What makes your team productive?
With the new year now underway, it’s important to get your staff invigorated for 2022 and the challenges ahead. A business is only as strong as its employees, so it’s essential that you have a team that is enlivened and ready to generate your business success.
When you have a workplace environment that supports your team’s health and well being, as well as provides space for creativity and collaboration, you keep your team motivated, comfortable and the overall morale high.
Taking the time to create a great workplace environment will reward you with staff loyalty and high productivity for the rest of the year. If you don’t have the finances or equipment to make this happen, or if your team is still struggling with work-from-home challenges, maybe it’s time to think outside the box with coworking spaces that come with a great work environment as part of the package.
Finding ways to boost your team’s productivity will ensure that everyone can work together in making 2022 good for business.
5 factors that can affect your team’s productivity
There are a number of factors that can affect your team productivity, for better and for worse. When you identify what influences a decline or a boost in motivation, you can easily put in steps to increase the positive ones, and steer away from distractions.
We’ve identified the following as the top five factors business owners can use to help staff bolster productivity and become a more cohesive team.
1. Utilising the right communication channels
The way businesses communicate is changing. In the past five years, communication styles and preferences have shifted making us more dependent on technology and digital interactions than ever before.
This has been especially evident in the past two years with many people forced to work remotely and adapt to technology, like it or not. As we embrace new technologies and continue to adjust to the work-from-anywhere mentality, communication will continue to evolve to give us more choice and reliability.
Whether working in remote, traditional or hybrid environments, choosing the right communication channels is important. As well as traditional office communications like emails and company newsletters, you can make use of social platforms, instant messaging and other tools that may fit your team’s communication style more effectively.
Project management tools (e.g. Slack or Notion), video calls and shared document drives are also great options for collaboration and staying on the same page (and one document) no matter where each team member is located.
When you take the time to learn how your team prefers to communicate, you can adjust your style to match. It’s also important that they have access to a work environment that delivers the technology and structure to make their desired communications effective, like having reliable internet and privacy.
In order to ensure effective communication with your team, you can:
- Ask what their preferred communication formats are
- Conduct open forums where individuals can express their preferences and ideas
- Keep an open-door policy: Communication is a two-way street
- Test and optimise different communication options and see what sticks
- When making changes, give managers and team leaders time to adjust to new channels
2. Providing proper equipment and infrastructure
Without suitable equipment, your team might not be able to deliver the high-quality output that you’re expecting of them. Outdated technology and clunky infrastructure can be frustrating to deal with and may deter your team from striving to their potential. Why bother when you are wrestling a keyboard that sticks, right?
Providing your staff with the proper tools at work ensures everyone is aligned and the team can continue to be productive no matter their distance from the office or each other. They can also focus on their work instead of having to worry about their internet connection, dated software or their hardware failing.
3. Identifying productivity “boosters” and productivity “killers”
When you’re able to pinpoint what keeps your team motivated and productive and what causes distractions and friction, you’re able to focus on the productivity boosters that motivate your team and get great results.
Some common productivity boosters include:
- Effective communication - Good communication brings about higher morale and a degree of comfort to the team, letting them feel like they’re all on the same page.
- Taking regular breaks - To ensure that your team stays healthy and avoids burnout, they should be able to take breaks to refresh throughout the day. These breaks can include exercise, stretching, healthy snacks and time away from screens.
- Remove distractions - Social media, shopping apps and phones can be big distractions. Remind your team to save personal phone and app use for breaks and not use them during work hours.
- Incentivise good performance - Gamifying work can come in handy when you want to motivate your team by creating a game with a reward for completion. The rewards might be physical (gym memberships or chocolates) or it might be time to spend on a team outing. Allowing employees to socialise and create meaningful relationships with their co-workers also gives them the boost they might need to keep turning in excellent work.
- Adequate training and upskilling programs - Without adequate training you might be unfairly holding your team back from their full potential. As well as ongoing training opportunities, upskilling is also important for learning new skills. Don’t assume your team has the skills they need to succeed. Ensure they do with training.
- Set measurable KPIs - With KPIs and standards in place, you can see if a team member is meeting their goals to achieve overall company targets. If they aren’t, it’s worth exploring where the gaps are so these can be addressed.
- Track performance - Find relevant performance tracking tools that will help your team lay out their tasks and show who’s responsible for what and when. Being clear on what is happening and how tasks are performed is a great way to make calculated changes that will see better results.
The opposite of productivity boosters is productivity killers. These are the activities that potentially burn your staff out, such as:
- Not taking breaks - It seems to make sense, if you sit at your desk and work all day, you’ll get more done. Actually, the opposite is true. It gets to a point where fatigue sets in and the brain functionality drops. Attempting to push through this will only lead to burnout, stress and sick leave.
- Unnecessary meetings - Before setting a meeting, ask if the agenda you have planned can be communicated over an email or any other similar channel instead, especially if you only need to involve a few specific people for a project.
- Noise - An open office can be good for interaction and collaboration but noise can be distracting. You need to make sure your workplace has closed areas for meetings, private conference calls or when focus is needed for tough projects.
4. Nurturing the workspace and workplace environment
An attractive working environment will help your employees feel more comfortable and at ease when working. Set up your office to have up-to-date equipment, have great amenities like bathrooms, lunchrooms and views so your team associates their workplace with excitement.
Effective workplaces are critical to employee success. A comfortable, relaxed and aesthetically pleasing environment will help your employees work efficiently and love working for your business.
Aside from being an attractive space, it also has to be somewhere they can feel comfortable and valued so they can relax and collaborate with one another. As a leader, you can set an example and ensure you’re approachable and open to communication, which will set a positive workplace tone.
5. Maintaining a positive company culture
Strong company culture can help your team stay productive by creating a workplace that meets their needs and communicates a shared set of values and goals. When they love coming to work they will be energised, face challenges with a smile and put their best into every task.
Managers who understand effective communication styles and provide a work environment where communication and collaboration are easy can bolster staff momentum, making your business success even more attainable.
When you use the right communication channels, have the right equipment for your team, in a vibrant atmosphere, you can ensure that your team will be invested in your goals and want to work towards them with you.
If you want to experience what it’s like to be immersed in a great work environment, book a tour of our facilities.