. Working on the right thing is important, so is prioritising, working through that task, sticking to a timeframe, minimising distractions like emails and social media, and just really using that focus time.


 In this episode you will learn:

  • What is productivity and why is it so difficult?
  • An insight into the core elements of productivity
  • What are the barriers to productivity?
  • Useful strategies to help you boost productivity
  • Further strategies for increasing productivity as a team


I will be running a workshop on resilience specific to aged care workforce. To register your interest sign up below.