Managing a team, any team at all, is never easy, whether it’s only a team of 5 in a basketball field or a team of 1,000 in a major enterprise.
Obviously grouping different people from different backgrounds will always guarantee miscommunications and even clashes, which in turn can lead to missed deadlines and a decrease in overall productivity.
Ways to Improve Team Efficiency and Productivity
However, getting your team members on the same page is only the beginning of the challenge, ensuring they can work in unison to achieve the project’s objective is often the bigger challenge you’d need to tackle.
Are you looking for ways to effectively manage your team and improve its productivity and efficiency? Or are your team already performing, but you are just looking for new ideas to improve its performance? You’ve come to the right place.
Below, we will discuss some of the most effective tips you can implement right away to improve your team’s productivity and efficiency.
Let us begin.
Set Clear and Attainable Goals
Defining the goals of your project is arguably the most important thing you can do if you want to improve your team’s productivity.
Your goals should be.
- Clear: Easy enough for everyone on your team to understand. Make it as simple as possible and communicate your goals clearly.
- Measurable: You should be able to assign KPIs and metrics to track your team’s progress towards these goals.
- Attainable: This is actually very important when talking about productivity and efficiency. If your team members perceive your goals as impossible, it may cause them to lose their morale. Break down bigger goals into smaller milestones if necessary.
Avoid situations where different team members understand goals in their own ways, causing confusion and miscommunications during discussions. This can lead to various slowdowns and errors from missed deadlines to your products failing to meet compliance.
If you can set and communicate your goals properly, you are already halfway there.
One of the most common mistakes performed by team leaders and managers is to get in the way of your team’s effectiveness by micromanaging.
Of course, a little advice, suggestions, and/or corrections are okay. However, interjecting yourself too much while focusing on small details can cause too many starts and stops, which can break the momentum of your project. This can be counterproductive and might hurt your team’s efficiency and productivity instead.
So, what should you do? Here is the rule to live by.
As a leader, only do the things only you can do.
Focus on the big things that matter the most and where you can make the most impact. Yes, your team members might not be as capable as you, but let them work on the smaller details and focus on the overall mission instead.
This can require lots of patience and practice and the willingness to let go. However, the ability to delegate is arguably the most important skill any manager/leader should have.
Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings
Yes, meetings can be productive and important, but let’s admit it, we’ve all been to those meetings without any clear agenda that has been nothing but a waste of time. Even 30-minute meetings can mean a loss of 30 valuable minutes that your team members can use to actually finish their tasks to achieve the project’s goals.
Sometimes, we default to physical meetings when another form of communication might be sufficient. Nowadays, we also can conduct virtual meetings that can be a major timesaver for everyone as your team members wouldn’t need to move from their desks or even from their homes.
Tools like CallBridge can help you set up video conferencing with ease where every team member can also share their screens for easier feedback and communications. This can help your meetings to be more anchored in context, so you can have shorter meetings that are more efficient so your team can get back to work as soon as possible.
- Do you actually need a team update meeting, or simply sharing a project status report is enough?
- Share a virtual brainstorming board with CallBridge instead of meeting for a team brainstorm.
- Instead of planning information-sharing meetings, you can instead make it virtual short meetings where you can share your information asynchronous.
Listen To Your Team
You won’t be able to manage your team to achieve better productivity and efficiency if you don’t communicate well with your team. Again, this is where an online tool for communication and collaboration can significantly help in this digital age.
Remember that communication is not only about you barking orders and directions, it’s also vital to listen to what your team needs to say to you. Each team member has their own ideas, suggestions, needs, and problems. When team members know they can be heard, it will actually improve their productivity and morale.
However, don’t overdo it with excessive communication. A good way to improve productivity, instead, is to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, and you won’t be able to understand these without listening to them.
One of the biggest enemies of productivity is stress. Everyone has a different threshold, but occupational pressures and fears are the most common source of stress for American adults.
Remember that when your team is stressed, they are going to be less productive, and even if you force them and yell at them, everybody loses.
So, combat stress and burnouts before they happen. Encourage your team members to take care of their mental, emotional, and physical health and show that you also care about them.
- Listen to their concerns and needs. Set aside time for them.
- Offer constructive feedback.
- Giving challenging but meaningful tasks with clear goals.
- Establish clear objectives for success.
- Acknowledge them when they do deserve credits.
While improving your team’s productivity and efficiency can indeed be challenging, the most important factor is to always keep your team members happy and engaged. Also, avoid conducting too many unnecessary meetings, and consider virtual meetings as a more effective replacement.
Put yourself in your team members’ shoes and ask yourself how you can improve your leadership style and work culture to encourage productivity.