Improve team productivity today with 5 proven strategies
A survey conducted by CareerBuilder reported that over two hours of productive work time are lost every day.
August 20, 2018

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder reported that over two hours of productive work time are lost every day.

Fostering a work environment that promotes effective time management and maximises team productivity is a challenge for nearly every organisation. Differing work styles, too many meetings, and constant distractions often threaten optimal productivity.

Fortunately, business leaders have many tools and strategies at their disposal for improving every team's productivity levels while keeping team members engaged. Read on to learn more about five strategies you can start using today to help your organisation develop the most productive teams possible.

Take Control Over Unnecessary Distractions

As business management expert Peter Drucker said in ‘Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Practices’:

'Work is a process, and any process needs to be controlled. To make work productive, therefore, requires building the appropriate controls into the process of work.'

Work distractions are one of the prime causes of low team productivity. What are the most popular distractions for your team members? Social Media? Texting? Water cooler banter or gossip?

Do an audit of your employees' common practices to find out what is distracting them most often and keeping them from being as productive as they can.

If your team members work in cubicles and are distracted by loud co-workers, address it by talking with the loud employee about keeping his or her volume down. They might not even know it's an issue. Alternatively, dedicate office space to construct quiet, comfortable rooms workers can go to have meetings or brainstorms without distractions.

If social media usage is a time-killer, draft a policy that limits the amount of time employees can spend on social media and enforce it. Alternatively, you can have your IT department ban specific social media sites to remove the problem.

However, be practical. Don't punish productive teams if social media isn't a barrier to productivity. If you decide to block certain websites on the business network, be aware of who may actually require access to certain sites, such as marketing managers who manage the business Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Make a Habit of Robust Communication

Communication is key to fostering productive teams. If team members aren't on the same page, how can they can ensure they are on the right track? Managers need to support employees by making sure regular check-ins occur to evaluate progress and provide clarity regarding individual responsibilities.

Have a weekly team stand-up meeting and communicate on a regular basis in between as needed. Create to-do lists that are transparent across the team so everyone can see who is working on which tasks to enforce accountability.

Engage Employees With Team Building Activities

Team members work better with colleagues they like and trust. Schedule social excursions away from the workplace so your teams can build rapport in a relaxed environment.

Arrange happy hours, club sports, book clubs, or outdoor recreational opportunities. Make a team member who is a natural event planner responsible for scheduling a variety of events to create an engaging work culture. They will be more engaged with one another at the office enjoy more open communication when they have social ties outside of the work environment.

It's also critical to organise team building activities during working hours. Bring your teams together in problem-solving scenarios at scheduled times so they learn how to work together more effectively. There's no one single way to engage employees in team-building, so experiment and see what works for your team.  

If your workforce is composed of remote, virtual teams, it can be difficult to allow them to socialise and interact in person on a regular basis. Be sure to create an annual budget that includes space for in-person visits and company-wide events at least once or twice per year and weave social events into productive working time.

Reward Peak Team Productivity

When employees clearly exhibit exemplary team productivity and performance, embrace a company culture that rewards good work appropriately to ensure they continue to execute on collective tasks. Provide a range of incentives for reaching team goals, such as:

  • Time off: When team members show high performance, give them an extra day off to enjoy themselves and do what matters most to them. It doesn't cost anything, and they will greatly appreciate a three-day weekend.
  • Social rewards: Reward model teams with gift certificates, public praise or an invitation to participate in executive decisions. Make sure the entire team knows when high performers are rewarded to help boost motivation.

Clarify Responsibilities and Track Accountability

Teams are most productive when they know exactly what they are supposed to do. How can business leaders be sure their teams are focusing on what matters rather than focusing on unimportant tasks?

Check in with your team regularly to clarify any confusion, provide updates on key goals and discuss any changes in organisational priorities. Give team members the opportunity to provide feedback, communicate about potential process changes and ensure everyone is in agreement to mitigate potential conflict and bypass productivity barriers.  

Boost Productivity With Software That Makes It Easy

Let productivity come to life with software that can measure, track and record team productivity. Samewave is social performance management software that gives teams the ability to collaborate on, measure and track team productivity in one single place.

Whether you are managing a small business or are part of a large corporate company, you can maximise team performance with the right tools. Measure and follow progress towards goals and commitments in a transparent setting, so no one is in the dark.

Address low team productivity and reward teams that excel with real-time reporting, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The best part? Samewave's simple to use platform is free, so introduce it into your team's workflow today. You’ll be able to measure productivity and discover the best ways to improve team productivity.  

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