Techniques for Improving Team Productivity and Efficiency

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There is no exact way to improve productivity or efficiency. We have provided you an array of productivity improvement techniques to try out. At least one of these should work for you.

This is a guest post from delesign.com.

As a leader of a team, productivity improvement techniques are very important. It doesn’t matter if your team is made up of 5 or 50 people. Drawing productivity from a team is never easy for several reasons.No wonder many workplace leaders get mad often. However, with the right techniques, you’ll get your team to become more productive and efficient. All you need to do is to get your team members on the same page and provide the right motivation.These techniques will work wonders for your team even if they are already productive. Let’s show you some techniques to help you improve productivity and efficiency among your team members.

Brief Definitions

We must discuss the definitions of productivity and efficiency before we dive into productivity improvement techniques.Productivity refers to the measure of efficiency that your team puts into the production process. This covers service delivery and other deliverables as well. What then is efficiency?Efficiency in layman terms is using the least input possible to get the highest amount of output. In other words, efficiency is a measure of performance. The more efficient a person or team is, the more output they churn out from the least input.With these definitions out of the way, let’s check out some techniques to inspire productivity and efficiency in your team.

How to Improve Team Productivity and Efficiency

Let’s be sincere, this is the major headache of many top-level and mid-level management staff. Several factors contribute to poor productivity and a lack of efficiency. Some of these factors include conflict in the workplace, poor understanding of project expectations, laxity, unfavourable working conditions, etc.Nevertheless, you can inspire your team to be more productive using these productivity improvement techniques.

Use the Power of Ownership

From the top business leaders to managers of copywriting teams, they all understand how much influence; ownership has on productivity in the workplace. Ownership, in this case, refers to a sense of belonging. One that allows team members to make decisions and become accountable for them.When a person is held accountable, it spurs responsibility. As a result, the individual views the work differently. It becomes obvious that each decision could make or mar the success of the whole team.You can give your team members ownership in different ways. Examples are leading projects, overseeing specific tasks, offering their opinions, etc. When you do this, team members see a level of trust from you. It shows that you believe in their capabilities to deliver. This builds self-esteem and confidence, two very important ingredients that facilitate productivity and efficiency.

Set Clear Communication Expectations

Poor communication results in poor productivity. There’s no simpler way of describing the influence of communication on your team’s productivity. So, if you don’t communicate your expectations properly, projects and even the whole business may fail.Since miscommunication breeds failure, you need to be as clear as possible to your team. Many businesses thrive on this principle. Therefore, it is the duty of the team lead to ensure clear communication. This makes it easier for each team member to understand their role in the project cycle.Minor misunderstandings may cause confusion that can result in huge project failure. So whether you are bringing in new team members or working with old ones, be clear on what you want to achieve. At this point, you should try to figure out your communication channels. Evaluate them, stick to the most efficient channels, and discard the least effective ones.

Understand Each Team member’s Weaknesses and Strengths

It is a basic fact that all human beings have weaknesses just like they have strengths. Where most leaders make the mistake is assuming that every member of their team is similar. The fact that you all work in the same environment doesn’t mean you have similar strengths and weaknesses.If you can understand each person, then it is easier to draw out efficiency and productivity from them. It is your duty as the team lead to discovering the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. When you do, it helps you allocate tasks to the right individuals.This simple principle is the backbone of inspiring productivity and efficiency in your team. Let’s check a brief example. Some individuals are good at thinking outside the box. If you have someone like this on your team, assign them the task of being the creative contributor. This is where their light will shine the most.When team members make use of their best skills and abilities, their contributions are most felt. This is one of the most important productivity improvement techniques you can consider.

Adopt Team-building Exercises

If the relationships among your team members are poor, it is almost impossible to spur productivity. You need your team members to get along. A happier working environment breeds efficiency.You can adopt several team-building exercises or extra-curricular activities so to say. These activities or exercises will ensure that your team members establish relationships outside work. When people are comfortable around each other, it is easier to share ideas and accept constructive criticisms. These are all factors that contribute to improved productivity and efficiency.

Make Use of a Project Management Software

There is no denying the fact that project management software plays a major role in increasing productivity levels. These software make it easier to manage projects and project teams. They also allow the sharing of resources across a common platform for easy accessibility.With this kind of software, you can set goals, state deliverables, and decide on a specific deadline. Since you have all the members of your team and even clients on the platform, management becomes easy. This catapults productivity to greater heights.

Great Working Environment

The working environment goes beyond the cordiality of relationships between team members. It focuses more on the convenience of the environment and the availability of the necessary infrastructure.Studies have shown that the condition of the work environment affects how the staff feels. This, in turn, affects their efficiency and productivity levels. This is why top organizations pay a lot of attention to their office design. You must take into consideration issues like lighting, furniture, ambiance, etc.As trivial at these factors may seem, they are great contributors to the productivity and efficiency of your team. You also need to consider how you relate to your staff and how staff relates to each other. Avoid being a domineering boss, do away with office politics, and make sure employees are not condescending. All of these could cause productivity levels to crash if they aren’t checked.

Incentives

It is easier to meet a target if there is a reason backing it up. When you dangle an incentive, mostly a monetary one, employees chase after such rewards. Everyone wants to be appreciated, we all love that pat on our backs that says “well done.”Incentives have the power to keep your team members motivated. Studies have shown that employers who offer incentives to their teams get better results. Examples of incentives include cash bonuses, free vouchers, extra time-off, paid vacations, lunch-outs, etc.

Don’t be a Micro-Manager

This is one of the most important productivity improvement techniques ever. People don’t like to be watched 24/7. Employees thrive more when given independence. Don’t be the boss that dictates how tasks should be carried out. Allow your team members to enjoy some freedom.The easiest way to do this is to recruit top-notch individuals into your team. Once you do this and clearly communicate your expectations, you can go about your business. Allow them to handle their tasks and wait for the results. When you do this, make sure that you are approachable in case there are questions or observations.The idea is to trust team members. Once you do, you will build their self-confidence which pushes them toward better productivity and efficiency.

Shower Praises when Necessary

Different employees are motivated by different things. However, one thing that cuts across all individuals is praises. When you praise people for a job well done, you inspire them to do more. it works like magic all the time.A simple acknowledgement of a person’s contributions can be the key that unlocks their potential. If a person doesn’t feel valued, they may never become more efficient or productive.One of the best ways of appreciating team members is by doing it publicly. It works wonders for their confidence levels. However, be careful not to be resentful to other members of the team. Such praises not only inspires the individual involved but the rest of the team if done right.

Introduce a Feedback Process

For most experts, this is the most important of all the productivity improvement techniques. Your team members cannot get better if they don’t know their mistakes and shortfalls in the first place.Constructive feedback and reviews are very important. Don’t just criticize, ask how you can assist them to be better. The feedback process is a two-way street. Be open to criticisms as well so that you can have a better workplace altogether.

Conclusion

There is no exact way to improve productivity or efficiency. We have provided you an array of productivity improvement techniques to try out. At least one of these should work for you. Try them out and let’s know what you think.