4 foolproof ways to increase team productivity

If you're a manager and you want to motivate your staff, here are four easy ways to maximise team productivity

Did you know that the average worker is only productive for approximately 2 hours and 53 minutes per day? Yep, a manager’s job certainly isn’t easy. Yet, if you want to get the most out of your employees and drive home maximal value from your human resources, you need to continually find new ways to boost the efficiency of your workforce and increase productivity.

On that note, if you supervise a team and feel like you are failing to meet your goals, here are four ideas to help motivate your team members and increase their collective output.

1. Set and track attainable goals

According to various studies, getting precise about goals boosts employee motivation and substantially increases organisational productivity. Thus, if you want to genuinely galvanise your team to work towards their aims and objectives, you need to be more specific about their objectives rather than leaving them to aimlessly pursue “success” through generic aspirations.

An effective manager will provide their team members with comprehensive instructions on their ongoing projects, covering their goals, how they will be measured, and their deadlines. You can also choose to allocate specific tasks to individual team members depending on the nature of the assignment, considering the team members’ unique capabilities and performance history. With all of that said, goals must remain attainable, as not to overwhelm the team members. Instead, break down large tasks into more manageable chunks and motivate your team members as they move towards their objectives.

2. Establish a productive workplace environment

Your team members’ environment plays a huge role in their overall efficiency and productivity. After all, nobody would work their best in a dark, messy, uncomfortable room, so don’t expect your employees to be the exception. These days, many organisations are making an effort to incorporate bright lighting, open spaces, touches of nature, and comfortable/ergonomic furniture to make the physical workspace as welcoming and productive as possible.

With that said, a productive environment goes far beyond the physical realm, as things such as domineering bosses, toxic work cultures, and cliques/gossipy behaviour can drag down workplace performance and stifle productivity. As the manager, you need to make concerted efforts to maintain a happy workforce and boost team morale by ensuring that the work environment is as productive as possible.

Furthermore, if your company has the capacity to offer flexible working hours to staff and allow employees to work some of their shifts from home, this could be a great way to boost output, since 77% of employees report greater productivity while working off-site.

3. Allow time to unwind

Stress is the killer of productivity; there are no two ways about it. In fact, a reported $200 to $300 billion in productivity is lost each year due to stress-related illnesses, which is a shocking statistic. Taking this into account, managers must put measures to allow employees to destress and unwind from the daily pressures of their job. Not only will this help to make the workplace a happier and more productive environment, but it will also demonstrate that you are prioritising the mental health of your employees, which can help to foster a sense of camaraderie within the company culture.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can do this, such as providing more frequent breaks, encouraging workplace wellness, creating a quiet area where team members can go to relax, and stepping away if they feel it is necessary. Another great tip is to allow your employees to play strategy games such as those offered on Solitaired.com so they can take their minds off their current responsibilities and focus on another task for a brief period, giving them a chance to reset and enjoy some downtime before getting back to work.

4. Remember that feedback is your friend

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal as a manager. While it’s important to acknowledge that different tactics work for different people when it comes to boosting workplace productivity, lavishing praise and giving credit where it is due is a universal way of motivating team members and boosting morale. And the best part about it? It’s free!

If you want to get the most out of your employees, you need to develop a culture of trust in your team, providing constructive, meaningful feedback regularly. For instance, ask about the challenges your employees face, how you can help them manage their time more effectively, and whether they need more resources. Think about what you can do to help them work towards their goals, and make sure that you appreciate their hard work where appropriate.

On the flip side, if you fail to praise your employees when they deliver on their objectives, they will quickly become unmotivated, and their performance will more than likely begin to dwindle. Therefore, try to remain mindful of your team member’s efforts and even consider conducting public acts of appreciation for those that go above and beyond.

Finally, you have to remember that feedback is a two-way street. If you really want to foster an open, conscientious, and productive work culture, then you must be willing to accept feedback and constructive criticism where necessary. This means carving out time in your day to sit down with your team members, actively listening to their concerns and opinions, reacting graciously, and then following up with an action plan after taking on board what they have shared.

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