Charts, graphs help employees envision hitting quality care, IT goals

Just like imagining the finish line at the end of race, visualizing goals motivates workers to reach those goals, according to a recent study in the Journal of Marketing.

As hospitals look to cut costs or implement IT initiatives, using visuals may help workers realize their goals. For example, consider presenting bar graphs and other visual elements to mark progress of such improvement, especially for leadership when it comes to quality of care.

"The easier a goal is to see, the closer it seems," Rajesh Bagchi, assistant professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, said in a press release yesterday.

Researchers asked subjects to hold a grip for 130 seconds, while measuring their grip. They found that subjects who saw a bar on a computer screen measuring their progress exerted more force that subjects who simply looked at a stop watch.

In addition, the study found that setting subgoals also helped to motivate workers by setting smaller, more manageable tasks.

"Our research results suggest that we process visual representations in a manner similar to distance, influencing perceptions of proximity and effort as we pursue everyday tasks or make decisions about investing time and effort for a particular outcome," Bagchi said.

For more:
- read the press release

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