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5 Tips that will improve team productivity

9th Jan 2017
Employee Engagement, Human Resources, Leadership

Does your organisation recognise that team productivity is a management responsibility, not an employee responsibility?  These top 5 tips from MAD-HR will help you introduce a culture of maximising productivity:

1.  Training

A trained and developed team will take responsibility for their own actions and engage with the organisation’s strategic direction. As a result they require less supervision, freeing senior managers to spend more time on strategic issues, working on the business, rather than in the business. A double win as not only does the team’s productivity increase, but so does that of the senior management.

A trained employee will feel empowered resulting in higher retention levels, improved customer relationships and higher motivation. Confidence levels are boosted, which can increase enthusiasm and energy, easily translating into improved productivity.

Productivity can be improved by training on either existing skills or new skills. Existing skills, however basic, can become diluted through neglecting the detail and refresher training on the basics can breathe new life into routine tasks. Mistakes can be overcome and more efficient ways of working be identified. Training on new skills demonstrates that the organisation is dynamic and they want their employees to go on the journey with them – that the employees are part of something exciting, which again results in improved productivity.

2. Time

Improved time management results in improved productivity simply through using time more effectively. Senior managers need to model the behaviour and lead by example.

Two simple tips are:

  • Take breaks – this will improve concentration levels, increase energy levels and improve attitudes and moods. Ideally a break should involve some form of exercise (or at least movement!), fresh air and food. Ironically staff who take an hour out at the middle of the day are shown to be more productive than those who work through.
  • Manage meetings smarter – prolonged, unstructured meetings can kill productivity – along with motivation, enthusiasm and willingness to participate. Make sure that those chairing the meetings are trained to do so appropriately. How effective are your meetings? Do your meetings have Terms of Reference? Are spectators invited or does everyone have a role and purpose? Have you thought about moving to a standing meeting to keep people focused? Have you banned laptops and mobiles?

3. Roles

Each team needs to understand it’s role. Effective communication and involvement of employees in defining roles and tasks, at team and individual levels, will result in higher commitment and a feeling of ownership, thereby improving productivity.

A clearly defined and well communicated role allows employees to be focused with their time and skills to maximise their productivity. Ensure that everyone in the team understands their specific function and role within the project or the work stream to enable them to channel their energy and focus appropriately.

Managing people can be a lonely task.

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4. Recognition

Recognition is a great motivator. Whilst traditionally used in sales environments, recognition systems can be used across all industries to improve productivity.

  • It can be as simple as an “employee of the week / month” being acknowledged on a notice board, or bulletin.
  • It could be competitive with an announcement at a team meeting once a month, having a trophy handed from winner to winner.
  • For a more reserved culture, it may be an email circulated acknowledging the achievement without the focus on the individual.
  • Tailor it where possible – for example, the person being recognised could have a choice of a book, cinema or shopping voucher to ensure that the reward is welcomed and appreciated by the individual.
  • Link it to appraisals to allow further recognition in a formal setting.
  • Introduce team recognition for achievement as a whole rather than focusing on individuals.

5. Goals

It is important for goals to be defined, set and attainable. Setting the impossible will demotivate and lower productivity, however having a staged goal will ensure the team will strive to meet it. It can help productivity if goals are set with involvement from the team rather than dictated. Goals should be SMART:

  • Specific – to avoid a “do your best” approach
  • Measureable – to build tension and heighten the sense of achievement when complete
  • Attainable- a realistic chance of getting there
  • Relevant – to the team, the strategic plan, the skill base
  • Timed – to have a clear deadline for achievement

Now, if all this sounds fab but you are struggling to figure out how you would implement your plans, please contact us on 01473 360160. Our Directors offer a FREE one hour face to face consultation which is a great opportunity to take advantage of expert HR advice. Book yourself in here.

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