Team productivity is perhaps one of the most deliberated upon theory of management yet in reality it’s just as neglected. Just because you have a great team doesn’t mean it will continue to be productive and help you succeed in your business forever. One thing is for sure, your team needs reinforcement to boost productivity from time to time. Here are some team productivity tips that will help you get started:
1. Accept Criticism
This may sound a bit negative but criticism is in fact an elusive workplace practice that if done right, can boost productivity. The first step is to start embracing criticisms. Make sure your team understands their ideas and concerns are valued by asking their feedback. But that also means you need to take their criticisms into consideration.
2. Give Feedback
Having established that you need to embrace criticism, then it’s time for feedback. Feedback is a two-way street – don’t stop at receiving feedback only, give them back as well. As a business owner, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not giving immediate feedback to employees. If your team does a great job, you shouldn’t hesitate to recognize or congratulate them. Feel free to do it personally or openly. They will feel motivated when you value or appreciate their work. That means they will give more efforts for the future tasks. According to the Hawthorne Effect, employees perfect the best job if they are observed. That means you should give regular feedback and let your team know that you are observing them.
3. Recognition for Team Productivity
The same theory applies for recognition. What is recognition? It’s the way you appreciate your team’s work. Often time, you forget to acknowledge team members’ hard work, leaving them wondering about their performance. This can be a disaster sometimes. Personally I feel acknowledgement shows you appreciate and notice their efforts. Do you give enough recognition and acknowledge success of your team? Consider this motivation tip in your next workplace productivity plan.
4. Provide a Positive Work Environment
Another tip on how to motivate your team is through positive workplace environment. According to Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, hygiene factor influences motivation and eventually productivity. That means you should create work space that’s physically pleasing and aesthetically appealing so employees can comfortably work in. It’s an important matter to improve team productivity and reflects the quality of the team. Never expect a productive team to work in a messy workplace.
According to Clements-Croome in his book Creating the Productive Workplace:
“The quality of the environment can affect work performance, and there is a need to take this into account when bringing in new technology for the purpose of improving the performance of business organizations”
Elements like fresh air, lighting, network access, data access, power, ergonomic furniture and privacy all contribute towards a positive work environment.
5. Celebrating Social Events
It’s not optional anymore. Celebrations are a now compulsory social work events like anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. Why? Because they increase unity, festivity and … happiness. Apart from these events, your team should celebrate their achievements and wins, especially when a sales team achieves goals, or technical team completes a difficult task, to create cohesion in the team. It can boost team productivity. On the other hand, your team will not be able to work well together if they are being ungrateful. That leads us to the next point.
6. Plan for Social Activities
Work hard and play harder. This common notion is indeed true. All work without social activities makes your team dull and hold a grudge against the management. As a leader improve your team’s productivity by offering regular breaks will impact their productivity as well as mental clarity, not to mention they will be more connected to each other. As a result, they build a stronger cohesive force over time with you and the rest of the teams.
7. Communication Boosts Team Productivity
Communication becomes the key to success when you’re open to it and let your team know about it. Plus, your employees must be able to respect and understand each other as well. The understanding that every member of the organization is working towards the same objectives, create a tight-knit team, and boost productivity.
Kirti Rajhans writes in her article emphasizes the fact that organizations of today are becoming more complex, and communication is the key. When employers use it effectively they help boost morale, increase team productivity and earn trust from employees.
8. Offer Challenging Roles
Your employees want to be a part of your company regardless of their position. Inclusion will strengthen the bond between employee and employer so make the best of it. By establishing ground rules, and in return offer them extra responsibilities to own up, leadership roles, and decision making capability. Even unimportant instances of recognition of their roles can help increase team productivity. For example, you offer a role to someone to lead a meeting. At day of the end of the day, recognize their contribution which will help motivate them and roll over to a new day with new challenges.
9. Give Comprehensive Instructions
If your team is unclear of their responsibilities, they will waste their time trying to figure out what is expected of them. The worst case is that they will avoid the given responsibility. Giving clear and comprehensive instructions is important so be sure you give them crystal clear explanations regarding their jobs, roles, and results.
“… Successful delegation does take time and effort, but the benefit it gives of actively helping employee involvement and empowerment succeed as a leadership style, is invaluable. When undertaken properly, delegation increases the level of motivation of team members as it allows for new innovative ideas, which in turn leads to the development of team members’ creative and decision-making skills.” – Koontz and O’Donnell, Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions
10. Encourage Independent Thinking
One of the most challenging jobs for a manager is to give autonomous decision making authority to subordinates. Once you overcome this hurdle, you’ll realize that it’s important to encourage your team to take initiatives, think creatively, and make decisions. This helps them to be more responsible in their job roles, and how they should contribute to your business with their own initiatives. Being capable of making their own decisions boost their motivation to work as well as challenge themselves. It’s way much better than taking commands on autopilot.
11. Show Them How it’s Done
If you want them to become more productive, you should lead by example. Show them by contributing equal parts in the tasks assigned, think with them, find solutions while you are working with them and even though you know the answer let them find it. Only a few time of this exercise is required and will set the pattern for what you want done.
Leading by example is one of the most efficient ways to motivate people, and the workplace is no exception.
12. Provide Extra Training
Providing more courses, workshops, and training can boost confidence and skills in a team. There is no doubt that training is one of the most important aspects of organizational development, AND motivation. Training not only set perspectives and improve team productivity but also establishes a sense of caring for your employees.
13. Set Clear Objectives
As a business owner, you must set measurable and clear objectives when you start your business. It shouldn’t be any different when you recruit a new team for your organization as well. What this helps you accomplish is allow them to become aware of the company’s roadmap, their own goals and contributions, and how it ties in with their achievements.
14. Rewards for Productive Work
There’s no better motivation than rewards, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be monetary. Rewards can be of many forms like certificate of achievement, a vacation trip, transport allowance, and job perks, apart from the monetary rewards. One thing must be clear though – reward is a form of recognition. This means you must deliver rewards to your team as they have achieved to uphold the value of the reward.
15. Pay Attention to Health
And a last team team productivity tip that goes without saying is, your team is your business. Your company’s productive output depends on their wellness. If you show them you care about their happiness and health, they will not only be more loyal but also want to work harder for you. Some points to consider are:
- Put their well-being over company’s profits.
- Encourage them to take timely vacation.
- Have a medical program.
At the end of the day it’s important to realize that team productivity and motivation are essential for your business because it depends on many factors to succeed, employees being the main part of it. Ruling them out would mean depreciating your efforts in your company. Employees deserve the best facilities and treatments; if they feel motivated and appreciated, they will work in a more productive manner. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, people should be confident, in good health, relationships, and secure before they can do the best in something.