ProofHub Articles

A selection of ProofHub's best articles written on leadership, productivity, management, work culture, team-building, motivation, self-improvement, and more.

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A manager’s guide to team management

A manager’s guide to team management

Congratulations! You have got a new job as manager. New challenges will be coming up now. Managing a team and pulling them together is a big task for a manager. Team management is an art and a manager needs to develop it well for better employee engagement. It requires a great sense of unity, common interests and responsibilities closely associated with a task. Team management skills are highly important to keep teams together, to promote strength, support, and reliability.

Empower your teams with effective work management and boost productivity.

Why is teamwork important?

To be a part of a team is one thing and to perform as a team member is another. Team management will make sure that everybody is following a synergistic way of doing work. In a teamwork, the work will always be properly managed, maximizing strengths and bringing out the best in each team member.

The key to attaining growth and success lies in the ability to simultaneously perform as an individual and in line with other employees. The importance of teamwork can be seen regularly in almost all teams like sports, medical and IT and more. And in these fields importance of teamwork is growing because of the following 5 significant reasons:

  • It motivates unity in workplace
  • Offers different perspective
  • Provides learning opportunities
  • Improved productivity
  • Promotes workplace synergy

But at times working in a solitude becomes difficult and the managing team brings ups several challenges. Let’s have a look at some major challenges in team management.

Challenges in a team

1) No trust
Trust is crucial for a team and is developed when team members start knowing each other. Team members need to know each other and which is a challenge in a growing team. A manager needs to have both professional and personal relation to developing a common trust.

2) Too many cooks
Another challenge comes when too many people are involved in a project. “Too many cooks in the kitchen”. When there are too many people involved, the feedback on a project can lead to more harm than good. Different opinions and voices will pull people in different directions and the actual objective is lost.

3) Low engagement
If a team loves what they do, they will be willing to go the extra mile for your business. And team engagement is the key to enjoying a role. Team engagement is crucial to business success and teams should be interested in what they do. It can be challenging to stay detached without the involvement of all team members.

4) Lack of transparency
As the teams are growing, expectations grow and transparency is becoming a much-required norm in business. If there is no transparency, the trust will suffer. It is important to provide a greater visibility to goals, projects, and earnings.

5) Satisfactory appraisals
At the time of appraisals, maximum employees are usually not satisfied with it. Reaching up to the expectations of teams is also a challenge. It becomes difficult to reduce the grievances of annual appraisals and give them satisfying perks.

Team management tips

The art of team management is the ability to deliver clear vision to team members and leading a team in a rewarding and inspiring way. When the work environments start getting busy, it leaves a little time for team leaders to make sure that the team members are feeling creative and happy. So, when it comes to your team, how can you make sure that employees are performing their best.

With these 5 simple and effective team management tips, you can master team management.

Be transparent
Be as open about your decisions and challenges to your teams as possible. It sounds like a big claim but being transparent is the key to the happy working environment. It will help to develop a feeling of mutual respect between team members and managers.

Until and unless the team is not clear about their goals and context of work, they cannot perform well. In turn, employees will feel an important part of the team and operate accordingly. They will feel secure in their positions and feel free to contribute ideas and suggestions, thus enhancing creativity.

Using tools
As you now know that transparency is a cornerstone of high-functioning teams, and this increases the need of using tools for transparency. Teams use ProofHub web app to achieve effective management to have an overview of projects. With this tool, transparency and accountability increases as everyone have a say on the project. They will have a high-level of visibility over the project and also understand the part they are playing on a project. Thus, creating accountability among team members. As the tasks in a project are assigned to a specific team member, it will make responsibilities clear and understand the role they are playing within the big picture.

In the task management tool, all the tasks and responsibilities will be displayed transparently and the managers will not have to take much hands-on-approach to know which task is assigned to whom.

Team management activities

Team management activities for the team are just as important as producing results for the business. Team building activities and games should be enjoyable and involve everyone in a team. It can be an add-on to brainstorming session also. It will help the teams to know each other, how they think differently, solve a problem and have fun. But sometimes it can be tricky when team building activities tend to induce more eye rolls among teammates than high-fives.

Workplace team building activities are the way to go to bring initiative and do some fun. Your teams would love to play the fun games. Have a look at the list of some popular categories of activities.

List of activities:

  • Blindfold activities
  • Problem solving
  • Quick team building
  • Creative team building
  • Outdoor games
  • Icebreaker games
  • Draw as a group
  • Create stories together
  • Provide valuable feedback

One of the best ways to improve performance and team management is providing feedback to team members to support them to develop professionally and personally. Offering constructive feedback will help them attain goals and in case of negative feedback, they can make sure to hold regular opportunities to check-in.

Have a look at the 4 types of feedback and its impact

  • Motivating feedback – Improves self-esteem of team
  • Corrective feedback – Chances to maintain self-esteem
  • Flattering feedback – Creates mistrust
  • Provocative – Reduces self-esteem

Giving your team a constructive feedback will provide advice on how you feel your team members are progressing and help them in growing further. They can improve on areas you feel could be improved.

Performance appraisals

To understand the abilities of employees for growth and development, it is important to evaluate the performance of employees for a systematic performance appraisal. This will not only motivate teams to work better but also retain them for a long run. Offering satisfactory perks and appraisals is an important part of team management. Take time thoroughly to review the yearly performance and conduct meeting to discuss performance for appraisals.

Dealing with difficult team members can be tough, but following the above team management tips will help you turn your problem employees into star workers. If your team members are not pleased with your way of management, give it another chance, improve your team management skills and see how miracles happen.

Do you want to manage work better and improve productivity??

If you liked this post, you are going to love these as well —

  1. 10 ways to empower your teams to be more productive
  2. 10 proven strategies to inspire your teams to act after meetings
  3. 11 best online collaboration tools of 2017 for business
  4. What Is Collaboration at Workplace? Habits Of Highly Collaborative Organizations

10 Ways to Empower Your Teams to Be More Productive

10 Ways to Empower Your Teams to Be More Productive

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, 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.

Start managing your teams and projects efficiently with ProofHub!

Here are 10 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 productive than before.

4. Team building exercises

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 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 exercises. 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.

6. Wholesome work environment

The work environment and infrastructure are essential contributors in 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 boss, 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 the 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 😉

8. Give them room to work

Every employee or team member works best when given an environment where they are allowed to do the 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 that helps them to perform with 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. 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.

Conclusion

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 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.

6 Team Building Games Your Team Would Love To Play Again!

6 Team Building Games Your Team Would Love To Play Again!

An office is not a place you usually associate with fun or excitement. In fact, it is usually a place where people usually feel dreaded to enter.

Offices are never synonymous with fun and excitement. Infact, an office is a place, where most employees prefer to run away from rather than going there all smiles. That is why companies, nowadays, tend to go an extra mile to add an element of fun in workplace for employees. Besides taking various employee-focussed initiatives and organizing various team-building activities, companies are doing everything possible to beat the office blues.

Want to make workplace exciting? Give ProofHub a try!

Therefore, with the inclusion of more team-building activities, workplaces are turning into fun collaborative places. Moreover, these initiatives and activities happen to generate a feeling of togetherness and build a motivated work-culture.

So, let’s have a look at various team-building fun activities that your team would love to play again and again.

GAME #1: SCAVENGER HUNT

 

Rules: Break the group into teams of two or more. Assign fun and quirky tasks to every team with a deadline. This fun activity can be played both indoors and outdoors, but preferably outdoors for more fun. You can also give some hints to ease it a little. Tasks can include anything from finding a miscellaneous object to clicking a selfie with a stranger. A team which completes the most number of tasks within a deadline, wins!

Purpose: This is a great team building activity, which encourages the team members to work with each other effortlessly with a splash of fun. It also helps in improved decision-making and better collaboration at workplace.

GAME #2: THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE

 

Rules: ‘Three truths and a lie’ is a fun interactive activity which requires no tools at all. All you need is a place to sit down and you are good to go. Make everyone is sitting in a group facing each other. Have each person come up and state three truths and a lie about his/her personality. The speaker has to make sure that the lie is realistically framed not making it hard to believe.
Then it should lead to open-end discussions to figure out the lie.

Purpose: Games and activities like this offer a platform for team members to get to know about their colleagues better. Moreover, this activity is a good way for introverts to shed their inhibitions.

GAME #3: GAME OF POSSIBILITIES

 

Rules: This is an entertaining activity, in which one has to make teams having members not more than five. Give an object to one person in a group. Now, when the turn comes, every person has to take a centre-stage and demonstrate the use of that object; only by actions. The rest of the members in the team has to guess the object by the demonstrations made by the person.

Purpose: This activity is filled with lots of fun and laughter. It encourages the members to think out-of-the-box and be as innovative as possible while doing the demonstrations. It also inspires creativity.

GAME #4: THE PERFECT SHAPE

 

Rules: Make everyone stand in a circle with a piece of rope in their hands. Ask everyone to put the blindfolds on their eyes and release the rope on the floor. Instruct the team members to take a little walk and come back to the same spot. Now, ask them to make a square with the help of a rope within a specific time limit. You can add difficulty, by directing some of the members to be quite.
Similarly, the next time instruct the members to make a triangle, a figure 8, pentagon etc and let the fun begin.

Purpose: The main purpose of this activity is to help the team members get along well. It also allows you to make the best use of your communication skills and leadership qualities by enabling trust within teammates.

GAME #5: ORGANIZATIONAL JENGA

 

Rules: You can use wooden blocks or actual Jenga game. These blocks would define hierarchies in your organization. You can mark the blocks as ‘IT’, ‘HR’ or ‘CODERS’ etc. Make sure the composition of the blocks is same as that of the departments in your organization. Now, make groups of 3-4 people and provide them the same number and type of blocks. You can instruct them to create a specific type of structure with a time limit.

Purpose: This activity allows the team members to brainstorm together and realize the importance of each department in a company.

GAME #6. BLIND DRAWING

 

Rules: Divide the team into groups of two and ask them to sit back-to-back. Now, give one person the pen and paper and the other one the picture. Now, the one having the picture, has to describe the image to the other person in a time frame. For example, the picture is of a boy kicking a football. The person has to verbally depict the picture to the other member without disclosing the picture straightaway. When, the time limit is over, you can see how the other member has interpreted the image.

Purpose: This activity focuses mainly on communication and interpretation. Plus, it allows you to put your creative juices and imagination to the best use.

The main purpose of doing such team-building activities at workplace includes fostering meaningful collaboration and communication, promote motivated work culture. It also allows the team members to think out-of-the-box and infuses creativity and innovation at workplace. Moreover, such activities refresh and energize the employees, which creates an atmosphere at workplace more productive and fun. So, what are you waiting for? Head out for some fun with your team! 🙂

5 Tips to Running the Most Effective Team Meetings

5 Tips to Running the Most Effective Team Meetings

Team meetings. Weekly meetings. Stand-up meetings. Monday morning meetings. You love them? You love them not? Well, you definitely not love them. Right?

It’s Monday. You are already pissed with the thought that it is Monday. Having the blues? The start of the workweek brings feeling of anxiety, sadness, depression, and laziness. And there you land on your office table, trying to settle down, and what you hear, “Meeting in the conference room in next 2 minutes”. Do you fear this? Do you feel restless during meetings?

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This is not the case just with Monday meetings. When it comes to weekly meetings or daily meetings, the feeling is same for many. There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. And bad meetings on a bad day are even worse. But first of all, let’s talk about the three main aspects that makes a meeting effective?

1. Objectives are met
2. Consumed minimum amount of time
3. A sensible process to meeting

If the above objectives aren’t met in your meeting, there is something that is being overlooked and need to worked on. People are often susceptive that if the meetings are not effective, then what is the point of holding them?

Reasons to have team meetings

I already came across your silent question – what is the reason to have effective team meetings when they are so frustrating? You might want to get rid of these team meetings as much as possible. But for sure meetings cannot be avoided because of some pretty good reasons.

1. To provide information

– Those scheduled team meetings are a perfect example to provide the right information to all members and to make sure that all the main points are explained.

2. To allow for feedback and discussion

– Feedback is not the same as information, it is a reaction to a performance to provide more improvement. Feedback is usually carried forward with further discussions to bring fruitful results.

3. To build/strengthen a team

– A team meeting activity will develop interpersonal and organizational skills to instill a sense of togetherness and commitment.

4. To promote team collaboration

– Team meetings will not only release important information amongst team but will also be helpful in team collaboration which is an important part of workplace.

At ProofHub, we have weekly meetings, everybody gathers in the conference room and nobody seems to be restless. The team leaders have the power to engage and retain the staff and do it well. How do we make the meetings effective and more successful?

From our experiences, here are 5 tips to make meetings effective and fun.

1.  Make a connection with everyone in the room

What happens during the meetings in your office? Is the agenda shared? The manager or team leader starts the meeting by reading the agenda and the team tilts their head down having no connection with what is being shared. Meetings are meant to be for face-to-face discussion and not for sharing data. You can share the data with the team in advance so that everyone is aware of it and discuss the things in the meetings. This will make a connection with everyone in the room and will push their minds for brainstorming. This will also save time and will keep everyone on the same page.

2.  Add some fun

Meetings and fun? Do you like the combination? Yes, you can add some fun and excitement to your meetings by doing some fun team meeting activity. When a game will be introduced in a meeting this will be like a surprise for the team and they will look forward to meetings in future. A few team meeting games like brain writing, the anti-problem, trading cards, design the box and much more will bring something out of the ordinary boring meetings. Or you can ask someone to share their success story or sponsor some engaging material. You can have weekly/monthly team award during the meeting. These team meeting activity ideas will break up the monotony and engage everyone during the meeting.

3.  Link the agenda with your mission

Effective team meetings are not meant just for discussing reports, deadlines, and motions. Many times meetings are often disconnected from the mission and vision of the company. As your company’s mission statement holds the key business objectives it needs to be fed directly into your meeting agenda. Every meeting should have a mission related the discussion to keep team members aware of what they are doing and what they have to do for the growth of the company.

4.  Encourage Participation

One of the reasons that team members are not participating in the meetings is that they are not aware of the purpose of the meeting. The purpose of your meeting should be relevant and known to all the team members. This will encourage them to participate in the discussions during a meeting and be involved in the decision-making. Give each of them a chance to lead the discussion and put forward their points. If the team is encouraged to participate, they will be genuinely excited about the meetings and will see it in a positive way contributing to the discussion.

5.  Make the meeting actionable

So, you have discussed every bit of strategies with the team, what’s next? At the end of the meeting give a chance to every team member to put forward their new goals in short. This will provide a recap to them and also you will know what information is retained by them. At the end of each meeting, the managers can also ask certain questions like,

“What are the tasks to be done in the next week?”
“What new strategies did you learn from this meeting.”

Ending your meeting with such simple questions will make sure that responsibilities and timelines are clear.

TOO MANY MEETINGS?
It is of no use to bounce from meeting to meetings with no productive results. You probably need to follow the ways of running an effective meeting. Follow the right structure and order, have a solid objective in mind, and a commitment and you are well on your way to great meetings. Try to avoid some of the meeting conducts to keep annoyance away from your team. You will soon gain a reputation for running efficient meetings.

Simplify the way you manage your projects and teams. Switch to ProofHub

If you liked this post, you are going to love these as well —

  1. Useful Online Resources for Project Managers
  2. 4 Ways in Which you are Killing Team Motivation (And How to Fix Them!)
  3. Importance of team collaboration at workplace

4 Ways in Which you are Killing Team Motivation (And How to Fix Them!)

4 Ways in Which you are Killing Team Motivation (And How to Fix Them!)

“People don’t change jobs, they change bosses”, this is actually true when it comes to the real world. You cannot overburden, pressurize, and tame your employees to make them deliver high productivity. Even if this strategy becomes successful, the former statement goes true. Moreover, in the world of millennials, it is not possible for you to boss them around just because you pay them salary.

Simplify the way you manage your projects and teams

They would simply walk off your office telling you ,”you pay me but that doesn’t mean you own me”. Thus, building a team can be a real challenge in today’s world, especially when you are focused on simply generating profits and not motivating your team.

Motivating your employees is the key ingredient behind creating a highly productive team. You will have to value your employees and motivate them at every little step. If they don’t feel their career and growth is being valued, they won’t give you another chance.  

This is a common scenario in most organizations and the managers don’t even realize it till the situation goes worse. They continue to ignore the talent, demands and even the most basic requirements of their team members until they discover that the employees start quitting.

How you are killing your team’s motivation –

The following points will give you a brief idea about how you might be killing your team’s motivation without even knowing and what you can do to fix it –

1. Giving Inadequate Rewards

 

Let’s take a situation. You are an employee who reaches office in time, performs all tasks, meet the deadlines, delivers projects on time and is able to maintain a good attendance record. Now, at the end of the year, all you would expect from your company is to provide you a decent salary hike. Isn’t it? That’s what makes every employee happy and motivates him to continue working with the same organization. For instance: At the year end, your company gives you only an increase of 5% in salary and they aren’t even open to negotiations. Would this be a great motivating factor for you? Or, you would simply upload your resume on job searching sites?

I hope the answer has already come up in your mind.

Now put your team members in your place in the above scenario. Do you still think they have a reason to survive back in your team?

Inadequate rewards is the biggest demotivating factor for an employee who has been working with full sincerity. When companies follow such cheap tactics, most of the employees simply quit.

How to Fix It?

The answer is simple. Give them a salary reward which they really deserve and which they are worth for. This will be a good enough reason to hold them back.

2. Zero Focus on Personal Development

 

Let’s take another situation. Your boss talks to you only in terms of projects, finances, profits etc. He never spares a single moment for you to focus on your personal development. Also, your company doesn’t invest in training sessions or extracurricular activities. For how long would you be able to survive in such an environment?

Before you reach to a conclusion just read this, “Google allows its employees to spend 20% of their time on their personal projects”. And not just Google, there are many startups as well who encourage employees to pursue their personal interests at workplace. Still you think surviving at a place where your manager isn’t bothered about your talents and goals would be worth it?

It is a sheer motivation killer. Again coming to the point of millennial generation, they crave for new stuff every now and then. If you don’t give them that space, you are actually killing them.

How to Fix It?

Adventure camps, fun training, or simply giving them some free time to invest in themselves. As a manager, it is your very duty to interact with your team members to know them beyond their roles in office. Encourage personal development workshops and make sure everyone participates in it.

3. Poor Collaboration and Communication

 

An ideal team is the one in which every member has an equal say and that is valued too. Let’s get you into another situation. You joined a company as a fresher and took up your role with great responsibility and excitement. Since you are in the learning mode now, you get every information through mails or from your seniors. This would work fine for the next couple of months. But soon you would start feeling the dominance prevailing over you. You would want to get involved in decision making, client handling etc.

In this scenario, if your team lead or manager turns a blind eye to your ideas and suggestions,you would definitely  start feeling suffocated.

Now, if you don’t create opportunities to collaborate and communicate with your team they are bound to feel suffocated. This is again demotivating your employees and giving them a reason to reconsider working with you.

How to Fix It?

Effective team collaboration is the way to build highly motivated and productive teams. Use a online collaboration tool like ProofHub, which serves as a platform for all your team members where they can track project progress, discuss ideas, involve in chats, and work on the same page with their coworkers.

Looking for something to make your team collaboration and communication more effective?

4. Not Appreciating their Achievements

 

Another big motivation killer for your employees is your ignorant attitude towards their achievements. For instance you did pretty well in a particular quarter and achieved all the targets. Now imagine your boss telling you to do better next time without even acknowledging your achievement. It’s almost like killing you right away. Is it?

But this is what actually happens with most of the professionals out there. Forget about giving a bonus or celebrating their achievements. Managers don’t even congratulate or send out an email to such high-performing employees. As human beings, we always look for appreciation for our efforts and achievements. And if it’s missing in a such a competitive scenario then it can be really demotivating for anyone.

How to Fix It?

Don’t forget to make noise when your employees achieve their targets. Make celebrations and feasts a part of your company’s culture. Let everyone working their feel valued and appreciated. In fact, this is a secret to retain employees. If you value your employees they are less likely to leave you even if you pay them less.

The above-mentioned are some of the most prominent practices that kill the productivity of a team. Empowering your employees, appreciating them and effectively collaboration with them will always keep problems at bay. This would eventually help you build highly-motivated workforce at your workplace.

Want to become a leader who gets things done?

The real reasons why happiness at work is so important from Vartika Kashyap

 

If you liked this post, you are going to love these as well —

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  2. 7 Meeting Conducts that Will bring annoyance in your team

  3. Team Building Activities to Develop Positivity at Workplace

Importance of Team Collaboration at Workplace

Importance of Team Collaboration at Workplace

The basic mantra of today’s business is “we have to collaborate”. Collaboration in the workplace is a sign of effective team as it harnesses the best out of two or more individuals together. Efficiency is an essential part of a team and an important aspect of the workplace. Workplace collaboration will keep everyone safe from extra load of work as the work gets distributed evenly. 

Don’t let poor team collaboration become a barrier in your success. Start using ProofHub

When you have team collaboration you will always see positive results as the biggest fears of checking whether the teams are able to perform together will be eliminated. Working in teams makes employees more responsible and it also raises their motivation level.  

Why Should Teams Collaborate?

Collaboration generates a circle of knowledge and lets each team members to understand their role. There are smart owners who look for encouraging their staff always to work with each other. There are several other reasons. Let’s see:

1. Learn from each other

Team members working in collaboration with each other will always have an opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and failures. They will have an organizational approach towards learning things. The company will not deviate from its goals whether long term or short term as the tasks will be assigned to those who will be able to reach the set targets.

2. Better Problem Solving

Workplace collaboration means bringing varied talents together, making a pool of different skills and knowledge. When more competent and experienced people are brought together, teams will undergo better problem-solving approach.

3. You will know the Bigger Picture

Different people working in collaboration with a team from different backgrounds will give you more chance to grasp the differences that they have. They will definitely complement each other in various areas and you can use it for your business. If the result goes against your expectations, you will still have the fruits of having a partnership that will still let you achieve a great deal.

4. Break down barriers

Successful companies always put their team members in collaboration. Team members of the single department are not just in collaboration but it extends across all departments in an organization. As everybody will contribute towards certain goals in a company it will provide a great feedback loop that can be used for projects. Everyone in the team will be able to express their opinion to better deliver the company goals.

5. Online Collaboration Tools

The power of social media can not compete with other ways of bringing teams together. There are many cloud based collaboration tools like ProofHub that can bring teams together. Online tools are making it easier for coworkers to connect and collaborate and remain in sync with each other.

A few other important aspects that collaboration brings to the table include:

  • Brainstorming- Collaboration allows team members to come together on a common platform and a common goal by brainstorming to provide various solutions.
  • Equal Partaking- Collaboration gives team members equal opportunities to participate and communicate their ideas.

6. Better Participation 

When working on projects together, each team member should show equal participation. Each member of a team should provide better input, brainstorm unique ideas and find solutions to the various project problems from time to time. Effective team collaboration makes all this extremely easy. Plus, it solves all the obstacles that may stand in the way of achieving the final project goal.

7. Faster Production 

“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

The point is—when an uninitiated group of individuals comes together to work on a common goal, it takes longer to start and complete. However, the whole scenario changes when a well-coordinated and collaborative group of individuals work together. The whole process speeds up and the final outcome is much better than what everyone else expected from the team. 

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So, how are you connecting with your team? Is it difficult to connect with your team? It is not that challenging to bring workplace collaboration and to make sure that everyone gets the latest updates. Here are a few tips for stronger team collaboration:

Tips for improving team collaboration

1. Evaluate why it isn’t working

Figure out the problem first. Find out why is your current collaboration strategy failing. Is it about trust, chemistry, competitiveness or something else—just evaluate the current situation and build a strategy for the future accordingly. If you don’t have a clue about where to start, here’s what you can do: survey team members and ask them for their opinions and perceptions. After that, step back and observe the team in action as their leader, come to your own conclusion, and craft your strategy. 

2. Aggregate and adapt

A collaborative project manager will bring ideas to the table by collecting ideas, suggestions, and goals of their teams. This helps project managers to aggregate skill sets of the whole team. A collaboration will bring successful results by remaining adaptive and flexible.

3. Listen first

When working in a team different ideas needs to collaborate into workable solutions and that depends on effective collaboration. Finding the root of any new suggestion will require attentive listening to everyone before coming to an outcome. The active collaboration includes providing feedback to have a discussion in real time. It also involves quick respond to team members who want to be heard and valued.

4. Use To-Do Apps like ProofHub

Working and solving an exercise in collaboration with others can be done in a better way with the help of a project management tools like ProofHub. A team collaboration tool will provide you so many options for everyone to do manage tasks their own way.

5. Be transparent

The most effective collaborators are not much worried about the titles and roles. They are more focused on finding the solutions regardless of who is finding it. Also, the effective collaborators share information across the board that increases a sense of workplace community.

6. Energize

An energized, motivated team is the strongest asset of a project. An effective collaborator teams will make sure that everyone works smart and hard. It will bring energy into a conversation by helping team members feel valued. The teams should be always appreciated for a job well done. Team collaboration will also talk about issues that will bring team motivations about what need’s to be done.

7. Team building activities

Teams can collaborate in  a better way if they are involved in team building activities. Team building activities will bring positive impact on office culture as it will improve communication, motivate employees, increase productivity, and help employees to get to know each other better.

8. Give credit where needed 

Another key trait of effective collaboration in the workplace is constant recognition and appreciation. And we’re not just talking about annual appraisals or weekly performance emails. As a manager or someone with authority, you can make appreciation an integral part of your team’s everyday interaction. If someone is doing a good job or if someone has delivered their assigned task before the desired due date, just recognize and appreciate them and their work via team meetings and group discussions.

9. Keep an open mind 

Keeping an open mind is not just about encouraging everyone in the team to come up with innovative ideas. There’s something more important—listening to other’s ideas. Create a collaborative work environment where employees keep an open mind about sharing and listening to each other’s ideas, suggestions, criticisms, and concerns. This, in turn, will ensure quicker problem-solving, better teamwork, enhanced trust, and most importantly greater team productivity.

10. Revitalize and infuse inspiration from time to time 

Most managers make the mistake of believing that their staff is working optimally. To be an effective and collaborative manager, it is important that you ensure to infuse inspiration and vigor into the workspace and your team from time to time. Also, when it comes to offering criticism, do it in a kind way—try to critique the mistakes rather than the employee. Of course, there will be issues (big and small) that will need to be addressed, but all of that can be done in a way that encourages and motivates the team, not the opposite.

Conclusion

Growing companies need to understand the value of collaboration to look for ways to encourage it within their teams. Bring a collaborative spirit amongst your teams and turn your workforce productive.

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11 tips for building a productive and healthy work culture from Vartika Kashyap

How Team Building Activities Will Bring Positive Impact on Office Culture

How Team Building Activities Will Bring Positive Impact on Office Culture

“Individually we are one drop but together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

As they say, “Teamwork is less me and more we”. The team that works together will reap the rewards of higher productivity and better work experience. Team building plays an important role in building successful company culture. It is an exciting way to change how your employees work together. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to develop a great company culture. We all need a positive work culture as we are daily involved in a busy world and have a lot of duties to perform. So, prioritizing team culture is a must for amazing results.

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Here at ProofHub, we have a strong company culture as on a regular basis we bring forward several team building activities to develop positivity at a workplace. It works well for our whole team and we direct a lot of positive energy into doing well at our jobs.

Unfortunately, there are many organizations that are not involved in team building activities and hence, do not have great work culture which is like a pain for the employees.

Today’s office culture deserves a lot of attention.

There are many organization who are aware of the need but still are not able to manage the things apart from doing what needs to be done. So, what leads us to write this article is to motivate every organization to enjoy the fruits of team building activities by highlighting the benefits that team building will bring on office culture:

 

1. Strengthen relationships and collaboration

Strong positive relationships between employees and managers will manage many conflicts and transform a workforce by improving loyalty, productivity, and engagement. With strong relationships comes better communication. It will help team members to think differently from a “me” mentality to “we”. If the teams are constantly involved in team building activities, it will lead to a common good in a way to strengthen those relationships. These types of positive activities will also unite the group and foster friendship at work.

2. Fun

Team building activities will create bonds that are useful and will create the most effective teamwork. Our much of the time of the day is spent working at home and if we will have fun at work it will encourage us to work harder. Activities that involve the participation of all teams is fun for all. It will decide the kind of work environment and create positive morale for all employees.

3. Merges Complementary Strengths

Working in a team will expose the talent of teammates. Every employee will have different strengths like creative thinking, better ideas for planning, better managing things, and much more. During the activities, employees can share their abilities with the team. As the team members rely on each other to bring individual talents to the table and team will work well together. By indulging in activities, you will learn how to combine the strengths and become a stronger team.

4. Promotes healthy risk taking

Working together in a team will promote healthy risk taking. In case a project fails when working solo, the employee will have to take the whole blame. But working with other will distribute the responsibility for a failed assignment. Though you may not get the full credit for a successful team project but you will more conveniently take more risks. And a team can work together well if they have a mutual understanding. Team building activities will make the understanding stronger and develop a full support for the entire group. It is a bonding experience to share success as a team. Working in a team will also promote the freedom to think outside the box.

5. Improves Creativity

What keeps you unique from the rest? Definitely your creative mind. Creativity can significantly boost company’s bottom line and bring out amazing ideas for the organization. Employees should be motivated to get away from their regular jobs and come up with new ideas. How team building improves creativity? Through activities different from the daily activities, employees will get a new environment to perform tasks that are not a part of their daily work. It will also make it clear to employees that their creativity is of value to the company. Regular activities will be a good idea for building games and activities and see which are fit to engage in what projects.

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6. Improves employee performance and productivity

Team building will not only promote creativity and fun but also help in increasing productivity and employee performance. It is a change from the regular working schedule and definitely for enhancing productivity at workplace. There should be activities that will put stress on building a winning culture by assessing the working environment. Managers of the company can make a big change in the organization to take benefit from team members that are more productive. Thus, it is important to focus on team building activities to track the working progress of an organization, to increase productivity and see everything is going well.

7. Resolving conflicts

There are many conflicts in a business and amongst teams working together or between team and managers. These conflicts may lead to unnecessary clashes. So, activities that will bring teams together in a fun and simple way will play an important role in solving conflicts between team members. Introducing team building activities into working life is a great idea to build rapport with one another in office. Team members will know each on a personal level and they can share interesting bits of information with each other.

8. Increasing teamwork

Team building activities are important for both new and intact teams. To make your teams get on harmoniously you can improve their working relationship through team building activities. It will help in establishing a strong bond with each other. Among new teams, these activities are more flexible and will create a bond between them. There will be more participation in projects, as many individuals will realize that taking a collaborative approach to ideas or tasks in the office is imperative when working towards the same goals. An effective team will work in tune with each other instead of working independently.

So you see, the entire company will benefit from team building events to get to know each other and make it easy to communicate about workplace issues. Thus, working with professionals who specialize in team building events is a good idea. Create more impressive results in a workplace by creating and nurturing a positive team culture in 2017.

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7 Awesome fun team building activities from Vartika Kashyap

7 Meeting Conducts that Will bring annoyance in your team

7 Meeting Conducts that Will bring annoyance in your team

How many of you get frustrated during meetings as it doesn’t live up to the potential? I believe many hands to be raised on this.

A colleague controlling the conversation. Someone struggling with the projector. And everyone staring at their watches.

Simplify the way you manage your projects and teams.

Though meetings are a necessary part of everyone’s job and it should be conducted within a team and with management. Some meetings are productive and some leave the team members more confused. And you may come across certain type of people whose behavior will annoy you the most and is so distracting that it often ruins the productivity of meetings.

What are those blunt but innocent behaviors?

Here is an insight on the innocent behaviors of people that bring annoyance in teams during the meeting:

1. Someone who undermines everything others do

The person who lacks self-confidence is usually found stimulating everyone and everything. This kind of person will never appreciate others efforts and will make fun of everything. So, to avoid this, it becomes important to boost your co-worker’s self-confidence by talking about his efforts with everyone. Boost them and when the person tries to make fun of something ask them to present their own alternative ideas.

2. The person who says nothing and only nods

There are some people who don’t say a word during the meeting and just nods with the flow on what is being said. They do not present their ideas and do no brainstorming and even their presence is not felt by others. This happens primarily because they have this fear that everyone will burst out laughing if they start talking. In reality, everyone should participate and say during the meeting whether it’s of no use to anyone but it will show their participation in teamwork. There’s no point that the person attends the meeting and are not contributing.

3. You do not tell anyone what is the meeting about

Every meeting should have a clear purpose so that the outcome is more effective. If the team doesn’t know what the purpose of the meeting and what the desired action is, it’s going to be really hard for them to bring the idea up. So, whenever you call a meeting be sure that each team member knows what the meeting is about so that they come prepared mentally of what is going to be discussed there.

4. Give Everyone a Chance to Talk

 

Sometimes in a hurry of going back to desks for work and to save the precious time, it is tried that everyone else just listens and only one person will talk during the meeting. There is no chance given for everyone who wants to or needs to talk. It is required that everyone is given a chance to make sure everyone’s concerns and objections are addressed, and they get a chance to bring their ideas up.

5. Too many people for meeting

If there are too many people in the room, meetings will surely get out of control. They won’t be able to give much attention and take responsibility for what is being discussed in the meeting. But there is a benefit of too many people in the meeting as there will be a diversity of opinion. So try to keep the number of people to average, calling just those who are connected with the topic.

6. Not taking notes

 

Some people just attend the meeting, sit staring at the speaker and are least bothered about making notes. What is the use of coming to meeting them? There would be some important points that you need to discuss later or fix it in your work, but when you do not make notes there are chances you would forget considering it later. You can even capture your thoughts to words and see how interesting the meeting will become when you start making notes.

7. No follow-up of meetings

 

If the things discussed in the meetings are not implemented, the result of the meetings won’t be fruitful. Often the teams have an implementation problem. Though there are brilliant ideas discussed in meetings those ideas never make it out of the board room. So, better is to end each meeting by properly defining the action steps that needs to be taken and who is responsible for them.

Are you one of those showing the above meeting conducts? Just think how productive and interesting the meetings will be all these behaviors are eliminated from the meetings.

Don’t let poor project management become a barrier in your success.

How to Choose the Right Music to Increase Your Productivity?

How to Choose the Right Music to Increase Your Productivity?

It’s human nature to get distracted by little things around us. I can relate to it pretty well because I get very easily distracted from my work. Millions of things are going around in the office and I am usually susceptible to fall prey to them.

This post will shed light on how to use music to increase productivity:

Distractions at work

Someone talking on the phone call. A group of people gossiping around. People cursing the boss for being rude. Frustrated co-workers and interruptions from other noises. Self-distracting thoughts like being angry with the boss, co-worker or significant other.

“A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind”. People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.

It actually becomes a little difficult to avoid these distractions and stay productive all day long. So, to avoid these uncontrollable distractions, I wear my earplugs that permit me to get more immersed into my tasks and create a bubble that weakens these distractions.

Music is the weapon to ward off these distractions

I like listening to music when I find myself losing focus at work but at the same time wearing ear earphones does not mean I am isolating myself and not being a team player. It’s just that I want to keep a distance from constant noises that destroys my focus and deal with the daily office grind, thus boosting my productivity.

Music is becoming an important part of the modern place workplace and the workers are also able to work more calmly, at times more energetically (depending on the type of music) and more attentive.

What to listen?

But the question worth asking is after all among the various types of music which ones are the best for you and which of them can even create more distractions that are difficult to pull away from.

Listening to sound of nature, sounds of water, mountain stream sound or white noise can enhance cognitive functioning, increase the ability to concentrate, more abstract thinking and increasing overall worker satisfaction.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discovered that adding a natural element could boost moods and focus at work. For instance, singer-songwriter music demands a large amount of attention as it relies on its lyrics.

Music styles

There are a few music style that will go well with your type of work. Here’s a list:

Classical music

This music style is for those who work on numbers or attention to minute details like solving a mathematics problem. It is also the second best genre for accurate results and spell check.

Pop music

So, if your work mainly involves data entry or meeting deadlines, listen to pop music. For spell check and fastest overall performance of getting work done, pop music is found to be the best music genre.

Dance music

If your work involves proofreading and problem solving, dance music is the best for you for fastest performance across a range of work tasks. It will help in increased proof-reading speed by 20pc and will help in completing abstract reasoning tasks more quickly.

Instrumental music

If you do not want lyrics to disturb you, listen to instrumental music. It will far less distracting and will allow your mind to drift and pay no attention to vocal melodies as they can be so effective in getting in the way of productivity when you are working.

 

How does it benefit?

Now as you know the kind of music you would listen to according to your kind of work, let’s have a brief on how listening to music can have a beneficial effect on workplace performance.

Listening to music releases a sense of joy with the release of a chemical called dopamine, which is typically also released when a person gets to eat their favorite piece of food and when a person experiences a first kiss with a new partner. The same feeling also occurs when one listens to music which makes them turn happy.

Effect on workplace productivity

This is how it will affect your workplace productivity:

Bored? Music Will Ease Your Boredom

Sometimes it becomes really difficult to avoid office boredom that kills your productivity brutally. But when you have got music plugged into your ears or background music, the mind will be fed something interesting apart from work. This helps to reduce boredom and you will be able to tackle tasks more properly.

Repetitive tasks? Music Will Bring Back Your Focus

When your daily tasks seem to clearly define and are repetitive like answering emails etc. music should be definitely at hand. Music has been found quite effective in bringing productive output. In a study, it was explored how assembly workers engaged in repetitive tasks displayed signs of increased happiness while listening to music

Zero creativity? Music Will Inspires You

It is the time of the day when your brain goes on “do not disturb” mode. No creative ideas striking off your mind. Those who have found themselves going through this would realize how frustrating their experience would have been. Music will be an inspiration when you would try to come up with a solution to a difficult problem.

Tired brain? Music Will Make You Stress-free

No matter how much you love your job, how much you love working, there is always a possibility of running into stress at a time. So, better not to fall into the pit of stress that will result in negative effects on your work. Listening to music can be a great way to reduce stress and turn the most hectic days to easy going days.

What do you think of music at work? Every human emotion that could be possibly surrounding us is encompassed in music. You are the only one who can bring in accountability to your own self and your work.

The secret recipe for building a successful brand

The secret recipe for building a successful brand

Brand building is the go-to mantra in today’s marketing. No matter it is a small coffee shop or a conglomerate, business leaders are leaving no stone unturned to create a brand out of their name. But like they say, it’s easier said than done.

There is an immense struggle in creating a brand for your business, forget about making it stand out from the crowd. Being in the marketing niche for more than five years now, I’ve managed to gather bits and pieces of knowledge regarding how you can make a successful brand out of your business. And, this is exactly what we are going to talk about here.

The Secret Recipe

Let us take a look at the secret recipe that can help you create a scrumptious feast of your business, which the customers can enjoy to the fullest. Here it goes:

A few tablespoons of rules

 

The millennial generation is powered by the ideology of moving fast and breaking things. And, there’s nothing wrong about it as long as your business continues to grow.

But, even when moving fast you need to lay down some ground rules. These rules are important to build the foundation of your brand. Think of these as your brand’s face, which you want to present in front of the customers. It could be anything – from standing up for a cause or an ideology, or simply a trendsetter idea that you think is reflected in your business’ product or service!

A pan full of communication

 

Brand building has turned out to be the advanced form of marketing. With the rise of the internet and social media, today’s customer has become smarter and more aware than ever.

Customers today ask lot more questions than they ever used to do. And, if you are not able to give them the answer they are looking for, it is hard for you to make them stay with your brand. All this makes communication an integral part of brand building. As a business owner, you must invest smartly in resources that can interact with customers, run social media campaigns to keep your customer audience engaged, and make your presence felt in the market.

A pinch of risk

A wise man once said, even Spiderman has to take a risk – you are a mere businessman! In today’s breakneck competition, thinking out of the box is the only thing that can make your business stand out from the crowd. And, this cannot happen unless you break the status quo and take risks. You have to bring that X-factor, something that’s unique and leaves an instant impact on the users.

This is the reason why one of the most important ingredients in the recipe of the successful brand building is a pinch full of risk.

Garnish it with relationship building

 

Just like any other recipe, the secret recipe to creating a successful brand cannot be complete unless it is garnished with the powder of relationship building.

In marketing, it is a popular saying that your customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This is exactly what relationship building is all about. As a business, you need to connect with your customers. Show them that you are here to solve a problem in their life. Give them a reason to choose your business, and not going with your competitor. Don’t just sell – start a relationship, and nurture it with exemplary customer service.

No matter how good your recipe is, it won’t taste good unless you are able to bring a right balance of ingredients to it. The same holds true for brand building as well. Unless you are able to strike the right balance between the ingredients mentioned above, you won’t be able to have the brand which can be served in front of the audience.