Improving team productivity is not a simple process – to get your team to work more productively, a variety of steps must be taken. Measures that can be used to help boost your team’s productivity include:
- Set a good example
- Seek continuous improvement
- Embrace Technology
- Emphasize teamwork
While any one of the above steps can be effective in improving team productivity, the best results are likely to be achieved from applying all of them. The degree to which you emphasize one or another of these measures will depend on your company’s culture and specific circumstances. However, given how powerful team productivity can be to improving a company’s bottom line and overall operational efforts, focusing on bolstering it is an essential component of optimizing your company’s performance.
Set a Good Example
Productivity starts at the top. If you demonstrate to your team members that you are willing to walk the walk when it comes to practicing what you preach it will motivate them to follow suit. Make sure that any productivity-enhancing policies you establish for the team are ones you are willing to follow yourself.
Leadership is as essential to productivity as technology or procedures – to get the most out of team members it is essential that leaders show that they are every bit as invested in improving outcomes as they expect their team members to be. This type of leadership doesn’t have to be showy – simply demonstrating your dedication to enhancing team performance can have a powerful effect on the efforts of team members to achieve the same goal.
This approach is especially valuable when you are introducing new practices and procedures. People are often resistant to change, so demonstrating that you as a leader are committed to following the new policies is a good way of helping your team members incorporate them in their process.
Seek Continuous Improvement
It can be tempting to try to make significant leaps in productivity on a regular basis, in reality, however, this can be very difficult to achieve. A more realistic approach is to seek out continuous improvement by promoting policies that motivate team members to constantly look for ways to make small, incremental improvements at the operational level. You can find many examples of this here on our own project management resources page.
This approach has the advantage of involving team members in the search for productivity-enhancing activities rather than simply relying on management to dictate such measures. Another advantage of the approach is that minor productivity improvement drivers are likely to be easier to identify and implement. This provides the chance for steady improvement over time while minimizing the danger that an attempt to drastically change the company’s culture or operating approach backfires, decreasing rather than increasing team productivity.
Incremental improvement can lead to significant productivity gains over time. The key to achieving results of this type is to inculcate a culture of quality consciousness in your team members. Getting the core members of your team to adopt this approach is vital to convincing the team as a whole to focus on continuous improvement. Once they have bought in to the program it makes it much easier to bring other team members onboard.
Rapid technological change can be disorienting, as new processes and devices supplant old methods and products, but it can also present opportunities to achieve significant team productivity improvements. Effective deployment of technology offers numerous opportunities to improve the efficiency of your operations in a variety of ways. The following technologies are just a few of the productivity enhancements offered by modern technology:
- Manufacturing automation
- Communication tools
- Scheduling tools
- Collaboration tools
Enabling your team members to collaborate and communicate more efficiently can offer an immediate boost to team productivity. For example, collaboration tools hosted in the private or public cloud facilitate remote work, increasing your team’s efficiency by enabling team members to work wherever they may be. Rather than needing to wait to return to the office to consult with other team members, there are a variety of methods by which they can do so online.
Cutting down on meetings is one productivity-boosting byproduct of embracing business efficiency solutions. Your team members are most productive when they are doing what they are good at, rather than spending time in meetings. The ability to connect and communicate with other team members without having to physically meet them enables them to enhance their personal productivity.
This is not to say that in-person meetings should be dispensed with altogether – given their beneficial impact on building camaraderie and enhancing teamwork they have a definite place in the modern business world. However, modern communication tools allow you to easily host online or virtual meetings which add a personal touch that is absent in phone conferences or email exchanges. Such technology can thus be used to cut down on travel costs, and the time involved in doing so, while still allowing for face-to-face contact.
Collaboration between employees can be a tremendously effective means of enhancing productivity. When team members share insights with each other it helps the company as a whole overcome challenges and achieve better outcomes. There are a variety of steps you can take as a manager to emphasize team work, including:
- Offer team-based rewards as well as ones based on individual achievement
- Hold team-building events such as getaways and meetings
- Promote a culture of collaboration
- Encourage veteran team members to mentor new members
All of these steps serve to help build camaraderie and enhance the ability of your team members to efficiently collaborate with each other. Any team-based rewards you offer don’t necessarily have to be expensive or elaborate. Their main purpose is to get your team members used to thinking about working together to achieve a common goal. In the same way, you can help promote a culture of collaboration by emphasizing that members should feel free to consult with their teammates anytime they run into an obstacle or would like a second opinion on a task they are working on.
In terms of encouraging mentoring, this could be a formal or informal process, depending on what works best for your company. Assigning new team members to work with veteran members for a time before working on their own is one way to facilitate the mentorship process. Offering rewards for team performance also helps the process along, as it motivates veteran members to bring new members up to speed as quickly as possible.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps improve your team's productivity. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…