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Building a Productive Core Team - 7 Nexus

Building a Productive Core Team

Building a Productive Core Team

Building a Productive Core Team

Every business needs key strategies to stay productive. Building a productive core team helps in growing business more efficiently.

BUILDING A PRODUCTIVE CORE TEAM

Leading a team whether it consists of 10 team members or 100 is never easy. If handled with little tact, you can make your team accomplish great professional goals. Getting them on a same page is a different thing but making them work in unison to achieve a common goal is a no small feat.

No matter how productive your team is, there are always some ways that you can be incorporated to take workplace productivity to a whole new level.

A powerful and successful company operates best and with the most longevity when employees work with a team mentality, each filling a needed role and fulfilling long-term goals. Building a productive core team is essential for every company. Here’s what you can do to make sure your team is as strong as it can possibly be for your company.

  1. CHART AN EFFECTIVE COMPANY CULTURE
  2. ENCOURAGE A FLAT HIERARCHY
  3. GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT
  4. MEET THE BASIC NEEDS
  5. GIVE THEM INCENTIVES
  6. REVIEW PROCESSES
  7. INCORPORATE SOME TEAM BUILDING EXERCISE
  8. GIVE TEAM MEMBER OWNERSHIP
  9. BUILD THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TEAM MEMBERS
  10. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
  11. Give Feedback
  12. FACILITATE COMMUNICATION

 

 

  1. CHART AN EFFECTIVE COMPANY CULTURE

Company culture is nothing but the knowledge your employees have, what they believe and how they behave in the line of it. An effective company culture should have employees to follow standards and enhance their productivity. Why? Because a positive company culture is proven to be more productive.

 

A positive company culture will have more engaged employees. That’s a good thing because according to a Gallup study, disengaged workers are 37% more absent from work, 49% more likely to cause accidents and are 60% more erroneous than happy and engaged employees.

 

When employees realize they’re not just individuals, but essentially, a team, that makes all the difference.

A great team solicits diverse views and creative input from each other. They allow for healthy and vigorous debate on new ideas. The result is synergy.

Work is done at a faster rate because people feel valued and engaged — their voices are heard. But it’s the leader who is responsible for setting the stage and promoting such a culture.

Flawless teamwork doesn’t just occur out of the blue. It demands conscious efforts from all individuals within the team including the leader. A great team consists of a few elements that must be present at all times:

  • Clear objectives
  • Clear roles
  • Flawless communication
  • Cooperation
  • Individual development within the team

A great team is the one whose work is based on clear objectives, clear roles, clear communication, cooperation, and opportunities for personal development. Remember that recipe and you’ll be on the right way towards building an effective team.

 

  1. ENCOURAGE A FLAT HIERARCHY

Speaking of company culture, maintaining a flat hierarchy within the organization can affect productivity. This is because such a structure discourages politics within the workplace. Employees have a high morale and this will make them be better at work.

Office politics, on the other hand, bring employees down. It is stressful to focus on work, while constantly being pushed and pulled emotionally. This is mentally exhausting. Employees are then focused on unproductive habits such as gossip, or saving themselves from hassle. This causes distraction from the actual work at hand.

Google’s casual and democratic atmosphere is not a secret. One can learn a lot from how they function at Google the company is known to be the best to work for, after all!

 

  1. GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT

When you think of productivity you immediately think routine, keeping it all on schedule and so on. While fixed schedules and working hours are as good as it gets, the only problem with this approach is that the employee’s time is never considered.

When you factor in the individual differences you will see that the family backgrounds, lifestyle and even distance from work to home play a big role in employee’s individual productivity.

Setting up weekly goals help you track progress. However, the flexibility you offer to your employees to:

  • Occasionally work from home
  • Take longer lunches (to say, squeeze in a workout)
  • Run errands during workday

… these are appreciated by employees!

A flexible working schedule will give importance to results and less to face time. This way, employees who may be working from home, don’t have to stress about answering every unimportant email or resort to cheating, in order to produce billable hours. If you’ve made your goals clear, prioritized your tasks and set expectations for results, a flexible working schedule can make employees feel very valued. This will enhance productivity.

Provide good work environment for better productivity. The work environment and infrastructure are essential contributors in improving team efficiency and productivity. According to a recent study, physical environment greatly affects how employees feel, think and perform at the workplace.

Due to this, many organizations are paying attention while designing their office interiors. They make sure to incorporate bright lighting, comfortable furniture layout and a touch of nature with the help of plants and flowers. Besides the physical setting, environment within the office premises also impacts the team productivity. Dominating boss, condescending employees and office politics can bring down the overall productivity and efficiency in an organization.

Before collaboration happens, “pump the fear out of the room.” That’s when you begin to see ideas flourishing; people feel safe to freely put all their ideas on the table without fear of judgment.

And once again, it’s the leaders who must create space for others to experiment and fail, and when they do make mistakes, team members know that it’s part of the learning environment.

Now you have employees who are not afraid of taking risks. In fact, the community encourages it because it’s safe to do so.

 

  1. MEET THE BASIC NEEDS

Sure, the onus to distress or maintain a healthy lifestyle is the sole responsibility of the employee. So what can you, as an employer, do to promote this:-

  • Provide a comfortable room where employees can take power naps if needed.
  • Build a culture that supports work-life balance.
  • Insist on working early and leaving on time.
  • Ensure the food in the office cafeteria or vending machine is wholesome.

 

  1. GIVE THEM INCENTIVES

 

If you want your most productive employee to stay with you, then you need to match or pay more than the industry standard. If not, then you can watch your competitors match and take away your best workers.

You can argue that money is not the sole motivator. That’s why you need to pay attention to the kind of bonus or raises people are given. For example, there is no point in offering a hefty bonus to an average employee who is doing his or her job anyway.

Why paying more makes employees productive:-

  • Employees who are paid well, work harder. This way, you don’t have to hire costly managers to supervise them.
  • Well-paid employees are more likely to hold to their jobs. They get better benefits and so the payoff is appreciated. With low attrition rates, you don’t have to worry about costs or hiring and training new employees.
  • You will have loyal employees, who feel valued at work.

You can also question whether paying higher wages during an economic downturn is a good idea. Paying people more makes them more productive. Give incentives to motivate team.

According to a recent study, 85% of the employees felt more motivated to do their best when an incentive was offered. These incentives can be in the form of cash, free vouchers, paid vacation, extra time off, lunch-outs etc.

 

  1. REVIEW PROCESSES

Now that you have your company culture in place, you’ve hired the right people and have an effective compensation and benefits program, it is imperative that you looked and looked more at your existing processes. Your processes right from hiring to the exit of an employee need to meet your business goals. You need to improve or remove processes to add value to your business.

Here are some other ways for reviewing processes to increase productivity:

  • Brainstorming
  • Cause and effect diagrams
  • Histograms
  • Matrix analysis

After a formal investigation into all your processes, see if you need to outsource some of the activities to improve productivity. Activities such as payroll, administration, travel and logistics and even human resources can now be outsourced.

  1. INCORPORATE SOME TEAM BUILDING EXERCISES

Meeting team members quarterly or twice a year for performance reviews in not enough. The loop needs to be closed by establishing a developmental plan after each review. This plan must highlight the employee’s weaknesses. A consolidated look at these improvement areas acts as fodder for initiating effective training modules.

Training needs to be taken seriously. Effective trainings increased productivity by 8%!

Gone are the days when training was administered as a one-size-fits-for-all module. The manager needs to play an active role in the strategies for better learning for their team. This increases accountability for the manager as well as the employees. In the end, to build a profitable business, employee satisfaction and development is the key.

Incorporate team building exercises for motivation. Team productivity depends big time on the camaraderie between the team members. If the team members get along with each other and are aware about the strengths and weaknesses, the workplace automatically becomes a happier place. If the team members are happy from within, the team productivity and efficiency will automatically shoot up.

When different people are working within a team, there is likelihood that not everyone will like each other. To beat the animosity between the team members, you can incorporate some team building exercises. Not only it will add some fun element but will also wash away any grudges or miscommunications between the team members.

  1. GIVE TEAM MEMBER OWNERSHIP

Give your team member ownership and motivate them.  The best leaders in the business understand the power of ownership. Giving ownership to the team members means nothing but letting them take their own decisions and making them accountable for their work.

When you make a team member accountable for his work, this induces a sense of responsibility in him regarding his work. He starts to see his work differently in a way that his decisions can impact the performance of the entire team.

Now, giving ownership can take different forms like leading a project, handling the responsibility of a task etc. It shows that you’ve entrusted him and his capabilities to handle a specific job. And when you do this, you realize that there is nothing more powerful than building someone’s self-esteem in your organization.

  1. BUILD THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TEAM MEMBERS

Know your team members strengths and weaknesses. Every human being has some talents and hidden gifts that can be put into good use. Thus, it becomes the duty of a manager or a team lead to discover those talents and keep them in mind while allocating tasks to them. Knowing their skill-set is the backbone of producing a productive team.

For example, if someone in a team likes to think outside of the box, you can make him pitch creative ideas in front of a client(s). Knowing the fact that team members are making the best use of their knowledge, expertise and talents, they look forward to contribute at the workplace.

Making them use their strengths will contribute to make your workplace better and productive than before.

The leader must continuously evaluate the way the members of the team work together. Ideally, your team should be self-sufficient and perform without you having to lead them through every step. Your job is not done by forming the team and giving instructions, but rather guiding your team to work well with one another more effectively.

Here are a few ways to help members of the team to familiarize themselves with each other’s roles and work styles:

  • Team-building exercises. Simple activities to help members build trust and letting them know they can depend on one another can go a long way toward increasing your team’s effectiveness and productivity.
  • Improve cooperation among team members. Try different things such as taking them all out for lunch or an after-work get-together. Encourage them to get to know each other. Ask them about their hobbies and interests, so you’ll take the conversation on a more personal level. If possible, invest in a fun activity, such as a workplace wellness program.
  • Encourage them to collaborate! When you hire someone new, assign a mentor to introduce them into the workflow. Mentorship programs are great for developing connections!

You should always be aware of the fact that conflicts and misunderstandings will occur. Your role as a leader is to solve those issues in the most amicable way possible. Invite both sides to share their arguments and listen to them. Then, act as a mediator towards the most acceptable solution.

  1. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES

 While for different employees different things work in boosting their productivity and efficiency at work. But for large number of them it is something as simple as being acknowledged for their efforts. You know nothing can add to the productivity, if an employee feels that his contribution isn’t being valued enough. Whereas appreciating them in front of the whole team can work wonders. This public act of appreciation instead of virtual congratulatory words inspires others in the team as well to do their best. This promotes a healthy work culture in an organization which will be an addition in boosting team productivity.

Celebrating your successes and milestones also brings your team together and allows everyone to see that when they work together, great things can happen. If someone does a great job at something, give them a shout out in front of the rest of the team so that every effort is seen and appreciated. This also helps each person to feel visible and that what they’re doing has an impact. In contrast, if your team fails at something, come together to redirect your efforts or turn it into something positive. Don’t throw anyone under the bus or turn a damage-control discussion into a blame game. This never helps anybody. Instead, give your team equal responsibility to put your heads together and figure out the next steps or pivots.

  1. Give Feedback

Give each other feedback. The most important on the list is to introduce a feedback process in a team. There is no hope of boosting employee efficiency if they don’t know they are being inefficient at the first place. This is why performance reviews and constructive feedback are essential in boosting team productivity. Getting to know about the areas of opportunities will motivate the team members to make some changes in their style of working.

When you are done with giving them the feedback, ask them what you could do to help them improve. May be they would like little more guidance on certain tasks or would prefer a little more room for the creative freedom.

This encourages the culture of open dialogue that will make future collaborations easier than before.

Team productivity is similar to that of baking a cake where the right ingredients (team members) need to be gathered and put together. Empowering your teams to be at their productive best requires a well mixed batter of different ingredients.

Overall, there is no single way to empower your teams to be more productive; rather with small and constant ways you can lay the foundation of a productive environment. By providing the employees constant support, feedback and encouragement, you’ll see a huge rise in the productivity meter.

 

  1. FACILITATE COMMUNICATION

A great leader also fosters an environment where people are allowed to talk openly because it’s a trusted culture. Feedback is a two-way street (given and received) and highly encouraged. This leader will make sure information is available and flowing freely, and be very clear on goals and expectations so the whole team is accountable to results.

By sharing knowledge and decision-making with her team, this leader models transparency which over time builds trust and morale for the whole team to be equally transparent with each other.

Remember that communication is the single most important factor in successful teamwork. Facilitating communication does not mean holding meetings all the time. Instead it means setting an example by remaining open to suggestions and concerns, by asking questions and offering help, and by doing everything you can to avoid confusion in your own communication.

As supervisor, your first priority in creating consensus is to stimulate debate. Remember that employees are often afraid to disagree with one another and that this fear can lead your team to make mediocre decisions. When you encourage debate you inspire creativity and that’s how you’ll spur your team.

 

Efficiency signifies a level of performance that describes a process that uses the lowest amount of inputs to create the greatest amount of outputs.

Here are some key points to keep in mind to build a productive core team.

 

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