5 Ways To Improve Team Productivity and Communication

04 November 2020

In my last post, I explored the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

I have put together these 5 simple steps to help you to address all of the challenges you might face; improving morale, productivity and communication across the board.

 

1. Give Your Team Ownership

You may like to have things done in a certain way but people have their own preferred ways of working. You can often achieve the same results if you allow team members to work in the way that they are most comfortable, as long as targets are being met.

Ownership drives passion for a subject. Assigning responsibility means that they will have authority over their tasks and to solve it how they see fit. As a result, they are more likely to run harder and faster in their job and take pride in the work they do.

2. Hold Regular Meetings and Measure Performance

This is a powerful one because I have seen time and time again how it can turn an organisation around. You should always hold regular meetings, where you get the opportunity to listen to your team’s concerns and feedback as well as put in place objective measures of their performance. When introducing new targets, they should always be clear, avoiding any ambiguity, and you should explain how you deduced them. Involving them in the decision making process can also help.

You may see resistance coming from certain team members when introducing a process like this. It doesn’t matter how senior their position, if they have never been held to account in the same way before, they may not be confident that they are delivering as they should.

This process will reveal the weakest members of the team and those that are willing to step up at the same time.

3. Play to Strengths

You might have the strongest sales person in the world but if they are being bogged down by a pile of admin work, which they don’t enjoy doing and are not as effective at, their performance is going to suffer.

In this case, you can look to get an admin person to help out with those admin jobs and have your sales person focus on the parts they are strongest at. If they are performing well enough, then they will still be able to justify your investment even though they have a lighter load of tasks in areas they are weakest.

4. Have Fun Together

It is important to schedule time to relax together and create bonds throughout the team. It is a bit more difficult in the current climate we find ourselves in but there are ways to do this online too. For example, a casual “work drinks” meet up after working hours is still possible over a video call.

The key is that people have a chance to chat about something that isn’t work related. Some people may lack the natural communication skills to put things across in ways that suit differing personalities at work but once people get to know each other, they will gain a better understanding of each other and how they work, leading to less conflict.

Once you have shared a laugh with someone, you have that positive association and it is easier to approach issues when they arise in the workplace. There will be less resistance and less of a defensive mindset.

5. Use Technology

There are so many different apps and programs now to help with the productivity of a team. The main goal is to find something that genuinely adds value, makes things easier, clearer and doesn’t just add to the workload.

Tasks management apps such as Asana or Monday.com enable visibility of tasks throughout the team as well as the ability to open discussion and share ideas.

Something like Slack or Microsoft Teams offers a chance to share instant messages, in both an informal way between team members and also host formal group discussions and brainstorms. This can help those that are less comfortable with sharing their ideas face to face and therefore give them the platform to improve their confidence.

 

Bonus Tips!

Praise!

People perform at their best when they are happy. Most often, they will be happiest when they are feeling appreciated and valued. A showing of appreciation, no matter how small, is always a positive.

Radical Candor

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is all about striking the balance between being overly aggressive and being ruinously empathetic in your communication approach. The result is employees who achieve more and produce better results because they are both praised and criticised as they are guided to become better at what they do. You can read more about this in my post here.

 

How would you implement some of these initiatives in your business? If you would like to discuss or hear more, please feel free to get in touch.

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