7 Ways to ensure you maintain a productive team

1) The power of the process – time blocking or prioritising your ‘key’ tasks can ensure that you tick these off on a daily basis. Anything else is a bonus! One of the biggest challenges will typically be emails, so ensure that you take some time each day to turn these off and focus on what really matters as opposed to firefighting all day long. The emails will still be there when you return…….I promise!

2) Measuring success – how many directors truly understand the key drivers within their business!? The answer = not as many as you think! Ensure that you are measuring the best KPI’s in order to optimise performance and propel your business forward. The right measures will enlighten you as an owner/director by highlighting the strength areas as well as the weaker ones. Identify those individuals who are the most productive and why not ask them to share their methods with the rest of the team!? The best way to improve is to continue learning, plus it may well motivate the individual in the process, which can’t be a bad thing!

3) Regular feedback – picking the right time and place to provide feedback can be motivating or de-motivating depending on who you are giving it to. Ensure you appreciate who it is you are providing feedback too and do not leave it until the annual appraisal to do so. Real time feedback is impactful and creates a culture of honesty. Remember that feedback doesn’t have to mean negative. When was the last time you gave some positive feedback to a member of the team!? You may be surprised to see how much more productive your team is as a result!!

4) Avoidance of accountability – ensure that the team are clear on the overall objectives for the business as a whole and how their individual targets will impact on others within the organisation. Be careful not to create unattainable targets as these will have the adverse effect, but getting it right can create a truly motivated, productive team.

5) Communication – understand who you are talking to, what form of communication is best suited and most importantly, which form of communication will be most efficient for getting to the preferred outcome. If for example you find yourself writing an email to a colleague who is 5 metres away, stop and think whether the issue can be resolved with a 2 minutes conversation! 9 times out of 10, it can. A great client of mine often references the importance of regular communication as an informal chat can often lead to some new ideas!

6) Workplace – the layout of the office can be crucial in creating the desired culture within a business. Open plan working environments are fantastic for upskilling staff, however they are not always suitable and can be hugely distracting at times. Creative or more technical tasks may be better suited within break out areas or meeting rooms, so ensure that your office space is accommodating.

7) Trust – last and by no means least, the absence of trust is often the number one reason for de-motivated teams and therefore as a result, a lack of productivity. Create an environment where everyone is engaged and empowered. Often the best way to gain trust from your team is to be honest, consistent and fair. A lack of any of these can be toxic.

Posted by Duncan Bye, Wilson Partners, 20-12-2017

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