Team productivity is of obvious importance if you want to meet project milestones, but much of the advice meted out on how to achieve incremental gains in this area – like investing in staff and avoiding micromanagement – is also obvious.
Below are some of our favourite, and in some cases less obvious, tips for getting the most from your team. Let us know if you have any great tips of your own.
- Embrace technology
Laura Stack, the founder of an employee productivity training firm, believes companies should embrace technology if it aids flexibility and is practical for work purposes. “Buy into your employees’ willingness to work from anywhere,” she advises. “Give [employees] a secure, reliable way to share ideas and communicate, allowing them more flexibility and change-responsiveness.” You will, however, want to make sure the tools you provide don’t become a drain on productivity.
- Rethink procrastination
While you might gain insight by studying the psychology of procrastination, defeating it might just be a case of thinking differently. Voices.com’s David Ciccarelli advises knocking things over immediately if they’ll only take a few minutes. “Avoid the dreaded, ‘I’ll get back to you’ statement and similarly the flagging of email messages that only require you re-reading the message to understand what needs to be done,” he writes in INC. “Take action immediately. Why have an unresolved issue swirling around in your memory?”
- The 20% no one can take
In addition to doing more things now, you may also find value in productivity coach Kimberly Medlock’s advice to hive off 90 minutes a day for your most important tasks. “Even if you squander the remaining 80 percent of the day, you can still make great progress if you have spent 90 minutes on your goals or priorities,” she says in Fast Company.
- Five minutes of disruption
David Dye, founder of leadership consultancy Trailblaze, believes team productivity can be enhanced by questioning the purpose of everything you’re doing for five minutes a month. “Every single task performed by every single member of your team should somehow serve the mission of your organisation. If it does not, it needs to be challenged, reexamined, and a better way found — or the task should simply be eliminated,” he advises. “In just five minutes, you will discover a renewed sense of purpose, people sit up taller, smile and have pride in what they’re doing.”
- Choose your mood
Daniel Goleman of Brainpower advises leaders to be acutely aware of their emotions. He warns against the effects of emotional contagion – or, in plain English, how the leader’s moods rub off on other team members. “When the team leader is in a positive mood, the group picks up on that feeling and their performance is enhanced,” he writes. “If the leader is in a negative mood, the group catches it and their performance suffers.”