5 Tips for Improving Team Productivity

A business’s team is its most valuable asset, either working together to move the organization forward or slacking in a way that causes it to lag behind. To remain competitive, it’s important that businesses not only recruit the best talent, but foster an environment that encourages team productivity and high morale.

There are steps a boss can take each day to inspire and motivate workers. The key is to create a positive workplace culture that encourages employees to do a great job. Here are a few things every boss can do to create a more effective team.

Tips for Hiring a Great Management Team

Invest in Training

When you hire an employee, do you invest in any training? Even the most skilled employee can use a course in something. You likely won’t hire a programmer who is also an expert with Outlook, Word, Excel, and your internal HR software, for instance. By hiring for skills that are relevant to the person’s job and training for those ancillary items, you will have a well-rounded employee who can effectively use each piece of software within the organization.

When you invest in your team, you also show a level of support that can improve morale. When employees feel as though they have career growth opportunities within an organization they are more likely to stay. Services like Lynda.com can give your employees the technology training they need without breaking your company’s budget.

Delegate Tasks Appropriately

In the rush to get things done, it can be easy to rely on the same set of employees to do everything. This leaves other employees feeling under-utilized and frustrated. Your over-utilized workers will suffer productivity lags due to being overloaded, resulting in a poorly managed organization.

Instead, get to know each of your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and distribute work evenly based on those criteria. When employees are allowed to use their strengths to your business’s advantage, the entire team benefits.

Create Opportunities for Team Bonding

We all know the consequences of too much work and too little play. While an afternoon off may seem unreasonable for your business’s frantic schedule, a short outing can do wonders for team morale. Even if you stay in the office, you can pull the staff together for fun games like lunchtime trivia or short brainstorming activities.

Before choosing a team-bonding exercise, first determine what goal you’d like to achieve. Do you want your team to learn to work better together? Or are you simply hoping to give everyone a brief respite from the regular chaotic schedule? Once you’ve decided what you want to get out of the exercise, you can choose the most appropriate activity for your team.

Limit Meetings

Despite the prevalence of social media in the workplace, meetings and conference calls hold the spot as the top office time-waster. A person spends an average of 5.6 hours per week on meetings, with each meeting taking time away from important work activities. While meetings certainly have their place in business, it’s important to ensure only the pertinent employees are invited to each meeting and that proceedings are as brief and productive as possible.

By creating an agenda and sticking to it, you can make your meetings more productive. If an issue can be resolved through email or instant message, choose that instead. Some offices are choosing collaboration tools to keep conversations going online throughout the day. Instead of holding a status update meeting, you can login at any time and see where each team member stands on his portion of the project.

Gamify Your Workplace

With so many gamification solutions now available, leaders are realizing the value of incentivizing employees with rewards and points. For the price of a gift card, employers can ignite the competitive spirit in employees and make serious progress on projects or sales goals.

But cash rewards are only part of gamification’s appeal. When points are displayed, leaderboard-style, it tends to ignite the competitive spirit in workers. By 2015, 40 percent of the top 1000 companies will use gamification as the top mechanism to improve operations. Small businesses in particular can gain an edge over the competition by getting in on the new trend early.

Productive teams can push a business to greater success. By finding ways to motivate and inspire team members, you can enjoy a highly-effective organization that accomplishes its goals. You’ll also have happier workers who want to make your business a success because they feel supported by management.