If your team is happy and content, their productivity automatically follows. So when it feels like your team members aren’t working well together, you should act fast as it can affect their overall performance and, ultimately, the entire company.
A responsible manager has to make sure that the team is motivated. It is always a bad sign if they aren’t openly communicating with each other and seem to be divided. When this happens, calling for numerous meetings to foster collaboration may not cut it – you need to make some changes.
To improve team performance, you have to have commitment and conviction as well as the proper leadership skills not only to pull your team up the ladder, but also to make them help each other out.
However, it is worth noting that unwillingness to improve isn’t the most common reason why a team is held back. More often, it is the lack of information on how to make it work.
Fortunately, information on this matter is no longer accessible only to a few. Here are four proven methods that can be used when coming up with a team development program to spark positive change within a company.
1. Establish a Way to Measure Productivity
Measuring the extent of your team’s productivity is vital in pinpointing what to do to improve the team. After all, without tangible data, how would you determine what you’ve been doing wrong and whether or not it’s getting better?
There are several ways to measure team performance, but no single one can serve as a universal tool for every type of business. If you’re not sure what to use, here are some examples you can look into:
Objective and Key Results
One of the expert-recommended systems many companies use to determine the level of productivity is the Objective and Key Results (OKR) method. This method popularized by Google and Intel entails planning objectives within a period – typically a quarter or a year – and comparing what the team has accomplished with the forecast. It is also applicable for identifying productivity on an individual level and is best used for companies in the marketing and IT sector.
Labor Productivity Equation
The Labor Productivity Equation is probably the most commonly used technique in calculating the productivity of a team. Simply put, it entails dividing the total output with the total input to see how well a team works in maximizing resources.
This concept revolves around the idea that companies that produce more from a given set of input or that use fewer inputs in producing the same amount of output have a better chance at success than those that are generally producing less.
However, in some businesses, this might be a grossly oversimplified way to measure performance, considering that there are certain factors beyond the output units per machine, per labor hour, or per pound of material that helps a company thrive.
There are lots of companies now with remote staff too and it’s important that those businesses can monitor computer activity to see what those employees are doing, and most are using a service like that to do just that.
Project Management and Time Tracker
Project management and time tracking software can make it easier to get an overview of how your team performs.
With these tools, you get to see how much they’ve accomplished for a given number of work hours, even if some of them work remotely. These tools offer not only a more accurate view of the company but also a way to make sure that each member of the team is working in sync with others at all times.
2. Identify Individual Strengths and Weaknesses
Although practicing teamwork means you’ll have to treat the company as a single organism, it is crucial that you understand each individual that completes it. To do so, you must identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
For one, knowing their strengths will allow you to place staff members in departments where they can contribute the most. Plus, assigning tasks will become a whole lot easier if you already know who can do specific jobs well.
Similarly, knowing the team member’s weaknesses allows you to offer additional training and team coaching when necessary. These will address the underlying cause of that particular “weakness” and may even help your colleague gain more confidence in his skills.
3. Reward Accomplishments
Rewarding accomplishments is probably the oldest trick in the book, but it still works. Make sure that your employees know their hard work is appreciated by incentivizing a job well done.
Regardless of whether or not it is what they were hired to do, offering rewards can boost employee morale and, ultimately, increase their productivity.
4. Plan Team Building Exercises
Team building is another traditional method that is still thought to work in improving team performance. When team members work hard, they should be able to play harder. Remember that most high-performing teams understand the value of having fun and know how to do it well.
This type of corporate event is a good way to take the temperature of the team. In some cases, it is also effective in dealing with potential burnout from their grueling day-to-day tasks. When hand-picked properly, they also double as problem-solving practice as well as training for creativity and critical thinking.
Measure and Boost Team Performance
Enhancing your team’s performance may seem like a lot of work, but it is crucial in ensuring your company’s survival. Follow the methods recommended in this article, and you should be able to make the most out of it.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.