Leading a team is no easy task, regardless of how big or small the team is. When a group of people comes together to work on a given task, conflicts and differences of opinions are bound to arise. When different people have varying beliefs and styles of work, it is very rare that everyone easily agrees on the ways they should operate.
Teamwork has its advantages and disadvantages, both. Despite the fact that working in teams is not easy, the benefits are crucial for projects to succeed. Good teamwork can improve the efficiency of work and overall productivity.
At the same time, if teams are not lead properly, the impact can be negative. Miscommunication and conflicts can lead to lags in work and reduce overall productivity. It is, thus, very important for team managers and leaders to pay close attention to how their teams operate.
Regardless of whether your team is productive or not, there are certain practices that you can adapt to boost the overall efficiency and productivity of your team. Here’s how you can improve team productivity and efficiency:
Establish Effective Communication
Good communication is important in many walks of life, and that is especially true for team projects. The success of teams is highly dependent on effective communication among its members.
Team leaders should ensure that the channels of communication between team members work. Using separate channels, such as messaging or emails can become time consuming, however, using Slack alternatives can bring all communication channels on one platform and make the job easier.
Two-way communication is imperative to successful operations. Managers and team leaders should not simply give directions, but include feedback and regularly communicate with members.
Effective communication can bring clarity to the work process and can also prevent clashes between different team members.
Decrease Intervention and Encourage Autonomy
A good team manager should not strictly micromanage all the tasks that team members are performing. While the work should be clearly defined for the team, however, they should also be given the autonomy to pursue their tasks in a manner that they believe is best.
Allowing team members to work on their own after defining your expectations increases their responsibility towards the task at hand and makes them feel a stronger part of the team and organization. The leader should also remain approachable so that the team is comfortable to come to them for assistance when they need.
Increasing the team members’ autonomy can improve the overall productivity of the team as the team members will be working with increased motivation, confidence, and responsibility.
Defines Goals and Tasks Clearly
It is important for the team leader to define the goals that they need to achieve clearly at the beginning of any project, preventing any form of miscommunication.
The goals being set should also be realistic and attainable. If the goals are not realistic then, not only will the team members feel demotivated in the beginning, but they will also lose morale when they are unable to achieve them.
Team members should also be met one-on-one to inform them of their respective tasks. The prioritization of each task and the expected outcome should also be communicated to them beforehand.
When team members are aware of their work and responsibility they will be utilizing their time effectively and, thus, increase the overall productivity of the team.
Schedule Team Building Activities
For any team to work well together, they must know each other well. When different enthusiastic individuals are put to work together, any differences arising between them can lead to animosity and thus bring the overall team efficiency down and cause problems.
Team members should be on good terms with each other and know each other enough to work well. You should arrange for various team building activities in order to get the team members to learn to work together and, also, let them socialize so they know each other personally too.
Arranging formal teamwork exercises can help them understand how everyone works and increase work cooperation. Informally arranging team members to meet and socialize can give them insight into their fellow member’s life and connect with them on a personal level.
When the team members know each other well and have a strong work relationship, they will work well together and lead to increases productivity.
Know the Strengths and Weakness of your Team Members
Every individual has a different set of abilities and skills that they excel in. Teams can consist of a diverse group of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. It is important for the team leader to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member.
Knowing what a team member is good at can allow the team leader to assign a task that best suits their talents. If an individual, for example, is good at presentations then the team leader can assign him or her to make a presentation or a pitch to clients to create a winning sales development team.
Team leaders can strategically decide which task is best suited for which member who will perform it exceptionally and thus be efficiently increasing the outcome.
Providing a Productive Work Environment
The workplace has a major role to play in deciding how productively the team will work. If the office or the office environment has some negative factors that hinder the team from working, then it will bring productivity down.
Special attention should be paid when designing the office to ensure that the workplace will be comfortable for the members. Factors such as seating, lighting, and noise should be ensured to be up to mark.
If the team faces issues while working then care should be taken to get rid of the problem and improve the work environment. The better the work environment, the more comfortable the team will be and that will increase their productivity.
Incentivize Members to Increase Motivation
Whenever the morale of the team seems to be going down, a good strategy to adopt is to offer incentives to increase productivity. A lot of times team members can lose motivation to work hard and can gain back momentum when they are working to achieve something extra.
Incentives being offered to the team can be both monetary and non-monetary. Monetary benefits such as a bonus for better performance or a paid vacation can have team members looking forward to working harder. Non-monetary incentives such as the best worker award can make the team feel accomplished and offer them something to work hard to attain.
Overall offering incentives can increase the motivation of the team and enhance their productivity.
Let the Team Work from Home
Although many people consider working from home to be a negative work practice, however, it does have many benefits in increasing productivity. If you allow team members to work remotely, they will be comfortable in the way they work and feel relaxed.
This can provide a beneficial solution for both the team members and the team leader as the leader will not have to constantly worry about employee management. This also reduces the pressure on the team members and they are able to work more efficiently and increase total productivity.
Increasing productivity is a complex process and there is no one way to go about it. Team leaders will have to understand their team and identify what needs to be done. Increasing productivity will involve a combination of practices and evaluating the results to decide which works best for your team. If you use the aforementioned strategies effectively you will be able to significantly improve your teams overall productivity.