How to improve your team’s productivity: 11 Tips to Follow

how to improve your teams' productivity?

Managing your team and day-to-day business activities is the way to keep business flowing. But what if one or more of your teams becomes less productive?

Your day-to-day operations will suffer. Any other operations or business needs that rely on that team or those employees who aren’t productive will suffer too.

In today’s busy, fast-paced, and always-on work environment, you need to consider your employees’ and teams’ mental health, which strongly impacts to productivity.

In this article, we’ll define what productivity means, explore ways to improve a team’s productivity, and see how HR can contribute. We’ll also highlight various team productivity tools that you may find useful.

 

What does productivity mean?

First, let’s define what ‘productivity’ means in the workplace.

Productivity is the measure of how a person, or in this case an employee, completes a task efficiently. Productivity isn’t just about completing tasks but focuses on how tasks are completed “efficiently.”

SimpliLearn defines productivity as “the rate at which a company or country produces goods and services (output), usually judged based on the amounts of inputs (labor, capital, energy, or other resources) used to deliver those goods and services.”

Completing tasks with lots of mistakes doesn’t mean that this person was productive. In fact, the result will require more work to fix and amend than if this person had taken longer to do the work.

In other words, workplace productivity is about much work you and your team can complete within a period of time.

Productivity differs from one team to another and from one role to another.

For example, productivity for a sales or partnership executive can mean the number new and follow-up calls completed within a day.

For a marketing executive, productivity can mean the number of new leads generated through ads.

 

Why team productivity matters?

Maintaining your team’s productivity means you can not only increase your output or deliverables, but also create new streams of income.

For employees, being productive can mean being able to finish more work in less time and go home early. Or it can mean more time they can spend with their family.

Here are more reasons why teams try to be productive at work:

  • Create and enjoy a healthy work/life balance
  • Enjoy personal or free time
  • Benefit more from available resources
  • Cut production costs
  • Reduce overhead costs
  • Reduce overtime work
  • Increase the company’s revenues and profits

 

 

How to improve team productivity?

Let’s look at ways on how to improve a team’s productivity and performance.


  1. Define what productivity means for your team

The first step in improving your team’s productivity is to define what productivity means in your team. As mentioned, different teams and different roles have different definitions of productivity.

For a sales team, productivity can mean following up with potential clients to see why they are not moving down the sales funnel.

For HR, productivity can mean researching the best incentives to offer in an employee rewards and recognition program.


  1. Set clear goals for your team 

The next step is to set clear goals for your whole team. If applicable, you can also set individual goals for each team member.

Your goals can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual. If you’re in charge of creating your team’s strategy, then it’s best to create short-term and long-term goals, explain the differences between them, and how to achieve them.


  1. Break down large projects 

Whether you’re a team or an individual, to be productive, you need to break down large projects into smaller tasks.

This lets you create a plan for yourself, or your team, set deliverables, and begin checking off tasks as you finish them.


  1. Set priorities 

Besides setting goals, you should also set priorities. It’s not plausible or even possible to have everything tagged as “urgent.”

It’s true we live in a fast-paced work environment, but if everything is seen as ‘urgent’ the result will be the exact opposite of productivity. Employees will suffer from burnout and your team’s productivity and level of quality will drop. You may also end up with a high employee turnover.

 


  1. Set deadlines (if applicable) 

Depending on the goals you’ve set and the roles you’re managing, you may set deadlines or tentative delivery dates.

However, it’s important your deadlines are realistic, while avoiding the ‘we need this yesterday!’ method.

While deadlines may seem counterintuitive to productivity, they help employees stay focused and can improve productivity as well.

 


  1. Offer feedback

To ensure your team remains productive, you need to offer feedback on their performance.

Have they completed the tasks you assigned them? Were the results of excellent, ok, or low quality? How can your team members perform better? How can you improve their work (if needed)?

You should provide regular feedback. You can highlight their performance and their response to your feedback in your quarterly performance review.

 


  1. Promote collaboration

As a team leader or manager, you should always encourage collaboration between your team members. You can also encourage them to collaborate with other teams or departments, if applicable.

By collaborating, employees can complete certain tasks faster.

 


  1. Create a positive work environment 

As a manager, it’s your job to create a positive and collaborative work environment for your team or teams. A positive work environment improves employee retention for the company and reduces turnover costs.

It also improves relationships between members of the same team and increases productivity.


  1. Provide tools or equipment 

Often, teams struggle to be productive because of bureaucracy and lack of tools. Whether you’re a manager, team leader, or HR executive, help teams in your company by searching for tools, or equipment, that can speed up certain tasks and allow employees to focus on the tasks that matter.

For example, if duties involve lots of paperwork, find ways to log information online so your team members can collaborate online and reduce the time spent on paperwork.

Google’s suite of tools like Sheets, Docs, and PowerPoint help teams collaborate together, while saving everything. They’re also free.

 

10.Incentivize employees

Employees will often be more productive when motivated. You can incentivize your team by offering them bonuses, more time off, early leave, or something else.

If your company offers an employee rewards program, collaborate with the HR team on how finding ways to motivate employees through the program.

 

11.Consider flexible schedules

This may not be applicable to all teams and roles. However, if you can offer team members flexible work schedules, they’re more likely to be productive because they don’t have to worry about sticking to a 9-to-5 schedule.

However, it’s important to ensure that your team members don’t suffer from burnout due to flexible schedules. Often, companies will offer flexible schedules only to get employees to work at odd hours of the day –and night.

 

Top team productivity tools to consider

Besides the abovementioned tips, here are a few team productivity tools that can help you and your team.


  1. Project management software 

One of the most widely-used team productivity tools and software is project management software. These tools help employees and teams divide their projects into smaller, achievable tasks to improve productivity.

Popular project management tools include: Asana, ClickUp, Notion, Trello, Nifty, Todoist, Monday.com, among others.

These tools vary in the way teams can manage their projects.

For example, Asana, Trello, and Nifty rely on creating tasks and assigning them to team members. Meanwhile, technical teams often use Notion because of the many dashboards it contains.

 


  1. Marketing automation software 

For marketing teams, there are many marketing automation tools to choose from. There are several types of marketing automation and accordingly tools.

These include:  

  • Email marketing software like HubSpot, Mailchimp, GetResponse, among others.
  • Social media marketing tools like Buffer, HubSpot, Sprout Social, Emplifi (formerly Social Bakers), and others.
  • Loyalty marketing software like Gameball, Como, Smile.io, and others.
  • SMS marketing automation tools like Converted.in, serVme (F&B only), SimpleTexting, TextMagic, and others.

 


  1. Time-tracking software 

While few employees will say they like time-tracking software, it can be a productivity tool for certain teams and tasks.

Companies use time-tracking tools to track employees and the tasks they’re completing to measure their productivity.

However, with time-tracking tools, it’s important to define what productivity means.

Does it simply mean seeing if the employee has completed 8 hours of work? Or does it involve looking at the number of deliverables made per day compared to a pre-determined average?

Many companies use time-tracking tools for work-from-home employees.

Time-tracking software companies include Time Doctor, Timeular, among others.

 


  1. Content creation software 

Many types of content creation software are emerging almost every day. Let’s not forget Chat-GPT, although this is a chatting tool not a writer.

Content creation software includes: SEMRush, Copy.ai, Jasper, among others. There are new AI tools for content creation emerging almost every day.

Google Docs also has its own AI that allows you to generate draft copy to edit yourself.

 


  1. Content editing software

In addition to content creation software, content editing software helps you review grammar, maintain tone of voice, among other benefits.

Recently, several content editing software tools have added content creation features.

The most popular content editing tools are Grammarly and ProWritingAid, but there are others.

 


  1. Team management software

In addition to project management, you may need to team management software like Slack.

For example, Slack is both a messaging platform and a team collaboration tool. Slack integrates with many tools, like Canva, allowing teams to collaborate and be more productive.

 


  1. HR software

Because of the different HR roles, there are different types and categories of HR software. One popular tool is the human resources management system (HRMS), which shows employee attendance, profiles, vacation statuses, and more.

Not only does the HRMS log in employee attendance, but also saves HR and payroll specialists time when managing payroll at the end of each month.

Monday.com has an HR tool called Monday.com HR. Other HR productivity tools include Paycor for payroll services, Rippling for automated workflows, Zenefits for managing freelancers, among others. (Source: Forbes Advisor)

 

How HR can help improve team productivity

Whether you’re a team leader or manager, you can work on improving your team’s productivity. Moreover, you can turn to your human resources (HR) department for help and guidance.

Sometimes, employees, including managers, aren’t aware of perks available in the company that can help employees stay productive.

Turning to HR with your productivity issues and challenges gives them an idea about the problems within different teams.

They work on resolving those issues and by providing you with tools available in the company or recommend alternative tools.

HR can also speak to top management, on your behalf, about the importance of improving teams’, employees’, and the company’s productivity and how that translates to more revenues and income.

 

Conclusion

Understanding what weighs your team down and what drives them forward is essential in creating an environment that promotes collaboration and helps teams and employees be productive.

That’s why we’re constantly stressing on the importance of defining what productivity means to you and your team.

That’s because you want to increase your team’s productivity without sacrificing the quality of service you provide.

Otherwise, an increase in production with a loss of quality means clients or customers will leave your business and turn to your competitors.

 

Further reading:

 

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