According to a CareerBuilder survey, about 75 percent of employers say that more than two hours of efficient work are lost every day. But it is not always obvious what exactly kills your team productivity. Let’s break down how utilizing the following tips can help your teammates become more productive and efficient.
“Work is a process, and any process needs to be controlled. To make work productive, therefore, requires building the appropriate controls into the process of work.”
― Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices
1. Set and track attainable goals.
First, you have to step back and think about what exactly you want your team to be working on. Define key goals and take into consideration your team’s capacity to execute on them.
In the meantime, don’t forget to keep the goals attainable. Assigning one large project even with a reasonable deadline could be overwhelming. Alternatively, breaking large projects into smaller iterations shows clear progress and motivates teammates as they move forward the final product.
2. Clarify roles and tasks
The next step is meeting with your team members one-on-one to communicate the priorities and expectations for their roles. First of all, describe them the top two or three high priority tasks you want them to focus on. Then estimate the time you guess your employees to devote to these tasks. At the same time, help them understand the quality of the work you are expecting. Then make sure to explain the result you are trying to achieve. And finally, get out of their way—give your employees the freedom to work in the best manner possible.
3. Give and receive feedback
Develop a culture of trust in your team providing constructive, meaningful feedback on a regular basis. For instance, ask about the challenges your employees face, how you can help them slice their time more effectively, and whether they need more resources. Don’t hesitate to use the following questions in order to make the feedback process easier:
- Are the established objectives still relevant?
- Is there any progress on the work? If not, why? Do some digging to uncover the root of the problem.
- Is the workload achievable and manageable?
4. Don’t let meetings ruin your productivity
Improve the way you run meetings. Although meetings have a bad reputation in terms of performance, you definitely need them to share information and make decisions. What you need is to invite only those people who need to be involved, create a goal-oriented agenda, and to sum up every meeting with clear resolutions. As a consequence, the number of excessive meetings will gradually decrease.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. As an illustration, hold a stand-up meeting. Even if a positive shift in team productivity is not quite obvious, you will definitely benefit your health. ;)
5. From an adobe of idleness to a space of performance
Reorganize office space if employees are uncomfortable with the present layout. How exactly should you do it? Well… Only your team and your type of workflow know the answer. ;)
For example, you can invest in office cocoons. Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers. That’s why creating comfortable spaces for people to take shelter in, helps to stay focused in the office. Or supply your workers with stand-capable workstations. A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found that workers with this type of desks were about 46 percent more productive than those with traditional, seated desk configurations. It is your work space at the end of the day. So arrange it however you believe will keep your creativity flowing.
6. Enhance productivity by communicating effectively
One of the keys to working more efficiently is to get a single communication system. This idea is supported by the fact that almost half of US workers prefer to communicate with colleagues online saving on productivity.
The ideal communication system for your company is a team messenger. The market for these tools is quite expansive. Every team can find the best solution depending on its needs. Team messenger itself is an environment where you can create your own unique and productive work process. It will be the universe of your team where you won’t get distracted by chatting with relatives or friends.
7. Bring all the projects your team’s working on under one roof
Teamwork may become messy and mixed up without a centralized space to manage projects. In the same way, collaboration software is especially important if your coworkers are located in different offices and work remotely. The problem is that it can be easy to become confused about where all project data is located, who is doing the tasks, how far along they are in the process and how much work is left.
Having a real-time planning tool that is accessible from everywhere, your team won’t get sucked into hours of meetings and email correspondence. Project management software such as Basecamp or droptask can help you coordinate all the activity in one easy-to-manage, web-based tool.
8. Measure everything
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. So keep an eye on the metrics that matter for your team. For instance, analyze recent changes in productivity, sales, income or inspect the latest staff retention rates.
What you should remember is that improving internal communication brings long-term returns. But as a manager, you should understand the halfway results. If you are not satisfied with them, try to utilize other tactics on improving team communication. Otherwise, if you notice a positive trend, scale your efforts.
9. Don’t overdo...
Less is more. There can be too many tools, tips or tactics which company utilize at the same time. Eventually every company should unify the software its workers use and the productive pattern of workflow. Without pre-established business processes at office, productivity becomes hindered, instead of getting improved.
10. … and don’t stop
Productivity is never an accident. If you swing like a pendulum while trying to improve your team productivity, the only thing you’ll reach wasted time. In order to grow productivity at the workplace, you need to constantly monitor your company’s workflow, and never stop.
Productivity is not just about focusing on remarkable proficiency. It is not all about perfectly managing every minute of the day either. Productivity is a complex process, involving multiple corporate disciplines. But as long as you take into account the foregoing tips, you will be able to change your team performance for the better.
HR Cloud is a leading developer of HR software & HRMS solutions for business with a focus on effective employee engagement. Founded in 2012, our HRIS empowers teams to easily onboard new hires, manage employee data, create a company social network and support employee development.
HR Cloud was created from the leaders at NEOGOV (founded in 1999 by CEO and Founder Damir Davidovic) the market and technology leader in on-demand human resources software for the public sector, with more than 1,500 government agencies and educational institutions using NEOGOV technology.