While a lot of people believe that the productivity of their team depends on individuals in their employ, they would be surprised at just how much they can do to make their team more productive. Sure, hiring the right people for the job definitely helps but in a bad work environment, without proper motivation and with too much pressure from above, even the most talented employees will underperform. With this in mind, here are seven ways in which you can help your team flourish and become more productive.
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Give more autonomy
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that micro-managing absolutely everything that your team does tend to backfire in more than a couple of ways. First of all, this is the easiest way to overwork yourself, seeing as how you will feel as if everything falls onto your own back. Second, you will prevent your team members from expressing themselves creatively, which will, in turn, result in a much less impressive end-product. Finally, you will, unintentionally, give away an impression that you doubt either their competence or commitment to your cause.
Either way, giving more autonomy is probably the way to go if you aim to boost the productivity of your team. Because of this, it might even be a good idea to consider this level of autonomy, while writing your business plan.
Insist on team building exercises
While this may sound a bit cliché, keep in mind that even with people who are already compatible, there is always a room for improvement. Sure, as an employer you are supposed to know strengths and weaknesses of your employees, however, it might be a good idea if other team members are aware of this, as well. The most important reason behind this is the fact that it will allow them to organize more efficiently on their own and in this way cover weaknesses of others with their own strengths. Still, these weaknesses and strengths aren’t something that a lot of people are willing to openly talk about, which is why you might want to try and uncover (and even rectify) them through team building exercises.
So far, we mostly focused on the internal factors that diminish productivity but this might not always be the case. Sometimes, the main reason why your team is underperforming is a work environment that is less than optimal. The overcrowded office might seem like a great space-management idea, yet your productivity might suffer from it. In order to minimize these distractions as much as possible you need to A) keep the place neat, B) make sure everyone takes breaks at the same time and C) invest in silent peripherals (keyboards, noise-canceling headphones, etc.).
Set the right temperature
The issue of the best temperature in the office is often a cause for a lot of turmoil. Like many other external factors, response to certain temperatures is also quite subjective. Nonetheless, most surveys agree that the optimal temperature for performance goes somewhere around 22 Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit). In order to ensure this, as well as maintain the air-flow at the satisfactory level, you might want to consider investing towards high-end ducted airconditioning. While a lot of people dread the idea of its maintenance, with a proper installation, the maintenance of ducts takes surprisingly little work.
It is in human nature to be subjective when it comes to their own traits and performance. The problem with this, however, lies in a fact that subjectivity might be a bit of an obstacle in this perspective. While some underestimate their abilities, others tend to underestimate them. Needless to say, both are quite bad for one’s professional development.
Therefore, you need to learn how to give people a feedback in the best way possible. You see, it is easy to imagine how one might get offended by hearing that their performance isn’t… well… good enough. In order to avoid a problem, make sure that you master the skill of breaking this as softly and constructively as possible. You can start by pointing out their strengths in order to sweeten the pot.
Same as in the part of providing feedback, there are so many things you can do to improve your business model but you aren’t likely to learn of them in time unless you are willing to listen. First of all, a boss who is an authoritarian might find that people have a hard time opening up to them. In turn, this can lead to a massive preventable error slipping unnoticed, just because no one wanted to be the bearer of bad news. Instead, you need to learn how to actively listen to your team members and then act accordingly later on.
Show that you care
Finally, not all of your employees are financially or even ambition-driven. Some of them just want to feel appreciated; they want for their hard work to be recognized and commended. While most modern business studies frown upon the traditional employee of the month program, publically praising most productive members of your team isn’t necessarily a bad idea and could even give surprisingly positive results.
As you can see, there are more than several factors, both external and internal, that could help your team become more productive. If we were to oversimplify this, we would say that it all comes down to three factors. First, you need to create a more stimulating work environment. Second, you need to become a better leader. Third, and final, you need to make sure that every member of your staff is intrinsically motivated to give it their best. With these three on your side, nothing will be able to stand in your way for long.