Workplace complacency is no stranger to most of us. By our nature, we tend to fall into routines and habits that make us feel comfortable, even if they aren’t the most efficient. As a leader in the workplace, it's important to shake things up once in a while. You can do this by providing exciting new tools and creative solutions that will help your team function at their very best.
These solutions can take many forms—ground-breaking software, progressive policies, exciting motivational paradigms, and more. It’s up to the creativity and initiative of the team leader to sift through the mundane to find the true gems and see that they’re successfully implemented.
So, without further ado, here are 7 fantastic tips for keeping your team’s energy and productivity as high as possible.
Although people are complicated creatures, in some ways we are laughably simple. Specifically, we work far more efficiently when there’s some kind of reward on offer.
Depending on what kind of team you manage, there are various ways in which you could offer incentives for good work. For example, a rep with the highest sales record for the month could receive a bonus 5% on their salary.
If you’re worried about financial compensation causing friction between your employees, a weekend getaway to a high-end resort or spa is a great alternative.
Place Emphasis on Communication
A business is like an organism—a single entity made up of smaller groups, which are made up of individual components.
The only way to keep the organism alive is for its smaller parts to communicate efficiently. That way, no element of the organism goes without the help it needs to perform its function.
As a team leader, it’s vital that your team understands they will never get punished for communicating. Let them know to speak up if they encounter a problem or make a mistake. Similarly, make it clear that they’re expected to listen with respect when another team member approaches them with a concern.
Use Innovative Software
Fortunately, we live in an age where technological solutions to workplace problems are being developed and improved upon every single day. The convenience a modern-day employee has at their disposal t would astound an office worker from 20 to 30 years ago.
A good team leader has their finger on the pulse of the latest workplace software and uses it to simplify and expedite everyday tasks.
If you’re in charge of a project or team, you don’t want to get caught without the right resources. Workast is a multifunctional, user-friendly project management tool designed to integrate seamlessly with Slack. Its sleek user interface makes the daunting duty of tracking tasks, delegating work, keeping on top of deadlines, and executing efficient strategies much more approachable.
With Workast’s fully integrated project management software, your team’s communication and collaboration will improve—driving up productivity.
Cultivate Pleasant Surroundings
Workplace psychology research suggests that the condition of physical surroundings severely impacts the mental wellbeing, and subsequently, the productivity of your workforce.
When you picture an office in your mind’s eye, what do you see? Most people envision a drab room packed wall to wall with cubicles, token attempts at decorations, and awful fluorescent lighting. While many offices use this kind of scheme to save on costs and keep employees focused, experts say that it’s counterproductive.
Choosing to invest in a pleasant work environment communicates to your team that they are valued and trusted. A work environment with lots of natural light, a creative color scheme, some potted plants, and fewer partitions can go a long way towards improving the mental health and comfort of your employees.
If we accept happy workers are productive ones, then spending a bit more on décor is not much to ask. You may even wish to hire an interior designer or organizational psychologist to consult on changes you could make to your office.
Maintain a Balance Between Positive Feedback and Constructive Criticism
Nobody can be expected to improve their standard of work without feedback. Even if it’s as simple as “you’re doing well, keep it up.” Some team leaders make the mistake of holding back on praise, worried that it will cause their subordinates to become complacent and lazy.
While giving out undeserved accolades is certainly not necessary, it’s important to recognize when someone’s done a good job or invested in themselves for work. Make an effort to do it publicly as well, as public praise is highly motivational.
Conversely, when faced with the unpleasant task of doling out criticism, try to do it in private. Publicly shaming someone for making a mistake will destroy their self-confidence and do nothing for your overall productivity.
Try to temper your criticism with positive recognition. For example, start your conversation by pointing out a few things they’ve done well recently, then move on to areas that need improvement.
A large part of being a good leader is the ability to trust your employees. While it’s the duty of any project manager to delegate and check up on progress, there’s no need to hover over everyone’s shoulders.
This kind of “helicopter leadership” is distracting and frustrating for your team members. Be clear and firm in your instructions, and ready to assist employees who need guidance, but leave room for your team to bring their own ideas to the table.
Play to Your Team’s Strengths
Forcing a square block into a round hole doesn’t work—and the same applies to people and tasks.
If you know a member of your team struggles with social anxiety, don’t assign them to work face to face with clients. Similarly, if you’ve observed excellent social skills and business savvy in an employee who’s stuck in the office all day, consider reassigning them to a customer-facing role.
At the end of the day, your employees are all human, and knowing how to apply their strengths to achieve the goals of your business is what being a good manager is all about.
Making small changes can make big differences to your team's efficiency and productivity. Use these seven tips to take your team to the next level, and everyone will reap the rewards.
This article is a guest blog written by Riley Richardson. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.