Teamwork can be incredibly satisfying. When you’re in the zone, there’s nothing quite like relying on your colleagues for their contributions. Whether you’re working on a big project, up against a major deadline, or close to nailing a long-time goal, there’s a rush that comes with doing your part for a greater good. When teamwork is successful, there’s nothing quite like it. When teamwork is dysfunctional, though, the dynamic can be maddening.
In many cases, dysfunctional teams struggle with productivity. Whether influenced by poor communication, disengagement, or a lack of trust in one another, the results are often the same: delayed delivery and subpar work. Thankfully, there are ways around these all-too-common teamwork challenges. The next time you’re short on time and looking to fire up your colleagues, try these business tips for keeping your team productive:
Create Attainable Goals
Success is contagious. When you smash deadlines and wow clients, the inertia alone can propel you to work harder and chase even bigger goals. With this in mind, try creating attainable goals for your team to work towards collaboratively. Even the most minor of wins can spur employees on in unexpected ways.
To create such goals, take a step back and look at the big picture. Consider the ultimate objectives for your organization. Whether you’re hoping to generate higher profits, expand into new markets, or maintain your reputation for quality, you’ll likely have to chart out a long-term path to success. By benchmarking your goals, you can easily set your team up for small wins along the way.
Make Feedback Routine
The most successful, productive teams trust one another implicitly. That trust can’t be built overnight, though. To create a culture of honesty, transparency and trust, work to build feedback into your daily routine. Productive conversations about challenges, limitations and setbacks can help you identify speed bumps in your workflow and resolve minor issues before they become massive.
Commitment to feedback should come from all members of the team – leaders included. By modeling receptivity to feedback, you’ll set the tone for a more honest, productive work environment. Kickstart this initiative by asking employees honestly about their challenges and how you can help. By showing your willingness to admit fault and solve problems, you’ll demonstrate your expectations for the entire team.
Ask any marriage counselor for the key to a successful relationship, and they’ll all answer with one word: communication. The idea that clear, consistent communication is good for relationships isn’t just reserved for romantic partners, though. Your team at work can also benefit from clear communication. But what does that look like in the workplace?
Clear communication means outlining expectations in detail. It means looping stakeholders into the most important conversations but cutting through the noise to highlight bullet points for those short on time. It means intervening when you suspect there has been a misunderstanding. It means admitting fault when you’ve messed up.
There’s no one way to clearly communicate with your team, but practice can help. By getting everyone on the same page, you remove many of the most common barriers to productivity. If you haven’t already done so recently, consider the channels in which your team communicates. Emails and phone calls are great, but modern messenger services can loop everyone in instantaneously. Whatever your preferred medium for communication, make sure you’re using it to its full capacity.
That which can be measured can be improved. By keeping an eye on your team’s metrics for success, you’ll be able to more quickly identify challenges and resolve them accordingly. Whether you’re hoping to gauge staff retention rates, measure sales data, or assess your team’s rate of productivity, progress tracking is the best way to keep your finger on the collective pulse.
Tracking your team’s progress is a great way to identify issues, but it’s also helpful when you’re looking for wins. Attainable goals, as we mentioned earlier, are great for motivating employees to work hard and keep up their momentum. By tracking the progress towards your goals, you’ll more easily spot what is indeed working. Highlight these small accomplishments on the way to your goal and you’ll make everyone feel more appreciated. In turn, employees feel more connected to outcomes and become heavily invested in future success.
We’ve all been in meetings where ideas are flowing, employees are collaborating and conversations are especially productive. Too often, those meetings and conversations are interrupted by the ringing of a phone. While phone calls may be essential to your operations, they frequently disrupt the flow of ideas and progress. If you’re hoping to take away anything from our business tips for keeping your team productive, it’s this: limit distractions whenever possible.
MAP’s live answering service can help busy managers do just that. By handling inbound calls for your team, we ensure only the most important calls are forwarded to you directly. Call routing makes it easy for customers to get to the right department, and appointment scheduling services help support – or replace – a traditional in-house administrative team. Partnering with an answering service is perhaps the most affordable, instantaneous way to boost productivity around the office.
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