Steps To Increase Team Productivity
Have your sales gone down? Are there too many incomplete projects in the office? Has your business been failing to innovate in order to get ahead? Any number of events can trigger a concern about your business’s productivity. Or maybe nothing has happened, and you just want to be sure your team is at the top of their game.
We put together a list of ways that leaders can create an environment that is best suited for productive work. Implementing these methods and practices will help you and your organization achieve more. You’ll have a highly motivated team, willing to work, create, and produce in order to push the business’s mission forward and meet goals.
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities allows for focus in the workplace. They build a sense of trust that everyone has a place in the bigger picture. People are more likely to work on the tasks necessary to progress a project forward when they understand fully what they’re responsible for.
As a leader, you should always align projects and assignments with these recognized roles and responsibilities. You always want to have the right person on the right task. You hired them for a reason. Utilize the set of skills that you hired them for. Let them use their assets to be productive, effective, and help you reach your bottom line.
We’ve talked before about the benefits of designing personal accountability plans for individual team members. Having an employee buy into the company, its mission, and their goals for growth is great for productivity and innovation. It provides the motivation to utilize their skills.
Motivation for productivity can also be found in how well the team works together. When they know they depend on each other and hold each other accountable for work being done well and on time, the whole organization’s productivity can benefit, and everyone can reach bottom line goals.
Freedom to work
If you trust in your accountability measures, the next step is to give your employees the freedom to do their work. Give employees space to communicate ideas up the ladder to work through problems. New ideas can help your company get to the innovative edge.
This serves to give employees the chance to work with their own strengths and creativity. Employees who feel comfortable with the freedom given to them will be more likely to act on their initiative to work rather than wait for instructions from above, keeping themselves and everyone around them productive.
Avoid micromanaging. It slows workers down and strips them of their motivation to innovate, create, and grow. Rather than micromanage, if accountability measures and motivations aren’t enough to drive productivity, you’ll have to develop a process for corrective action.
Necessary resources and supplies.
Having the correct resources available requires leadership to be fully aware of gaps in their teams. Gaps may present themselves through unmet timelines, a decrease in productivity, a lack of communication, or many other reasons. The leader must evaluate the gaps in operations, processes, personnel, and individual skills in order to determine which resources to make available.
Once you have identified your operational gaps, you’ll have to decide how you’re going to fill them. Can an employee be trained for unmet skills, or would it be better to bring someone else on to the team? Do all members of the team have access to the correct information? You may need to make adjustments, realign projects and responsibilities, or provide extra resources in order to get the work done and create an overall increase in productivity.
Having the necessary supplies is also important for creating a productive team. It’s hard for an employee to get work done if they can never find a pen or constantly need to search for printer paper. They’ll need to have the right technology available, too. Equipment, software, and tools which align with your organization’s and your employees’ needs will create a productive environment and workflow. Always make sure workstations are properly stocked.
Sustainable workflow and pace.
Leaders should encourage a sustainable workflow and pace for their team. Make sure employees have enough work to keep busy, but not so much that they burnout. Burnout recently been receiving attention in the media after the WHO updated the description and specified it to be an occupational phenomenon. The attention it garnered is helping leaders recognize how detrimental burnout is to the business’s overall productivity and profitability.
When assigning tasks and project, be cognizant of what the leads are already handling for your company. Do they already have enough work? Can timelines be adjusted to accommodate all projects? Finding a sustainable workflow may require some re-delegating as adjustments are made. It’s also important that you have some communication path in place so your team can let you know when they feel the workflow isn’t right.
Lead by example
The best way to encourage productivity is to be a productive person. Lead by example. Allow your team to see that you also make productivity a priority. Don’t just tell them productivity is what you expect, show them.
The actions listed here will help create a healthy workplace for your employees. Their productivity is a reflection of your ability to design a process and an environment that leads them to success. Because you know that their success means success for you and your business.