Low team productivity is a problem that every business owner or manager has faced at some point or another. Team productivity can easily decrease if the work environment is such that it drains their energy and leaves them feeling unmotivated.
The best way to boost productivity is to motivate your team either by giving external incentives or tapping into internal motivating mechanisms like personal growth and a sense of accomplishment.
However, it is easier said than done. Building a positive work culture and environment is no easy task.
Are you struggling to boost your team’s productivity, but don’t know how?
Here are some great tips to help you do that.
1. Maintain open communication
The most important piece of advice anyone can give you on ways to improve employee productivity is to listen to them. People are more productive and motivated to work at places where they feel that their voice is heard and that they matter.
Always keep an open communication channel between you and your team, so that they feel free to come and discuss anything. Many good organizations have an open door policy and encourage employees to speak up about any workplace issues they may have.
You can do the same and go a level beyond by actively seeking employee feedback. You can create an anonymous discussion forum where employees can share their concerns.
You can also create surveys to seek feedback and ask for improvement ideas from employees on how to make their work experience better. Some of the questions that you can ask your employees are:
- Do you feel valued and appreciated in your team?
- Does your boss help you do your best work? If so, how?
- Does your boss ever hinder your productivity? If so, please explain how.
- Are you happy with your current task assignments and responsibilities?
- Would you prefer to work in a different role or take on more responsibilities? If so, then please list the roles, responsibilities, and tasks that you would like to perform.
- Is there something that can be done to improve your productivity at work? If so, then please explain.
2. Encourage people to take regular breaks
Working for long stretches of time without taking any breaks is draining and ends up with people feeling less energetic and unproductive. Contrary to popular belief, taking breaks is not detrimental to productivity, rather, it is beneficial. Studies show the importance of taking small breaks to recover from the demands of daily work.
It is important that you encourage your team to take small, but frequent breaks throughout the day and come back feeling rejuvenated. In fact, this should be normalized to the point where someone taking multiple breaks is not frowned upon.
3. Recognize and leverage your employees’ strengths
One reason why people are unproductive is when they are doing something that they don’t particularly like or are good at. In a team setup, it is important for a manager to understand each employee’s strengths and let them work on things they will excel at.
You can ask your employees to take a reputable personality test like the 16 Personalities Test to understand their strengths better. Or, you can opt for the prestigious CliftonStrengths test to find your employees’ strengths.
With some effort, you can ace your task management and assign the right tasks to the right people, thus improving overall team productivity.
4. Set short-term, realistic goals
Have you ever completed a task and felt amazing about it?
Achieving a goal, however small, gives us a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, motivates us to do better and achieve the next goal to feel the same way.
Setting small and achievable goals for daily tasks can help your employees feel more motivated.
If you have the kind of work that takes a long time to complete, break it down into small tasks and milestones. Then use tools like Daylite to track project milestones. This way, each time your employees complete a milestone, they will feel more motivated to work and, thus, be more productive.
5. Recognize and reward good performance
Nothing motivates an employee to do their best work like recognition for a job well done and being rewarded for it.
If you want to keep your team productivity high, introduce a reward and recognition policy where employees are rewarded at regular intervals. This could be monthly or quarterly or anything else depending on the kind of rewards.
You should also make sure that you provide specific feedback and not a simple “good job” for it to be more meaningful.
For example, praise an employee for something good that they did on a particular project or task. Appreciate their unique contributions to a project or admire a unique personality trait or quality.
Overall, the point is to appreciate people for all the good work that they are doing. This will encourage them to work harder and be more productive overall.
6. Equip your team with the right tools
One reason why your employees may not be productive is if they don’t have the right tools to make their jobs easier and more efficient.
For example, having a good internal communication platform can enable better team collaboration, thus, improving team productivity. So, if you don’t have one yet, it’s time that you invest in good team communication and team collaboration platforms.
Similarly, project or task management tools can help your team perform their tasks efficiently and in an organized manner. You can use CRM and project management tools like Daylite to further enhance team collaboration, assign responsibilities, and track progress.
Basically, equip your team with the right set of tools, so that they can do their best job.
Also, you should periodically ask your employees if they feel they have sufficient tools and resources to help them with their work. You could also ask for suggestions on which tools to add, if they feel the current ones are not enough.
7. Provide learning and growth opportunities
Some people are motivated by praise and recognition, while others are motivated by personal growth and learning. For the latter, the best way to ensure productivity is to provide them with learning opportunities to upskill themselves.
That is why it is important to have some sort of training program in your company where employees can learn new skills to perform their jobs better. You can introduce courses related to the jobs as well as for other generic areas like leadership or management skills.
There are many platforms for training employees that you can use to provide learning opportunities to your team.
If an employee feels that they are learning something new, they will be more motivated to work for that company and stay loyal. And, loyal employees tend to be more productive as they care about the company and their jobs.
8. Avoid micromanagement and trust your team
One of the biggest causes of dissatisfaction or low productivity in employees is micromanagement by their bosses. If someone continuously finds faults or tells you how to do things, you will eventually lose interest.
That is why micromanagement should be avoided at all costs. Instead, guide your employees and then trust them to do their jobs. Even if they fail sometimes, it’s better to help them improve rather than taking control of things yourself.
Not sure whether or not you micromanage? Take this quiz to find out. And, if you are a micromanager, it is time that you let go of some control and start trusting your employees.
9. Create a positive work environment
While all the things mentioned above contribute to this, it still deserved a special mention on this list. In the end, it all boils down to creating a positive work environment where your employees can thrive and do their best work.
Not just that, you should also foster company loyalty by giving your employees more responsibilities that directly affect the company. For example, you could ask them to be part of your employee advocacy campaigns and promote the company on their social media.
Use tools to convert employees into brand advocates and promote your brand. By being actively involved in and responsible for your brand’s reputation, employees will be more motivated to give their best.
Ready to increase your team’s productivity?
These are some tried-and-tested strategies to boost team productivity that you can apply for your team. Use these tips to create a positive work environment for your employees and encourage them to do their best.
What are you waiting for?
Start applying these tips and boost your team’s productivity multifold!
About the author:
Shane Barker is a digital marketer, entrepreneur, industry expert, podcast host, and author for many reputable online publications. His areas of expertise include SEO, influencer marketing, sales funnels, CRO, and basically everything under the gamut of digital marketing. He has over 25 years of experience and is one of the leading influencers in his field.