How to get your team to work more productively

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Do you ever feel as if you’re going nowhere slowly? Or like you’re single-handedly trying to steer the ship, while all around you are pulling in the opposite direction? If you work with a team of people, it’s essential to get everyone on board and moving in the same direction to ensure the success of your business. But while you might have your vision firmly in mind, how sure are you that your team knows exactly what you’re working towards? How do you help them see the big picture without making them feel like you’re cracking the whip? Here are our seven top tips to improve productivity at work, today:

1. Communicate

We’ve all heard it before but communication really is key. Rather than just sending out an email, look for new ways to reach out and connect with your team, such as via social media or even online collaboration tools and mobile applications. While written communication does serve its purpose, it unfortunately leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding, so “face time” is important. Weekly, or even daily, meetings are a great opportunity to get to know your team and for you to start to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This goes a long way to improving the more efficient allocation of work and thereby your teams productivity. More than that, however, it allows you to effectively communicate your priorities and gives your team an opportunity to ask questions, to understand what’s important to you and to pick your brain for advice on the project at hand. But never forget that communication is a two-way street, so be sure to listen to what they’re saying back to you, and at the end of the day you’ll have a team that’s working towards the same goal as you.

2. Empower

There’s a lot to be said for empowering people to make them step up to the plate. Even more so when dealing with Millennials on your team, who don’t tend to respond well to micromanagement techniques. You can’t do everything yourself, so learn to trust your team – let them make decisions and run with projects. After all, you hired them for their talents, and presumably they’re experts in their fields, so trust them to get the job done without you telling them what to do every step of the way. Of course, you can check in to see how things are going, but micromanagement slowly but surely undermines their confidence and self-belief. As Wade Harman says, when you step back, “you will be able to watch your productivity soar because you are giving them free reign to finish projects and meet goals.” This ties back to the point about communication – as long as your team is aware of your goals, the projects that are on the go at the moment and what needs to be done, they will deliver the goods.

3. Identify

Do yourself and your staff a favour. Get to know them and their strengths and weaknesses. There’s nothing more frustrating, as an employee, than being given a job you’re not equipped (or experienced enough) to do. Filled with self-doubt, you procrastinate, but even when you get down to work, you know that you’re going to have to do a large part of the job over again once your boss gets a look at it, and you’re frustrated by the waste of time and poor allocation of resources, as you know your colleague across the way would have got the job done in half the time. Get to know your staff on a personal level, find out where their passion lies and give them the work they’re actually asking for. The more you know about where their talents and abilities lie, the easier it’ll be for you to allocate work, and the quicker it’ll get done. You hired each person on your team for a particular set of skills that they would bring to your business, so use them in order to create the most productive team you’ve ever had.

4. Play

Be human. We spend the majority of our lives at work, so get to know the “person” behind the “employee”. There’s nothing like a bit of light banter to create a sense of camaraderie, after all that’s what teams are all about. Ask them what’s going on at home, understand the demands they face outside of the office and be sensitive to how that might affect their performance at work. Knowing what’s going on in their personal lives then equips you to be better able to manage any dips in productivity that they might experience at work They say, a team that plays together, stays together, so be sure to organise regular team builds or outings where you can all get to know each other outside of the office because that’s where the magic really starts to happen. A team built on real human connections and that trusts each other implicitly facilitates collaboration and the sharing of ideas, which is only going to lead to better, faster outcomes.

5. Reward and Recognise

Someone once said, “Babies cry for it, grown men die for it; recognition” and while it’s nice to be rewarded every now and again, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you’re recognised for your efforts and achievements. Take note of those who are performing above and beyond, those who deliver the goods every time, on time, and give them kudos for a job well done in front of the rest of the team. Not only will this make them feel appreciated it, but it will spur the rest of the team on to achieve the same levels in the hopes of being recognised too. Inspirational quotes and anecdotes work well too. In fact, creating an environment of positivity builds trust and has been shown to result in increased motivation.

6. Be S.M.A.R.T.

Ever heard of SMART goals? Specific, measurable, agreed up, realistic and time-based. Well, as projects get bigger and to-do lists get longer, it becomes increasingly difficult for employees to know where to start. After all, imagine how you would feel if you thought your goals were completely unrealistic and out of reach…would you even try? SMART goals help your team focus make and it easier for them to achieve your desired outcomes. Evaluate current projects and instead of assigning one massive project with a 6-month deadline, break them down into smaller, achievable steps that will help to keep your team motivated and moving forward as they complete each part of the project.

7. Work Smarter

Make small changes to improve your team’s productivity today, and implement the latest software, hardware, and information technology systems available to you to improve your efficiency. If you’re in the field of GIS Asset Management, look for better work management tools like AssetFinda’s asset management software to improve processes and increase your team’s productivity. Their smart device App facilitates cloud based asset management, which allows your crews to perform asset inspections in the field and collect data, upload notes and attach photos in-situ with their smart phone or tablet. Everything is captured in real-time, allowing on-site and office-based work teams to collaborate effectively and share information instantly. Plus you can use our unique mapping interface to optimise inspection routes and resources planning, thus streamlining your asset management process and improving productivity.

Do you have any tips to make your team more productive? Share them with us on Facebook or LinkedIn!