Leading a team whether it consists of 10 team members or 100 is never easy. Grouping different types of people with different temperaments can often lead to clashes, miscommunication and can impact the workplace productivity. So much so that it can drive you crazy. However, if handled with little tact, you can make your team accomplish great professional goals. Getting them on a same page is a different thing but making them work in unison to achieve a common goal is a no small feat.
Now matter how productive your team is, there are always some ways that you can be incorporated to take workplace productivity to a whole new level.
Before jumping to the ways, let’s get into the depth of something that will be of actual use for us. To understand productivity and efficiency better, how about we get their definitions straight, shall we?
Efficiency signifies a level of performance that describes a process that uses the lowest amount of inputs to create the greatest amount of outputs.
On the other hand, productivity is the average measure of the efficiency in the production. It can be expressed as the ratio of the outputs to the inputs used in the production process.
Now, without much ado, let’s discuss different ways bosses can improve their team’s productivity and efficiency.
Here are the 10 ways to empower your teams to be more productive:
1. Give your team members ownership
The best leaders in the business understand the power of ownership. Giving ownership to the team members means nothing but letting them take their own decisions and making them accountable for their work.
When you make a team member accountable for his work, this induces a sense of responsibility in him regarding his work. He starts to see his work differently in a way that his decisions can impact the performance of the entire team.
Now, giving ownership can take different forms like leading a project, handling the responsibility of a task etc. It shows that you’ve entrusted him and his capabilities to handle a specific job. And when you do this, you realize that there is nothing more powerful than building someone’s self-esteem in your organization.
2. Set communication expectations
Communication is one of the key factors that contributes largely in team productivity. Without effective communication, businesses fail. Because in the absence of communication, comes miscommunication and this breeds a lot of failure.
A lot of successful businesses thrive on effective communication. Now, it is the duty of a project manager to ensure effective communication prevails in a team. Communication plays a big role in helping team members to understand their job responsibilities. And, if there is any communication-gap, it can lead to multiple confusions within a team, which for sure will impact the overall productivity of a team.
3. Know your team members strengths and weaknesses
Every human being has some talents and hidden gifts that can be put into good use. Thus, it becomes the duty of a manager or a team lead to discover those talents and keep them in mind while allocating tasks to them. Knowing their skill-set is the backbone of producing a productive team.
For example, if someone in a team likes to think outside of the box, you can make him pitch creative ideas in front of a client(s). Knowing the fact that team members are making the best use of their knowledge, expertise and talents, they look forward to contribute at the workplace.
Making them use their strengths will contribute to make your workplace better and productive than before.
4. Incorporate some team building exercises
Team productivity depends big time upon the camaraderie between the team members. If the team members get along with each other, are aware about the strengths and weaknesses, the workplace automatically becomes a happier place. If the team members are happy from within, the team productivity and efficiency will automatically shoot up.
When different people are working within a team, there is a likelihood that not everyone will like each other. To beat the animosity between the team members, you can incorporate some team building exercises. Not only it will add some fun element but will also wash away any grudges or miscommunications between the team members.
5. Employ a project management software
These days no one can deny the role online project management software plays in boosting teamwork and productivity. Having the right project management tool by your side can help in effective work management and increased collaboration between the team members.
6. Good work environment
The work environment and infrastructure are essential contributors in improving team efficiency and productivity. According to a recent study, physical environment greatly affects how employees feel, think and perform at the workplace.
Due to this, many organizations are paying attention while designing their office interiors. They make sure to incorporate bright lighting, comfortable furniture layout and a touch of nature with the help of plants and flowers. Besides the physical setting, environment within the office premises also impacts the team productivity. Dominating boss, condescending employees and office politics can bring down the overall productivity and efficiency in an organization.
7. Give them incentives
Employees work best when they are given a reason to do so – probably a monetary one. They want their efforts to be appreciated and prefer to have a little more than a ‘virtual pat on the back’ from their bosses. That’s why many employers choose to implement incentive programs to keep their employees motivated.
According to a recent study, 85% of the employees felt more motivated to do their best when an incentive was offered. These incentives can be in the form of cash, free vouchers, paid vacation, extra time off, lunch-outs etc.
8. Get out of the way
Every employee or team member works best when they are given an environment where they are allowed to do the things ‘their way’. Most employees tend to lose interest as soon as they are being micro-managed by their bosses or managers.
One of the many ways that can help you overcome this is to create a kickass team. Define their job responsibilities and your expectations clearly to them. Now, get out of their way and let them work on their own. At the same time, be approachable so that if someone in your team has a question, they don’t need to think twice to clarify their doubts. Always trust your team with utmost confidence. This further strengthens their confidence in themselves that helps them to perform with their best abilities.
9. Praise a job well done
While for different employees different things work in boosting their productivity and efficiency at work. But for large number of them it is something as simple as being acknowledged for their efforts. You know nothing can add to the productivity, if an employee feels that his contribution isn’t being valued enough. Whereas appreciating them in front of the whole team can work wonders. This public act of appreciation instead of a virtual congratulatory words inspires others in the team as well to do their best. This promotes a healthy work culture in an organization which will be an addition in boosting team productivity.
10. Give each other feedback
Last but the most important on the list is to introduce a feedback process in a team. There is no hope of boosting employee efficiency if they don’t know they are being inefficient at the first place. This is why performance reviews and constructive feedback are essential in boosting team productivity. Getting to know about the areas of opportunities will motivate the team members to make some changes in their style of working.
When you are done with giving them the feedback, ask them what you could do to help them improve. May be they would like little more guidance on certain tasks or would prefer a little more room for the creative freedom.
This encourages the culture of open dialogue that will make future collaborations easier than before.
Team productivity is similar to that of baking a cake where the right ingredients (team members) needs to be gathered and put together. Empowering your teams to be at their productive best requires a well mixed batter of different ingredients.
Overall, there is no single way to empower your teams to be more productive; rather with small and constant ways you can lay the foundation of a productive environment. By providing the employees constant support, feedback and encouragement, you’ll see a huge rise in the productivity meter.
We hope you enjoy reading the article to make your teams more productive and efficient. We would love to know the the different methods or techniques you guys use to boost the productivity of your teams. You can share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.