5 Tips to get the Best out of your Team
February 19, 2010
Productivity and problem-solving skills do not improve on their own. There has to be a causative change in the working environment and corporate culture of an organisation for that to happen. And while there are endless reams of information on how to improve productivity among team members, they’re all not of equal efficacy. Some team improvement tips can be enough to get your organisation through the motions, while others can supercharge productivity in super-fast ways.
Besides offering various perks and incentives, introducing training courses, and organising bicycle team-building exercises and similar events, the following recommendations can help improve your working environment with a new wave of positive energy. Whether you want to take productivity a notch higher or to completely reinvent your organisational framework, these tips on how to get the best out of your employees will help you heighten productivity.
1. Emphasise on Building Relationships
Relationships are a proof of trust and like-mindedness between those involved. With cohesive internal relations, your team works in lockstep with each other, eliminating any room for misunderstandings and misrepresentations that might cost them some progress.
Relationships also allow for flexibility to give team members a wider breath of choices to work with. On the contrary, a rigid leadership style foments a stifling environment that deprives your employees of the opportunity to express themselves in ways that benefit your organisation.
You need to give your employees a greater sense of belonging using various activities and resources, including CSR bicycle team building exercises and similar events. You team members need to know that their opinions matter and their contributions, insights, and suggestions are crucial to your organisation’s success. You should strive to give them high-quality feedback at all times. The feedback should be constructive, even if they’re based on negative reports.
When your employees feel more deeply that their life is tied to that of the organisation, their commitment to your causes becomes easier. Flourishing relations in the workplace provide team members with internal motivation to give their best to help fulfil your organisation’s goals.
2. See the Best in your Employees
It’s easy to get carried away by biases and preconceptions towards employees with whom you don’t share a lot (if anything at all) in common. In a competitive environment, personal biases can cost you a whole lot and deny you access to wealth of critical resources.
In order to get rid of your biases, first of all, you have to see them for what they are and understand the irrationality behind them. You need to be quite meticulous when doing this. Preconceptions can be formed from rational attributes like profession, work ethics, and cultural values, and these ones can be quite difficult to put aside. For instance, some of your employees can be deft writers but not eloquent orators, and you might be inclined to underrate them given your public speaking skills.
When you believe in your employees and appreciate their strengths, you’ll be able to give them more opportunities to make up for their weaknesses. By enlisting their services with an open mind, you’ll be less prone to cloud your judgment with biases that misrepresent the true picture and limit your team members’ potentials.
3. Reward Accomplishments
As a good manager, your employees will be looking to impress you. That obviously implies that they’ll feel more in place if their efforts receive some form of acknowledgement from you. But the importance of rewarding your employees for exceptional performances can never be overemphasised. Rewards are one of the surefire ways to drive motivation.
Try to commend your employees whenever they do something out of the ordinary, whether it’s a behavioural or vocational feat. A simple nod of approval or thumbs up can do the trick to get your team members to give their best.
Sometimes this might require you to redirect the spotlight away from you to your employees. You might be tempted to take the credit for any development, but then you should remember that honouring your employees instead can increase the chances of turning the extraordinary into the new normal. Also, there are several ways of rewarding your employees, and some can work more effectively for some people but not for others. But no matter which way you choose, always ensure that it demonstrates your heartfelt gratitude towards them.
4. Keep Confidence High by Dealing with Poor Performances Promptly
With so many things going on simultaneously, it can be tempting to put off addressing some poor performances by some team members. However, a chain is as weak as its weakest link, and one bad performance from any member of your team can set off a negative streak in your company’s overall performances.
When setting out to address any poor performance, rather than paint with a broad brush, you should strive to get to the root cause of the problem. Empathy and insights are of critical importance when evaluating the poor performance of an employee, and without them you may fail to hit the nail on the head of the problem.
By taking a timely, meticulous approach to deal with failures among team members, you boost your team’s confidence and morale. Rather than get caught up in the mistakes of others, your team members will focus more on doing their best, knowing there’s an effective, timely correctional mechanism in place to deal with such mistakes.
5. Understand the Dichotomy between Idea Generation and Ideal Evaluation
While idea generation and idea evaluation are critical steps in the innovation process, it can be quite dicey to toss them together. You need to engage in each of them with different methodologies and techniques, otherwise you’ll fail to make the most of the innovation and problem-solving mechanisms of your organisation.
Simply put, at the idea generation stage, emphasis is laid on quantity, but in the idea evaluation stage the focus is on quality. If quality becomes the focal point in the idea generation stage, it might stifle the chances of some amazing ideas emerging. When the criteria for qualification are too narrow in the idea generation stage, it could prevent your team from examining some worthwhile ideas.
With these team-building tips, you can banish dissatisfaction and lack of engagement in your work place. They can help you ramp up your team’s productivity without any additional cost. They’ll help your team members grow their self-confidence, self esteem, and team morale.
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