Happiness is fewer receptionists

GP practices are more harmonious places to work when fewer non-clinical staff are employed, suggests Australian research.

A survey of 654 staff and 7,505 patients from 93 GP practices showed there was a better team climate in practices that had fewer staff, particularly fewer administrative staff.

However, the researchers failed to find any association between the number of GPs a surgery had and team spirit.

As would be expected, in practices with a good team spirit, staff's overall job satisfaction was higher than average.

A potential reason for the bad vibe between clinical and administrative staff suggested by the study was that in large practices, the two groups of employees may form their own subgroups, said the researchers.

Clarifying clinical and non-clinical roles, encouraging participative decision-making and establishing suitable leadership are some of the ways that practices can boost team climate, they added.

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