Team Productivity: 12 Effective Ways on How to Improve + Tips
Team productivity is an important element of any business. Without a productive team, you cannot achieve your goals, motivate employees, and boost job satisfaction for your team.
Many businesses struggle with managing worker productivity. It is often even more difficult to deal with an unproductive team.
This unproductiveness should be dealt with as soon as possible. Without quick action, your business can lose its competitive advantage and fail altogether.
There is still hope, though! You can take action today to ensure your team starts increasing their productivity. Most productivity enforcing protocols require little monetary investment.
You will, however, need to get your team’s trust and attention if you want to increase their productivity.
In this article, we will describe the steps you can take to boost your entire team’s productivity and how productivity benefits you in the long run.
What is Team Productivity? Definition & Meaning
Team productivity is the ability of a team to perform meaningful work and stay focused.
When you assign a team member a certain task, productive individuals will complete it. They do so quickly and efficiently.
However, this does not mean that productive teams rush. Instead, they make the best use of their resources and manage time effectively.
The end product is just as good, if not better, than teams that perform the same tasks slowly.
Productive teams bring out the best in every employee. Each individual learns the work strategies that are best suited for their needs, personality, and goals.
Building teams to be productive involves teaching each individual about their own skills, and creating an environment where everyone can work together to achieve a common goal.
List of 15 Amazing & Effective Ways To Boost Team Productivity
Team goals are often difficult to achieve, but productivity makes them within reach. This is not the only key benefit of productivity, though.
Workers are often more motivated, satisfied, and willing to work with one another when the team is productive. Everyone on the team wins as a result of increased productivity.
Some steps you can take to boost the productivity of team members are below.
1. Set realistic goals
Realistic goals are necessary when you want a rise in productivity. While lofty goals can sometimes be useful, they are not always effective in motivating others.
In fact, if you set unreasonable goals, your motivation may drop. This occurs because to stay motivated, you need to experience small successes along the way.
Finding small meaningful successes can be difficult when your goal is almost impossible to achieve.
Thus, you are more likely to achieve realistic goals and stay motivated to pursue larger goals later if your goal is realistic.
2. Monitor progress
Becoming a productive employee is not a process that occurs overnight. Employees will have ups and downs when it comes to their efficiency.
However, trends are important to track. If you notice an employee’s productivity level is dipping, you know you should reach out to them.
On the other hand, if someone’s productivity is soaring, you can reward them. Monitoring progress is helpful in creating plans and schedules, too.
3. Hold a standing meeting
Traditional meetings around a conference table are not very engaging and could leave employees with meeting fatigue.
Standing meetings, though, are quite the opposite. They are short, but involve everyone speaking at least once.
Employees want their voices to be heard, and if this does not occur, their workplace productivity often suffers. Implementing standing meetings is not difficult.
Just ensure you keep track of who does and does not talk throughout the meeting. Ensure anyone that expresses interest in speaking is heard without interruption.
Ask questions to those who are too shy to talk, too.
4. Team building exercises
Team building activities build trust and communication skills, both crucial in a productive team.
The traditional team development activities, such as outings together, all work in developing those bonds and strengthening relationships.
However, you could also play out-of-the-box productivity games. Puzzles, for example, help individuals work on their problem-solving skills.
People get more comfortable with trusting each other through free falls.
There are endless ways to apply team-building exercises for the benefit of the team’s productivity.
5. Wholesome work environment
Nobody wants to work in a hostile workplace environment. If your company culture is competitive and negative, this sets employees into a negative frame of mind.
With this outlook, they are less likely to be motivated and productive. It is your job to ensure the environment they work in fosters their strengths and recognizes their abilities.
You can do this by giving employees privacy, encouraging teamwork, helping struggling team members, recognizing hard work, and so on.
6. Give Your Team Feedback
Sugarcoating your beliefs about an employee is not the right way to give feedback. Instead, this affirms the negative behavior certain employees have, thus decreasing overall workplace productivity.
However, scolding employees and bashing people is also an ineffective way to deliver feedback. Instead, try to be honest but constructive.
Ensure these comments are specific and not vague. Recognize an employee’s strengths, while also giving them tips to improve.
This way, they will stay confident and motivated instead of giving up on the hope of improvement.
When all employees know they have to improve but are also talented enough to do so, they are likely to pursue productive behaviors.
7. Praise Employees Who Work Hard
Every employee is motivated in different ways. However, knowing that you are appreciated and valued is universally appreciated by employees.
When you notice an employee goes above and beyond to achieve their goal, recognize their efforts.
You could give them a raise, or simply state that you are proud of them. Both are effective ways of recognizing employees.
When other individuals notice that you care about employee success, they are likely to copy the positive behaviors of the recognized employee.
8. Give Them Some Privacy
The concept of allowing employees to pursue their interests and individual goals may seem daunting. However, there are many negative consequences that come from micromanaging.
One of these drawbacks is a decrease in productivity. If employees are constantly being watched, they may start to lose interest in their work. This leads to unengagement, and later, a dip in productivity.
Business leaders know how to inspire their employees to be their best, and this does not involve constant monitoring. Give them the ability to perform tasks they truly care about and genuinely enjoy doing.
9. Find Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses
If you can understand which difficult tasks are holding your team back, you can address this and boost productivity. Try asking your team what they struggle with the most.
See if there are any patterns in their answers. Then, create a plan with your team to tackle these challenges.
For example, if employees struggle with proper communication, add more team projects into the schedule.
Adding more communication channels could also encourage the team to use effective communication skills.
Also, praise your team when you notice their strengths. This will keep them motivated.
10. Give Team Members a Stake in Ownership
Business leaders recognize the boost in personal productivity associated with giving employees ownership.
Ownership involves giving employees control over their work, but also keeping them accountable for the results of their decisions.
When you increase their accountability, they will feel more responsible for the results of their work. Therefore, they will be less inclined to blame others or make negative decisions.
You can do anything from giving team members the ability to lead a project or give them an ownership stake in the company.
11. Let Employees Take Breaks
Forcing employees to constantly work may seem like a good way to increase productivity. However, this only decreases their morale and increases the likelihood of burnout.
Instead, you should allow employees to take breaks. This will help them refocus their energy, avoid burnout, and stay positive at work.
Breaks do not have to be long for them to be effective. Encourage employees to take short breaks whenever they feel overwhelmed.
And, if employees ever feel stressed or get into conflicts, encourage breaks there, too.
12. Be Clear When Delegating Tasks
Sometimes, employees get confused when you are not a clear communicator. When they are unsure of which tasks to perform, they may not work as well.
This is why being clear when communicating with employees is key. Encourage employees to ask questions if they are unsure of which tasks they must do.
Be specific whenever you interact with any of your team members.
It can also be helpful to list their tasks online or with a task management platform. This will help employees remember their tasks.
13. Make Sure Employees are Comfortable with You
As a leader, you need to ensure your employees trust you and feel comfortable reaching out to you. If they ever need help, they should not fear speaking to you.
If they are afraid of you, or find you threatening, they are more likely to suppress their thoughts and feelings. This leads to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which all eat away at one’s productivity.
You can make employees comfortable with you by encouraging communication and being vulnerable yourself.
14. Create a Vision for Your Team
When your team members have a clear vision to fulfill, they are more likely to be productive. This vision should be something everyone cares deeply about.
If they understand that their work has a true impact, they are likely to find their work meaningful and enjoyable.
When employees have a positive view of their work, it may stop feeling like a chore. Then, they will naturally be more inclined to be productive.
15. Teach Employees to Prioritize Tasks
Contrary to popular belief, being productive does not necessarily mean accomplishing everything as quickly as possible. Prioritization is necessary for a productive workplace.
Employees should recognize that some tasks need to be accomplished quicker than others. Tell employees how necessary and urgent each task is before assigning it.
You could even use a grading scale of 1-10 to assign to each task. This would immediately let team members know when to perform each task and how much mental energy to dedicate to the task.
Importance of Team Productivity
Team productivity offers many key benefits to teams.
For example, you can accomplish far more with a productive team. Your team members will be more engaged, satisfied, happy, and willing to work with one another if there’s a powerful productivity booster.
Economically, this leads to your business prospering. You are likely to gain a competitive advantage, increase sales, and boost profits with a productive team.
There are even greater benefits associated with team productivity, though. Look at some more benefits below.
Benefits of Developing Team Productivity
- Increased problem-solving skills and quicker conflict resolution
- More innovation and a greater chance of getting a competitive advantage. Teams that work together productively see a 21% increase in profitability
- Higher emotional well being and happier employees
- More communication between team members and better teamwork
- Higher retention rates and greater loyalty to the company. Productive teams have up 4.5 times less turnover
- Less burnout and better prioritization of tasks (employees spend less time on meaningless, mundane tasks)
- Team members will be more encouraged to face up to adversity and be less likely to quit
- More responsible and accountable employees
- More creative ways to solve problems
- Team members are more likely to achieve their professional goals
How To Measure Team Productivity
Measuring productivity is necessary to track if your productivity-boosting techniques are working. It also allows you to notice which workers to praise, and which may need extra attention.
One way to track how productive a team is by noticing the percentage of projects that are finished. You can also track how quickly these projects are completed.
Simply track how many of the assigned tasks are completed for each employee. You can do this digitally with a project management tool like Monday.
Additionally, you could also utilize attendance as a simple metric of employee loyalty and dedication.
If you notice that employees are constantly missing work, this is a red flag. It may mean they are unengaged and, thus, likely less productive.
Of course, you should evaluate each case on an individual level. However, if employees miss work without a valid reason, this can signal dips in productivity.
If your team is making many errors when developing products, this is another signal of decreased attention to detail and less productivity.
Keep track of the number of bugs in software or how often your team needs to restart their projects. Productive teams rarely need to start from zero, as they are completely focused from the beginning.
How To Improve Team Productivity
There are many strategies you can use to boost your team’s productivity.
For starters, you need to ensure that employees are communicating well with each other and with you. A communication gap is one common reason for decreases in productivity.
Ensure that everyone is respected and feels comfortable with asking other team members for help. This will boost productivity and teamwork, too.
Then, you should also encourage positive behaviors. Do this by highlighting hard work and recognizing individuals who go above and beyond.
When employees realize you care about their success, they are more motivated to stay productive. They are likely to replicate some of the positive behaviors the model employee exhibits.
Additionally, allow employees to pursue activities that they are truly passionate about. Assign tasks that align with their values, goals, and skills.
If they are given a task that does not align with their skills, they will struggle and become unmotivated. On the other hand, they will feel confident about performing a task they are passionate about and skilled at.
Be clear when giving these tasks. You do not want employees to be confused, as that confusion will only waste time and resources.
Finally, make sure that you give employees independence. Do not micromanage them. This will only lead to a dislike of you as a boss, and decreased productivity.
Along with that, ensure that you give them time for breaks. It may seem like constant work is the way to boost productivity, but it only leads to burnout.
On the other hand, breaks re-energize employees and help them stay focused.
Bonus Tip: How to increase team productivity of individuals
There is an entire field dedicated to improving the productivity of teams starting from the individual level. This career is known as scrum, and individuals whose work boosts productivity are called scrum masters.
Scrum masters create smooth communication between team leaders, CEOs, and all other employees.
Scrum masters are like coaches. They focus on understanding each individual’s motivation and then collectively helping everyone. As a result, the entire team benefits.
To understand an individual’s personal goals and motivations, you have to be open and ask them directly.
Develop a trusting relationship with employees, so they feel comfortable sharing their weaknesses with you, too. Then, you can address these productivity weaknesses to boost productivity.
You can also capitalize on an employee’s strengths using scrum techniques.
After you work together to identify an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, you can start assigning tasks that are best suited to them. This way, they can notice success and stay motivated.
Plus, if everyone is working on the activities they do the best, you can have a well-rounded, productive team.
Frequently Asked Questions About Team Productivity
How do you achieve team productivity?
Team productivity can be achieved through numerous methods.
One way to boost productivity is through recognizing hard work. This will encourage others to follow the example of a productive employee.
In addition to that, you can add a standing meeting in place of long unnecessary meetings that have many unengaged employees.
Keeping track of project progress and instilling proper communication methods are both key to productivity as well.
What makes a team effective and productive?
Effective and productive teams come as a result of many different factors. You need to have a healthy work environment to have a productive team.
In a productive environment, people are recognized for their hard work. They feel appreciated and are not micromanaged.
This feeling of respect and responsibility is at the heart of all productive teams.
What are the characteristics of a productive group?
Every productive team needs to have certain qualities. In a productive group, everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts. They are all engaged in their work and feel passionate about their job.
Additionally, productive team members are responsible and have good communication skills.
Teamwork is another key element to having a productive team.
What is an example of productivity?
There are many ways to be productive. For example, productive team members are very focused on the tasks they need to perform.
If the employee needs help, they ask their coworkers for assistance.
Productive team members do not passively wait for other individuals to finish tasks for them. Instead, they take action themselves and feel responsible for the outcome of their labor.
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