As the leader of a team, your greatest desire would be to see your team thrive and produce brilliant results. The output and level of productivity of a team is determined by how efficient the team members are, their work environment, and some other factors. It’s commonplace for employees or members of a team to not always be at an all-time high some of the time. But how do you create a significant change that skyrockets team productivity to a whole new level?
Team management is never an easy task. In fact, every team member naturally gravitates towards functioning as they deem fit. It becomes your responsibility as the leader of the pack to take charge and captain your ship, steering your team in your preferred direction. Increased productivity can be achieved when you settle your team on various fronts including teamwork.
Here are 8 all-encompassing tips to help you take your team productivity to a whole new level.
Identify Pain Points in Your Team
If you’re driving a car and you discover that it does not move smoothly, you do not simply abandon the car, you do a thorough scan of the car to identify the hiccup. The same goes for your team. In a team there are different drawbacks and challenges that drag members of the team back. Sometimes it may be a lack of adequate information, another time it might be indolence from a team member. For increased productivity, you first have to identify the main challenge of the team.
Sometimes, this may mean ejecting some members of the team and taking on new ones. When you identify the pain points in your team it brings clarity. Sometimes, eliminating the cog in your wheel of progress is all you need to rake in improved results.
Build an Effective Communication Channel
One major drawback that kills a team is the lack of communication. Without a proper communication channel, every member of the team cannot be on the same page. When you expect ‘A’ from members of your team, but you have evidently failed to communicate your preferences, do not be surprised when you receive a ‘B’ or ‘C’.
Sometimes, as obvious as a point might look, not everyone will see it from your own perspective. It remains up to you to highlight the peculiarities you wish for everyone to see. Do not assume that members of your team can read minds. Assumption is one of the greatest killers of productivity. Thankfully, digitalization has made it easier for teams to communicate today. You do not even have to be in the same space to pass information across and receive feedback from your team.
It is important that leaders of teams select the most effective means of open communication that would not only foster teamwork but would also improve the sharing of ideas and thoughts by the team for greater levels of productivity.
No matter how well your team members can work individually, they remain members of a team, and as such must also learn to work together. Teamwork improves productivity because everyone works together to achieve a common goal. Even if the job requires them to work singly, help your team remember that their individual output affects the final result that the entire team or organization puts forward. If members of the team are at loggerheads, it draws the team back and creates a decline in productivity levels.
When they work as a team, there is an opportunity for others to learn new things from people who know better. It also fosters seamless collaboration and creates opportunities for idea sharing and brainstorming. Team-building activities are very helpful when you need your team to bond. It eliminates the opportunity for team members to hold grudges or withhold vital information from one another which may impede productivity.
Set Clear Goals
How do you intend to achieve certain results and hit targets? This is a good question to ask members of the team. Not only does it help to bring clarity, but it also helps them to be more aware as they set goals. Although there should be an overall goal that every member of the team is working to achieve, individually, they must also create their own goals. This greatly helps with accountability. Holding each member of the team accountable for their work ensures that they take their work more seriously.
Strike a balance between being firm and encouraging. This is a great combination that shows that while you value their time and effort in getting the job done, you are also able to chastise them for being lax about it if necessary. Bring more focus into the team by talking about goals and tasks regularly. Give them enough space to achieve set goals without being overbearing.
Hire the Best
There’s nothing that screams ‘big-time snag!’ than an incompetent member of the team. They take two-times the amount of time a competent team member would take to get the job done. This is why it is necessary to hire only those that are the best in the field. It is not difficult to recognize those that are not fit to get the job done with the low output they always present. If you want increased productivity, you should let these types of people go and give room for a more efficient team player.
With a solid knowledge base, you can get the new member up to speed with what is required of them in no time. In fact, the transition can be so seamless, that they can start raking in results with the accurate wealth of information at their disposal.
Recognize Efforts and Acknowledge Good Work
It is not uncommon to find some members of the team that perform excellently well on numerous occasions. They bring in the highest profit, highest result, highest sales, and keep topping the chart. If you run a large scale business, the HR department may develop a system of awards and recognition that credits members of the team for a job well done. This could be weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, or as frequently as they deem fit.
Small scale businesses or organizations can also imitate this system of awards or simply offer small perks and incentives to members of staff that bring in exceptional results. It could be as simple as giving them a day off, or giving them discounts to movie tickets, beauty boxes, etc. A recent survey reveals that 4 out of 5 employees prefer perks and benefits to a pay raise. Isn’t that a win for you?
Define and Set a Good Example
One important way to boost productivity that is often overlooked is leading by example. You expect that the team produces great results, crushes goals, achieves insurmountable feats but you, personally have none of these to show. Your behavior to work does nothing to motivate your team. You don’t practice what you preach. This should not be.
As a team leader, the onus falls on you to actually take the lead in every ramification. Don’t just claim the title, be a leader in the true sense of the word. If you want dedicated staff, be dedicated. If you want your team to bring results, you must first do the same. Do not give team members the opportunity to make excuses based on your own acts of negligence. Set a good example for your team to follow, in talk, and in action. Don’t just say, do!
It is also important that you be yourself as a true leader. When you lead as honestly and as truthfully as possible, your team members would respect you and trust you. Trust among members of a team helps to increase productivity because it strengthens bonds.
Provide the Right Tools for the Job
You cannot provide a surgeon with a hammer and expect him to make any sort of cut, not to even talk of a precise cut. Without the right tools, equipment and even environment for the job a team member will merely be wasting their time attempting any form of productivity. It is simply impossible. Give your employees the tool they need to do the best job. An employee that is always complaining about their work tools will not produce any results. Do not give members of your team the opportunity to make such complaints.
Understand the basic requirements that every member of your team needs to do a good job. If, for example, you have a graphics team, this means that you would have to study the differences between UI vs UX, so that you can give your graphics team the precise tools they need. You must do all within your power to ensure that the team is rightly equipped to produce the best results always.
Producing results requires hard work and commitment. Not only on from the leader but also from your team members. To be assured of the highest level of productivity, the work environment has to be set right and be on course to produce results. As long as there is a working structure with every impediment out of the way, there is no doubt that your team’s productivity will climb to heights it has never attained.