Following on from our previous blog on how we can all do more in less time, it’s now time to see how managers can help boost productivity within the teams they’re responsible for.
The best teams are often a blend of talent, skills and personalities. Each team member has their own strengths and weaknesses, their own ambitions and their own motivations. The best managers are those who are able to understand the individuals within their team while at the same time creating a platform for collective and shared success.
According to research carried out by ClearCompany, 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. It’s this ‘lack of alignment’ which leads to inefficiencies within teams, whether it be through poor communication, unrealistic expectations or ineffective management.
Furthermore, when teams aren’t pulling in the same direction it can lead to falling levels of employee engagement which is intrinsically linked to productivity.
So how can teams be more engaged, perform better and be more productive? Here are 6 simple steps to get you started:
1. Lead by example.
Good time management is crucial to having productive and high performing teams. As a leader, it’s vital you lead by example and set the best practice to follow. Good managers have exceptional time management. This is where working smarter and not harder comes into it’s own. Frayed, frazzled and frenetic managers are no use to their team or themselves. Cool, calm and collected managers, on the other hand, tend to have strong teams.
2. Remove fear.
There’s nothing worse for an employee than fear of their boss or of doing the wrong thing. Creating a winning culture is more than just having a great physical environment to work in. It extends to creating a space where employees feel valued and can give voice to their fears if they need to.
3. Create a sense of belonging.
Alongside removing fear, creating a sense of belonging for employees is one of the most important aspects when it comes to boosting employee engagement and therefore productivity. Having a shared purpose that’s bigger than ourselves is part of what makes us human. Use this to have a team who are inspired by the work they do and can see how they are helping to make a difference to society.
4. Have authenticity.
There are few things worse in the work environment than a false boss. A lack of authenticity can undermine them at every turn and will ultimately lead to employees who don’t respect or trust their manager. Be authentic in all aspects of your role and your employees will value you all the more for it. Give praise where appropriate, constructively criticise when it’s required and always be honest with yourself and your team.
5. Communicate well.
As well as being approachable, good communication for managers includes being able to communicate your expectations with your team. As Quinyx HR manager, Karin Wintle, says: “Excellent communication and balanced information is key. Businesses need to make sure employees always know what to focus on and how to excel in their work. This helps make sure everyone works together as a team to get to where they need to be.”
6. Give your team autonomy.
Empower your employees to make decisions. Talented teams and individuals thrive on freedom. When employees are empowered they naturally take accountability and responsibility for the work they are producing. The best employees will see this as a challenge to make sure they constantly deliver and surpass expectations.
Remember, great teams (and great managers) aren’t built overnight. It takes time for teams to reach the performing stage, especially when there are fast and frequent changes as can happen in growth companies. The secret is to build solid foundations, have a shared purpose and match this with a shared desire to succeed. Do this and your team will always be engaged and productive.