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Worker Performance

Encouraging Effective Performance

The diverse nature of AOD-related work presents challenges for defining effective performance, and for identifying the factors that influence performance. Faced with complex issues such as co-existing disorders, increased use of pharmacotherapies and evidence-based practice, the AOD field has tended to focus on education and training as the key determinant of effective performance. Consistent with this view, there is also increased emphasis on defining effective performance in terms of specific skills and competencies.

There are two perspectives on effective performance of relevance to the AOD field:

  1. Determinants of effective performance is a simple model that can help to make sense of the range of factors that are likely to impact on AOD workers' performance of core tasks, roles and responsibilities, and
  2. Organisational citizenship behaviours.

Determinants of Effective Performance

A simple scheme that can be useful for understanding the diverse influences on performance in the AOD field is to consider three important factors:

  1. Can do (personal capacity): Workers' knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal capacities form the foundation of effective performance (e.g., ability, health, intelligence, confidence).
  2. Will do (motivation): Motivation refers to an individual's desire to achieve certain standards of performance and to achieve particular outcomes. High motivation contributes to effective performance and is driven and sustained by:
    • Perceptions that work is meaningful and significant
    • Confidence that a task/role can be performed successfully
    • Clear performance standards and expectations (goals) and availability of performance feedback
    • Perceptions that fair and adequate rewards (i.e., pay, status, promotion) are provided.
  3. Opportunity to do (work environment): The most skilled and motivated workers will not be able to perform effectively unless their work environment maximises supports and minimises constraints.

Factors in the work environment that facilitate or inhibit effective performance include:

  • Tools, materials and equipment
  • Working conditions
  • Actions of co-workers
  • Leader behaviour (e.g., clarifying roles, providing rewards for performance)
  • Organisational policies, rules and procedures
  • Availability of required information
  • Time availability.

Organisational Citizenship Behaviours

Organisational citizenship behaviours are important voluntary actions which can increase an organisation's effectiveness that are often not formally recognised or rewarded. These types of actions are often designed to create and support a positive social and psychological working environment that benefits organisational effectiveness.

Key organisational citizenship behaviours include:

  • Helping behaviour (assisting others with work related problems)
  • Organisational loyalty (promoting the organisation)
  • Organisational compliance (acceptance and adherence to organisational rules, policies and procedures)
  • Individual initiative (contributing to the organisation with creativity, innovation, and enthusiasm "beyond the call of duty").

Benefits of organisational citizenship behaviours

  • Enhanced productivity
  • Facilitation of retention by creating positive, supportive and cohesive workplaces
  • Increasing the organisation's capacity to adapt to change and take on new roles/responsibilities
  • Reducing stress and tension.
  • Organisational citizenship behaviours are encouraged by:
  • Receiving fair and just treatment
  • Having a supportive leader
  • Being supported by the organisation.

More Information

For more information about worker performance, please see Chapter 12 of the TIPS Kit.