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A Step-By-Step Guide to Increase Productivity in a Team

Introduction :

Improving team productivity is beneficial for both, the organization and the team. This helps in growth and improvement for all. You’ve come to that point in your management career: work isn’t getting done fast enough and your team’s emotional well-being is dwindling.

Your own stress levels are climbing as pressure from higher-up’s increases. You’re trying to help your team, but no matter how hard they work, nothing is getting done and they’re wilting more every day.

Your team is facing a productivity crisis. That means it’s time to step back and take a look at the processes, tools, and management techniques that could be bottlenecking their progress.

These are simple strategies to Improve Employee Utilization and Productivity

  • Implement some form of time recording– “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”, by capturing timesheets you can understand your current utilization and productivity
  • Define Appropriate Variables – if you sell services you will want to measure chargeable utilization, ensure you define variables that enable you to measure utilization and productivity that is applicable to your business.
  • Improve your planning improving your resource deployment upfront should not only improve your future resource productivity and utilization, it will also give you a more realistic view of the health of the organization by comparing planned versus actual.
  • Manage Customer Expectations– communicate to your entire team the importance of managing the customer’s expectation from initial enquiry all the way through to project delivery.  In the long run you will have happier customers resulting in your employees having to perform less un-productive tasks.
  • Encourage Collaboration– boost your productivity by creating an environment where your team members can easily share knowledge, ideas and lessons learned.  This will not only improve individual productivity it will help improve project standards and service delivery.

You can’t possibly evaluate every team based on the same criteria. What constitutes success for a marketing team will differ vastly from what you might expect from a successful software development team. However, understanding how well your employees are performing is essential for evaluating your business development and improving outcomes.

While there are many subjective ways to analyze team effectiveness, you should be using data to back up how well people are performing

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take the time for one-on-ones with your employees; you should. But it is also essential to create more flexible feedback processes that allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of your team and make adjustments as necessary.

Now let’s see some simple yet powerful techniques for Team Managers which can use on a daily basis to improve team productivity.

  • Regular training and motivational workshops help in developing the right skill set among team members.
  • Self-discipline is the best form of creating the right environment for the team to get inspired and perform better.
  • Give enough freedom to your team to do well and come up with new ideas.
  • Do not pass on the stress of new challenges on your team members. Stay motivated and keep them motivated.
  • Make sure the team gets a comfortable environment and their computers and internet are working properly.
  • Define the tasks and goals clearly. Ambiguity reduces the time actually spent in completing the tasks.
  • Incentivize your team to perform better while completing tasks and goals. Keep small casual outings to reward the teams for being more productive.
  • Provide appropriate feedback to team members, for areas of improvement, on a regular basis.
  • Understand how you can make every individual in the team, perform and grow. A close observation helps in taking the right steps.
  • Encourage interaction and collaboration among team members. Always work on reducing friction within the team.
  • Encourage healthy competition within the team. Make sure it does not hamper team building.
  • Ensure your team is performing consistently. Keep them motivated to keep up the good work.
  • Make sure every team member understands the process clearly. The team lead must e-mail the process to every team member.
  • Make sure deadlines are always adhered to and taken seriously.
  • Understand and perform the tasks done by your subordinates yourself. Find ways to do it in a better way and train them accordingly.

Often it’s not the case that everyone on your team is a shining star. Part of being a manager is helping to bring these superstar qualities out of normal people.

There are certain Do’s and Don’ts  principles to remember as a Manager in your daily tenure. As the saying as Follow before you preach. Hence equip yourself with the mandatory and required skills to be an Ideal manager and drive your team successfully.

  • Do:
  • Make smart use of shared calendars by blocking off hours for focused work and evening downtime
  • Apprise your direct reports of the team’s progress in meeting its goals; this holds people accountable and lets them know what others are doing
  • Communicate when you expect your reports to put in extra hours and when you don’t—failure to do so builds resentment.
  • Don’t:
  • Do not micromanage. Ask your reports about the challenges they face and how you can help them allocate their time more effectively
  • Overcommit your team to too many projects and initiatives. You should be a buffer for unreasonable expectations from the rest of the organization
  • Discount the idea of enlisting the help of a management coach to assist you
  • Summary:

Managing any team is not easy, for that matter. A Team consists of different people with age gaps, tech savvy, fresher’s, experienced and importantly different mindsets – however, if handled well and given a similar goal to work towards, most groups of people banded together can achieve the same unity, which can drive your productivity and achieve best team in the company.

There are tons more ideas to build a team that’s efficient as well as productive but I tried to cover few of the important points above. Try these ideas and building a winning team for your business.

        “Assess the requirements, Explore the opportunities and Implement the changes and Succeed – Sky is the limit”.

If you are a newbie and have some questions- ask me in the comments…

If you’re an expert- share your secrets with me in the comments…


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