In order to meet your organization’s objectives and stay ahead in a competitive market, you’ll need to focus on improving employee productivity. However, it's not enough to boost productivity for a single person, you need to take steps to increase productivity throughout your entire team. A productive team can complete tasks efficiently, meet deadlines and deliver quality results. Even if your teams are already productive, there are always methods to improve. Read on to learn how to make your team more productive through seven strategies.
Understanding the importance of team productivity
Team productivity is essential for your organization’s success, no matter how big you are or what industry you’re in. If your employees aren’t able to work efficiently, hit clear goals or measure their successes, your organization will struggle.
This means one of your key goals must be to ensure your teams are able to work as efficiently as possible. Several aspects go into productivity, including accurate goal-setting based on how people work, good communication, ample resources and accurate measurements of successes and failures. Beyond that, you need to make sure your teams are motivated to be productive, which can include preventing burnout and rewarding good work. While there is a lot to consider, there are tried and tested ways to improve team productivity.
How to increase team productivity
Each team is unique and requires a slightly different approach, but you can start by trying these seven ways to improve team productivity.
1. Encourage open communication and collaboration
One of the key aspects of team efficiency and productivity is communication. A team that communicates effectively is able to share ideas, feedback and information, which can lead to better decision-making and improved productivity. Collaboration promotes a sense of teamwork and encourages each member to contribute effectively.
Some ways to do this are through regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions or workshops where everyone can contribute their ideas, and identify the ways forward. Encouraging team members to be honest, respectful and open with each other can help improve trust, camaraderie and team performance. Using the right tools and technology to measure their impact is also a core part of good communication.
2. Provide adequate resources and tools
The right resources and tools, including technology, are important to increase team productivity. Employees must have the best equipment, software, hardware and any other tools to perform their job effectively. For example, a graphic design team needs the latest version of design software to complete their design projects successfully.
Adequate resources also mean providing the team with a conducive work environment, comfortable furniture and office supplies — everything they need to be comfortable and attentive during the work day, even if they work from home or remotely. This way, the team can focus on their tasks and deliver quality work on time.
Investing in good tools and resources requires time and money, but these are foundational to improve productivity and make your team more effective.
3. Prioritize time management and task allocation
Time management is a critical aspect of productivity. Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines or incomplete projects, which could affect team productivity. Team leaders have to prioritize proper task allocation and time management, which means using intentional planning and resources.
One way to do this is to break down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks with specific deadlines. With this approach, each team member has a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and there is less likelihood of confusion or redundancy. Additionally, each member can work towards achieving their specific goals and enjoy a sense of progress.
Another way to effectively prioritize time management and task allocation is by using project management tools. These can help team leaders assign tasks, set deadlines and track progress. They can also help to identify any potential roadblocks or bottlenecks in the project, allowing team leaders to take corrective action before it's too late. Managers aren’t the only ones who have visibility, tools can be configured so team members can track progress which increases collaboration and reduces frustration. Some tools also automate reporting and follow-up activities, freeing up employees to do more important tasks.
4. Offer training and development opportunities
Giving your team members ways to grow empowers them to be more productive. It’s also important to provide the team with training and development opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge. You can offer workshops, seminars and online courses, or by paying for employees to participate in continuing their education outside of the workplace, including paying for classes and licenses. When you invest in the team's professional growth, they become more efficient and effective in their work, which ultimately leads to increased productivity and better results.
Training opportunities provide team members with new knowledge and techniques that they can apply to their work, while also stoking their passion for their role in the organization. At the same time, development opportunities provide a concrete way for team members to progress in their careers, and take on new responsibilities which can improve morale and productivity.
One of the benefits of offering training and development opportunities is that it can help to retain top talent within the organization. When team members feel they are invested in and given opportunities to grow, they’re more likely to stay with the company long term. This can save the organization time and money that would otherwise be spent on recruiting and training new employees.
Another advantage of providing training and development opportunities is that it can help to create a culture of continuous learning within the organization. When you encourage team members to learn and grow, they’re more likely to seek out new information and ideas that benefit the organization as a whole. This can lead to innovation and improved performance across the board.
5. Nurture positive work culture and employee motivation
Creating a healthy work environment through a positive work culture and motivating conditions can make a big difference in improving team productivity. When team members feel supported and appreciated, they’re more likely to put in more effort, stay motivated and deliver better results.
There are several ways to make your workplace better for employees, including:
- Providing incentives and rewards for outstanding performance
- Offering flexible work hours
- Encouraging work-life balance
- Providing good benefits
- Giving adequate compensation
- Leading by example (e.g. encouraging leadership to take days off or closing the office for everyone on certain days)
While some employees may cringe at the idea of “team building,” it’s also an important part of improving team productivity. Making sure that employees work together well is a major part of team performance and a big part of creating a positive work culture. Find ways to bring your teams together that they can appreciate, rather than imposing your own ideas of team building onto them.
6. Track progress and analyze performance metrics
In order to keep employee productivity moving and ensure continuous improvement, you need to track progress and analyze performance metrics regularly. By monitoring individual and team progress, team leaders can identify areas in which team members are performing well, and those in which they require extra support or training.
Performance metrics such as productivity, efficiency, quality and revenue can help identify any trends on which to follow up. Regular performance evaluations, feedback sessions and open communication lines are some ways to track progress, gain insight, and identify ongoing improvements. These metrics are also a foundation for rewarding employees who go above and beyond, or who’ve completed difficult tasks on time and up to quality standards.
7. Address common obstacles to team productivity
Finally, it’s important to nip obstacles to team productivity in the bud before they become major problems. Be honest about your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and make a game plan to play to the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. Knowing the problem is half of the solution, but you still have to do something about it. Once you know where the hang-ups are, you can create solutions and strategies to overcome them.
Increase team productivity with ActivTrak
Make improving team productivity a part of your company’s DNA, from the C-suite all the way down. It’s easy to stick to the status quo, especially in larger organizations, but if you want to succeed today, change is necessary.
ActivTrak can help you see how your employees are performing, set benchmarks and goals, and increase team productivity. Sign up for a free demo today.