Are you looking for the best ideas on the web on how to improve team productivity?
Leading a team, whether it consists of 10 team members or 100, is never easy. Grouping different types of people with different temperaments can often lead to clashes, and miscommunication and can impact workplace productivity. So much so that it can drive you crazy.
However, if handled with little tact, you can make your team accomplish great professional goals. Getting them on the same page is different, but making them work in unison to achieve a common goal is no small feat.
No matter how productive your team is, there are always ways to be incorporated to take workplace productivity to a whole new level.
Before jumping to the ways, let’s get into the depth of something that will be of actual use for us. To understand productivity and efficiency better, how about we get their definitions straight, shall we?
Efficiency signifies a level of performance that describes a process that uses the lowest amount of inputs to create the most incredible amount of outputs.
On the other hand, productivity is the average measure of production efficiency. It can be expressed as the ratio of the outputs to the inputs used in the production process.
Now, without much ado, let’s discuss different ways bosses can improve their team’s productivity and efficiency.
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Table of Contents
- Here are 19 ways to empower your teams to be more productive:
- 1. Give your team members ownership
- 2. Ensure proper communication
- 3. Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses
- 4. Team building activities
- 5. Use a project management tool
- 6. Wholesome work environment
- 7. Reward your employees
- 8. Give them room to work
- 9. Praise a job well done
- 10. Clarify each person’s role
- 11. Make the daily workflow more efficient
- 12. Lead with gratitude
- 13. Providing coaching and training
- 14. Let employees take break
- 15. Provide help if needed
- 16. Appreciation and Recognition
- 17. Minimize interruptions
- 18. One task at a time
- 19. Give constructive feedback
Here are 19 ways to empower your teams to be more productive:
1. Give your team members ownership
The best leaders in the business understand the power of ownership. Giving ownership to the team members means nothing but letting them make their own decisions and making them accountable for their work.
Making a team member accountable for his work induces a sense of responsibility in him regarding his work. He starts to see his work differently so that his decisions can impact the performance of the entire team.
Now, giving ownership can take different forms like leading a project, handling the responsibility of a task, etc. It shows that you’ve entrusted your team members and their capabilities to address a specific job. And when you do this, you realize that there is nothing more powerful than building someone’s self-esteem in your organization.
2. Ensure proper communication
Communication is one of the critical factors that contribute mainly to team productivity. Without effective communication, businesses fail. Because in the absence of communication, comes miscommunication and this breeds a lot of failures. A lot of successful businesses thrive on effective communication. Now, a project manager must ensure effective communication prevails in a team.
Communication plays a significant role in helping team members to understand their job responsibilities. And, if there is any communication gap, it can lead to multiple confusions within a team, which will undoubtedly impact the overall productivity of a team. Whether you need to onboard new employees, deliver employee training, or have a place to house important information, consider creating an online course to keep everyone aligned. Thinkific is an online course platform to customize your approach to fit your business and team needs.
3. Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses
It becomes the duty of a manager or a team lead to discover their teammates’ talents and skills and keep them in mind while allocating tasks. Knowing their skill set is the backbone of producing a productive team.
For example, if someone in a team likes to think outside of the box, you can make him pitch creative ideas in front of a client(s). Knowing that team members are making the best use of their knowledge, expertise, and talents, they look forward to contributing to the workplace. Making them use their strengths will contribute to making your workplace better and more productive than before.
4. Team building activities
Team productivity depends big-time upon the camaraderie between the team members. If the team members get along and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, the workplace automatically becomes a happier place. If the team members are happy from within, the team’s productivity and efficiency will automatically shoot up.
When different people are working within a team, there is a likelihood that not everyone will like each other. To beat the animosity between the team members, you can incorporate some team-building activities. It will add some fun elements and wash away any grudges or miscommunications between the team members.
5. Use a project management tool
These days no one can deny the role online project management software plays in boosting teamwork and productivity. Having the right project management tool by your side can help in effective work management and increased collaboration between the team members.
For instance, ProofHub is one such online project management software that brings together your team members, projects, and clients in one place. With features like discussions and group chat, you can take your productivity game to a whole new level.
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6. Wholesome work environment
The work environment and infrastructure are essential contributors to improving team efficiency and productivity. According to a recent study, the physical environment dramatically affects how employees feel, think and perform at the workplace.
Due to this, many organizations are paying attention while designing their office interiors. They make sure to incorporate bright lighting, a comfortable furniture layout, and a touch of nature with the help of plants and flowers. Besides the physical setting, the environment within the office premises also impacts team productivity. Dominating bosses, condescending employees, and office politics can bring down an organization’s overall productivity and efficiency.
7. Reward your employees
Employees work best when given a reason to do so – probably a monetary one. They want their efforts to be appreciated and prefer to have a little more than a ‘virtual pat on the back from their bosses. That’s why many employers choose to implement incentive programs to keep their employees motivated.
According to a recent study, 85% of employees felt more motivated to do their best in exchange for an incentive. These incentives can be in the form of cash, free vouchers, paid vacation, extra time off, lunch-outs, etc. Managers, I hope you’re taking notes 😉
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8. Give them room to work
Every employee or team member works best when given an environment where they are allowed to do things ‘their way’. Most employees tend to lose interest as soon as they are being micromanaged by their bosses or managers.
One of the many ways that can help you overcome this is to create a kickass team. Define their job responsibilities and your expectations clearly to them. Now, get out of their way and let them work on their own. At the same time, be approachable so that if someone in your team has a question, they don’t need to think twice to clarify their doubts. Always trust your team with utmost confidence. This further strengthens their belief in themselves which helps them to perform to their best abilities.
9. Praise a job well done
While for different employees, different things work in boosting their productivity and efficiency at work. But for many of them, it is something as simple as being acknowledged for their efforts. You know nothing can add to productivity if an employee feels that his contribution isn’t valued enough. Whereas appreciating them in front of the whole team can work wonders.
Instead of virtual congratulatory words, this public act of appreciation inspires others in the group to do their best. This promotes a healthy work culture in an organization which will be an addition to boosting team productivity.
10. Clarify each person’s role
This is one of the bright team improvement ideas for many decades. As a team leader (manager), you should bring clarity to each person’s role and responsibilities to eliminate confusion and ensure the right people work on the right tasks at the right time. How to improve team productivity by doing it effectively?
Now, having one-on-one communication definitely helps, but it pays to have a documented version of all to-dos and don’ts at work.
For example, using ProofHub’s Smart Task Management, you can:
- Divide large tasks into smaller, manageable tasks subtasks
- Allocate these to individuals and groups
- Label them on their priority
- Set time estimates, start and due dates for tasks
11. Make the daily workflow more efficient
Workflow efficiency is of paramount importance to get more done in less effort and time. It is also one of the innovative ideas to improve team performance. Several issues can hamper your team’s productivity. Think of workplace distractions, communication loopholes, lack of information, and unorganized team structure among other things.
That said, there’s an effective way to boost your team productivity and that is by optimizing your workflow and ensuring little time is wasted during the process.
Using ProofHub’s custom workflows, you can divide tasks and create stages to improve your work process efficiently. You can constantly review your workflows and refine them when necessary.
12. Lead with gratitude
A Glassdoor survey found that 80% of employees say they’d work harder for an appreciative boss. As a manager, it’s crucial to practice gratitude at work to enhance team performance. Do you thank and appreciate your team members on a job well done? Great, if you’re doing it already and if you’re missing out on it then you must start on it ASAP.
Being thankful can have a major impact on the people you work within the workplace. Gratitude improves how we interact with others and collaborate. It makes our colleagues feel a sense of belonging and motivates them to work harder. So, don’t ever underestimate the power of a firm handshake, a warm smile, and saying “thank you” to your team members.
13. Providing coaching and training
Do you know that 59% of millennials claim development opportunities are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a position? A regular, strong training and skill development program can improve team performance by a notch. Also, companies with successful training programs register a significant increase in employee engagement and retention rates.
Give regular feedback to your team and analyze their current skills (both soft and hard). Mark areas where they need further improvement and schedule coaching and training programs accordingly. Another effective coaching method is peer coaching where team members help each other with their strong suit of particular skills.
14. Let employees take break
When scheduled right, regular short breaks can significantly improve team productivity. Breaks are essential to prevent burnout while allowing employees to disconnect from work, relax, and recharge their batteries. A North Carolina State University study found that fatigued employees benefit from “microbreaks.”
Short breaks from work should be implemented smartly in a way that these don’t interfere with your tasks at hand. For example, you can encourage your team members to practice the Pomodoro technique which is based on 25-minute stretches of focused, uninterrupted work followed by five-minute breaks.
Now, your team members can play around with this technique and don’t have to follow it rigidly. They can work for 30 minutes on a stretch and take a short break of 7-10 minutes. The key to improved productivity lies in maintaining a fine balance between work and short breaks.
15. Provide help if needed
Helping your team members at work is critical to fostering and maintaining a stable workplace. As a team leader, you should encourage your team members to approach you in case they have any questions or concerns at work. You should instill confidence in them by taking the initiative. Observe your team, which people are most productive and who are struggling with meeting deadlines.
Here are some ways how to improve team productivity by offering timely help to your team members.
- Practice consistent communication with team members
- Actively listen to people in your team and encourage 2-way communication
- Use your experience to recognize when others are struggling at work
- Build relationships with team members while being aware of professional boundaries
- Practice surprising acts of thoughtfulness such as getting them coffee, leaving personalized “thank you” notes on their desk, etc.
- Ensure a fair and even workload to prevent employee burnout and excessive stress
- Inspire positivity by maintaining a friendly attitude
16. Appreciation and Recognition
A recent survey discovered that 37% of employees value employee recognition the most. Timely, fair employee appreciation and recognition are one of the most proven ways to improve team productivity and nurture healthy workplace relationships. As a team leader, you should create custom reports of all people to analyze their performance levels and recognize your best performers at regular intervals.
Also, you should take note that frequent rewards and recognition are more important to employees than a single, large infrequent event. When you value your employees’ hard work and efforts, they are likely to be happier and more engaged at work, which further motivates them to work even harder.
You can consider the following types of recognition for employees:
- Informal recognition
- Formal recognition
- Social recognition
- Monetary recognition
- Non-monetary recognition
17. Minimize interruptions
Frequent interruptions at work are BIG time and productivity killers, so if you are keen on learning how to improve team productivity then you must get rid of them ASAP. These interruptions disrupt the entire flow of work of your employees as they switch attention from the task at hand to a range of things, like checking emails, social media notifications, unproductive meetings, etc.
While there are some “valid” interruptions (addressing freshers’ concerns, messages from coworkers, etc.) at work that are part of your job and are unavoidable, you have to find a way to minimize them when focusing on team efficiency and productivity. And when it comes to “invalid” interruptions (internet surfacing, gossiping, etc.) these have to be cut down completely.
Here’s how to cut down on interruptions at work to improve team productivity.
- Keep a record of daily interruptions to get a clear picture
- Schedule a regular weekly meeting to address the concerns of your team members
- Allocate time for valid interruptions
- Don’t encourage multitasking in your team
- Keep your team in the loop
18. One task at a time
One of the surefire ways to realize your team’s strengths and improve team efficiency and productivity is implementing a method of focusing on a single task at a time. We are sure you realize how multitasking is more of a productivity killer than the other way around. On the other hand, taking one task at a time results in higher productivity lowers stress levels, and makes people happier.
It’s likely that your team members bounce between different tasks because they don’t prioritize tasks. They should focus their singular attention on urgent or high-priority tasks and leave other tasks for later. Single-tasking makes people more creative and they deliver high-quality work with minimal mistakes. The key to focused, deep work is to avoid rushing things and perform each task with your complete attention and undivided focus. Single-tasking makes it possible.
19. Give constructive feedback
Last but the most important on the list is to introduce a feedback process in a team. There is no hope of boosting employee efficiency if they don’t know they are being inefficient in the first place. This is why performance reviews and constructive feedback are essential in increasing team productivity. Getting to know about the areas of opportunities will motivate the team members to make some changes in their working style.
When you are done with the feedback, ask them what you could do to help them improve. Maybe they would like a little more guidance on certain tasks or prefer a little more room for creative freedom. This encourages a culture of open dialogue that will make future collaborations easier than before.
Team productivity is similar to baking a cake where the right ingredients (team members) need to be gathered and put together. Empowering your teams to be at their productive best requires a well-mixed batter of different components.
Overall, there is no single way to empower your teams to be more productive; rather, you can lay the foundation of a productive environment with small and constant practices. You’ll see a huge rise in the productivity meter by providing the employees with continuous support, feedback, and encouragement. The above-discussed ways have helped us to make ProofHub a happy, collaborative, and productive workplace.
We hope you enjoy reading the article to make your teams more productive and efficient. We would love to know the different methods or techniques you guys use to boost the productivity of your teams. You can share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.
What makes a team effective and productive?
Some common factors that make teams effective and productive are mutual trust, leadership style, open communication, and common & aligned goals.
What affects team productivity?
Distractions at the workplace, unrealistic deadlines, low morale, lack of appreciation are some important factors behind low team productivity.
What are some ways to improve productivity?
Ensure proper communication
Appreciate and recognize
Give them space to work
Lead with gratitude
Fair distribution of workload
One task at a time