1. SET CLEAR GOALS
Establishing a shared vision can be a great first step toward boosting your team productivity. Set clear goals, which include accountability deadlines and expected actions for all team members. Use a tool like GoalsOnTrack to analyze your team’s progress, and watch productivity increase as staff work steadily to achieve their targets.
2. OPEN THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION
When things go unsaid in the workplace, it can lead to productivity-tanking tension. Encourage team members to communicate clearly with one another about their needs, expectations, and potential areas of conflict. A app like Moodit can be a way for your team to better get in touch with the emotional tone of their texts and emails, improving self-regulation. Better self-knowledge can help ensure that honesty doesn’t cross over into hostility when deadlines are looming.
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3. MAKEOVER YOUR MEETINGS
If part of your productivity plan includes scheduling more meetings than ever before, think twice before reserving the conference room. As outlined in Patrick Lencioni’s popular business “fable” Death by Meeting, too many long meetings can have a negative effect on productivity, engagement, and motivation. Check out the Death by Meeting site for free meeting planning tools, and consider this quick fix: swap shorter, more purposeful “standing” meetings in lieu of longer seated meetings.
4. NORMALIZE COLLABORATION
Looking for a major productivity hack? Increase collaboration and get rid of “silo-ed” workers. Set the expectation that team members shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help, and you’ll see less time wasted on individual problem solving. An online tool like Slack allows for seamless collaboration, including easy file sharing, team and direct messaging, and much more.
5. BOOST AUTONOMY
Increased employee autonomy means increased productivity. As a recent article in the Deloitte Review puts it: “research shows that when we enrich jobs, giving people more autonomy, decision-making power, time, and support, the company makes more money.” In other words, if you’re looking to boost productivity and profit, then you need to let the micromanaging go. Crosstrain your team and give them the support and tools they need to problem solve without always needing the “OK” from management, and innovation will start to flourish (as well as your bottom line).
6. REAL-WORLD ACCOUNTABILITY
Real-time feedback on individual performance, as well as regular check-ins about team performance, should be a vital part of your productivity boosting plan. Tools like Impraise allow you to quickly provide feedback and reinforcement to individual team members. In addition to individual feedback, be sure to plan time each month to provide your team with data-driven feedback on their collective efforts, so that your team can course correct as needed and meet their shared goal.
7. ASSESS (AND ADJUST) EXPECTATIONS
A more productive team is not necessarily a busier team, so be wary of piling on more work than your team can handle. Not sure if you’ve gone too far? Use a tool like Waggl to assess your employee’s perception of your workplace culture, as well as their current stress level and means of managing expectations. This tool gives you a quick snapshot of the current culture as a whole, and will also help you fine-tune workloads to make sure no one team member is shouldering the burden alone.
8. ENCOURAGE BALANCE
All work and no play can tank a team’s productivity. Encourage fun ways for team members to engage around their other interests and goals to build rapport, as well as establish a culture of good work-life balance. Tools like 21 Habit let users set goals around new habits, like diet, exercise, or a new hobby, and encourage habit forming through social accountability and financial incentive.
9. STRENGTHEN YOUR BONDS
Taking work time for team-building activities can seem counterintuitive if your goal is increased productivity. But research has shown that employee engagement is a huge factor in team success. Apps like The Go Game can quickly turn your team’s smartphones into team-building tools. Introduce a spirit of play and make time for some lighthearted bonding, and your team will be able to work together better, faster, and smarter.
10. MODEL MANAGEMENT
Finally, no team initiatives will be successful without good modeling from management. Show your team that you know how to walk the walk by modeling healthy communication skills and enviable work-life balance. Try an app like Balanced to help you pull it all together, and start sharing your own personal productivity processes with the team to give them greater insight into how leadership makes it all happen—and how they can grow into that role one day, too.
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