Improving motivation and performance among Frontline Healthcare Workers

One of the most robust findings in all of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is that, when enacted properly, goal setting improves performance. This simple idea is supported by decades of theory and thousands of empirical articles covering diverse work settings, cultures, and outcomes (Locke & Latham, 2002). Despite the validity of this general claim, however, few studies have examined the effects of goal setting in underdeveloped societies. Further, the effects of team-based goals are less well understood than the effects of goals on individuals (DeMatteo, Eby, & Sundstrom, 1998). The present chapter represents the intersection of these ideas by describing how a team-based goals and incentives (TBGI) program was used in remote areas of the Indian state of Bihar to improve the motivation and performance of three types of Frontline Healthcare Workers (FLWs) as they worked to reduce child mortality rates (MDG4) and imporve maternal health (MDG5)