Do you lead a team?
If so, then your job is to aid the team in doing their best work.
To inspire and drive their productivity.
How do you make your team more productive?
How Do You Drive Your Team?
As the boss or team leader, you want to maximize your team’s output and efficiency.
However, you can’t force productivity.
You have to inspire, aid, and support it.
Team productivity is like a fire.
You can’t make it burn, but you can light it and fan the flames.
What are you doing to support the productivity of your team?
Removing the Barriers to Productivity
From my experience, the best bosses are the ones that inspire action and then remove the barriers to success.
They understand that it is not only their job to get out of their team’s way, but to get everything else out of their way, too.
Are you removing the obstacles between your team and their getting work done?
Here are 9 Ways for Bosses to Boost Their Team Productivity:
- Eliminate Repeating Meetings – How much of your team’s time is already spoken for by “standing meetings” each week. Free up your team by removing needless repeating meetings. Instead, only gather the team when there is an issue to be decided. As well, give your team members the “Right to Decline” when they have work that needs to be done.
- Lead by Example – As the team leader, your example sets the productivity bar for your team. You may think it goes unnoticed, but if you arrive late to meetings, you are setting a standard. I worked with one boss recently who was constantly out of the office. She was then upset when she was on site and her team was not. You get the standard that you set.
- Set Communication Expectations – Communication is one of the tops things that bogs down team productivity. Set clear expectations around how the team should communicate. This should cover everyday communications, as well as status updates.
- Let Teams “Time Shift” When Appropriate – With today’s tools, it is not so much about when or where, but that the work gets done. Concentrate on results, not when workers are coming and going. Companies that have not caught up with the flexible workplace are only hurting themselves. Virtual teams are the future of productivity.
- Remove Roadblocks – Removing obstacles is one of the main jobs of a team leader. Your team will encounter things that stop their progress. Your job is eliminate barriers that keep them from getting their work done. A recent example was a team that was getting kicked out of their workspace for being there too late in the evening. The office management was not supportive of after hours access to the office. The team leader worked with company management to gain permission for “access card” entry. In this case, the programming team did some of their best work late at night when the office was empty.
- Provide the Proper Tools – A good leader knows that the team will be more productive with the proper tools for the job. Obviously, there can be financial responsibilities and budget constraints, however not providing the proper tools just “because” is unacceptable. I worked with a consulting company that would not allow workers any software that was not approved by the IT department. As you can imagine, it took an “Act of Congress” to get any additions to the approved list.
- Good Work Environment – Right after the right tools, is the right place to do the work. I see too many companies “getting cute” thinking they know how to design office space for their workers. Removing offices and creating cube farms may not be the most productive environment for your team. A creative firm I encountered recently, was relating how their new office space was completely open with no cubicles and no offices. And now, no one could get anything done because they were constantly on top of each other.
- Let Your Employees Make Decisions – Hint: Your team members shouldn’t have to come to you for every issue. If they do, then you are the bottleneck in the system. If you don’t trust your team to make decisions, then what do you trust them to do?
- Get Out of the Way – Once you have removed all the obstacles from your team, there is still one more. You need to get out-of-the-way. You know you have lit the productivity of your team when they are self-sufficient. Ironically, many companies reward leaders that control and micro-manage their teams, instead of those that build self-lead teams. Which do you think produces better results, as well as the future leaders of the company?
Inspire Your Team
Today, take a look at what obstacles you could remove from the path of your team.
Pushing your team to do more only builds resistance and friction.
Instead, inspire them, remove barriers to their success, and then get out-of-the-way.
That is how team productivity is done.
Question: How do you boost your team’s productivity?