How to Improve Team Efficiency and Productivity in Your Business
During any project your team is working on, there are many roadblocks that can obstruct its productivity and prevent it from efficiently accomplishing a common professional goal.
However, with good management and a few vital practices, your team can work in unison, taking workplace productivity to a whole new level.
Here are some of the best ways to support your team in achieving their full potential.
1. Set Clear Goals and Track Them
Goal-setting is the first step towards successful team performance. Still, problems may arise if these goals seem vague and uncertain, or too complex to grasp.
That’s why it’s important to make goals seem attainable by splitting your projects into smaller iterations, which will make it easier to see tangible progress and motivate team members.
It needs to be made clear to each member what the goals are on each task, as well as their role in achieving them. You should explain to your team members the priority tasks they should focus on, as well as your expectations when it comes to the results and the quality of work they’re delivering.
2. Delegate Responsibility
Your team members will be more engaged in achieving their goals and more productive if they feel that they own the process; that they can make their own decisions, and that they’re accountable for their work.
That’s why it’s essential to focus on the strengths of each one of your team members and delegate responsibility accordingly.
With your team members doing what they are best at and feeling responsible for their performance, your team will be closer to reaching its full efficiency and productivity.
3. Communicate Efficiently
Communication is one of the crucial factors that contribute to your team productivity.
Try to establish a culture of trust among your team members so that you can talk openly about the issues and challenges each member is facing when working on their tasks. This way, your team members will have a chance to flag any situation that stops them from achieving their objectives and get timely support to overcome them.
Discussing goals and objectives with team members, as well as timely performance reviews of their efforts, are very beneficial to boosting employee productivity.
4. Cut Back on Unnecessary Meetings
Statistics show that organizations typically spend 15% of their collective time in meetings that are most-often unproductive: 92% of participants admit to multitasking during meetings, while 49% use this time to finish other work-related tasks.
Even a short 30-minute unproductive meeting can be a huge loss of energy and time for your team members. Most often, you can avoid this with a simple digital update in the form of an email or a Slack message.
One of the easiest ways to boost the productivity of your team is to eliminate all the unnecessary, energy-draining staff gatherings. You can extract your Google Calendar data and create reports to determine how much time your team members are spending on meetings, and evaluate their efficiency.
Then, you can replace all the unnecessary meetings with thoroughly-planned ones when you need to do a team activity or make a decision.
Also, follow these rules to make these meetings more efficient:
- Make an agenda and send it beforehand so each participant can come prepared.
- Include only the participants who are needed and who can contribute to the activity. The more people attend the meeting, the less productive it is.
- Limit the duration of the meeting in advance and try to keep it short.
- Stick to the agenda during the meeting and avoid all distractions.
5. Educate Your Team
If you want to give your team members a real boost when it comes to their efficiency, educate them about the most common time management techniques they could try out.
The top time management techniques they could try, include:
I. Eisenhower Matrix
This technique enables team members to prioritize tasks easily by simply classifying daily or weekly tasks as important/not important or urgent/not urgent. The important and urgent tasks need to be done right away, while those important but not urgent can easily be scheduled for another time.
Tasks that are not important but are urgent can be delegated, while those that are neither urgent nor important can simply be ignored for the time being.
II. Pomodoro technique
When your team member has a complicated task that requires a lot of time and concentration ahead, they might find it useful to split this task into four 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks. After the cycle is complete, a longer, 20-minute break follows.
These planned breaks might seem like unnecessary interruptions, but they can help your team members regain focus and maintain a steady flow of energy to continue with their tasks.
III.Eat the frog
When the task ahead of us is too complicated or too important, we should do it right away instead of drowning into an anticipated fear of failure.
IV. Biological prime time
Each one of your team members has that time of the day when they’re most productive, and the time when even responding to an email seems too difficult to handle.
By logging the time and activities for a few weeks, your team members will gain insight into their prime time and use this information to organize their activities accordingly.
6. Limit Distractions
A great threat to your team efficiency comes from different types of workplace distractions.
These threats can take many different forms: a colleague who wants to discuss last night's game, persistent social media notifications, or a phone call right when they’re “in the zone.” These can disrupt your team’s focus and prevent them from engaging in deep work.
Studies show that it takes us 23 minutes on average to regain that focus, making distractions major productivity killers.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid them:
- Schedule time for checking your inbox once or twice during your working hours.
- Limit your internet browsing and social media usage to breaks.
- Create quiet areas in the office, where you and your team members can focus on deep work.
- Use noise-canceling headphones when you want to eliminate distractions.
- Offer your team members a chance to work from home when possible. You will help them save time and energy wasted on commuting, thus giving them yet another boost to their flexibility.
No matter how efficient your team is, there’s always room for improvement. Make sure to use the aforementioned proven ways to ramp up your team efficiency and productivity, so both your business and your employees meet their objectives and succeed.