We’ve been working with teams and businesses over the past few years, aiming to boost their efficiency and effectiveness. We have seen all sorts of ways people work – while they’re in the office, during travel, and when they get back home. And we’ve noticed that the one thing that has a huge impact on people’s productivity is their workspace. No matter how much technology helps us be present anywhere and anytime, we need to create an environment at the office that will enhance creativity and innovation. In this article, RisePath shows you how you can build an efficient and effective team.
Efficient teams are effective teams. Efficient teams move fast, produce great results and have a lot of fun while doing it. The flip side is that inefficient teams are often ineffective and they hate their work. You know you’re on an inefficient team when you have to wait for things to get done, when you’re unhappy and when there’s a lot of drama.
So how can you boost your team’s efficiency?
It all starts with the leader. The best thing any leader can do is to remove roadblocks for their team. If there’s something that slows down your team, if there’s something that frustrates them, then fix it or delegate fixing it to someone else — because if you don’t fix those roadblocks, your team will spend more time complaining about the roadblock than actually doing the work.
The second thing leaders should do is to make sure their team has enough headroom. If a team doesn’t have enough headroom then they’re constantly stressed out and they just think of work as something they have to do as opposed to something they want to do. So if your team doesn’t have enough headroom right now, take a step.
Here are some tips from our team to boost your team’s efficiency and effectiveness:
- Create a functional space
It’s important for your team to have a workspace that makes collaboration easy. There should be plenty of meeting rooms with comfortable chairs, whiteboards, and projectors so that everyone can join meetings without having to leave their desks.
A couple of casual areas with comfortable armchairs will be perfect for having quick discussions or relaxing during lunch breaks. It is not advisable to have too many informal meeting spaces as people tend to move away from their desks and stop working for extended periods of time.
Team members are often unengaged at work. They don’t understand the larger goals of their organization and how they fit in.
Good communication skills can help boost your team’s efficiency and effectiveness. Here are a few tips:
- Set and track attainable goals
If your team is missing deadlines or isn’t performing up to your expectations, it may be because you haven’t set specific, measurable goals. The best way to set attainable goals is to use the SMART method:
- Specific — a well-defined goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than one that is not.
- Measurable — goals should be measurable so you can track progress toward accomplishing them. For example, a goal that can be tracked is “increase our sales by 15% by the end of the year” instead of “increase our sales this year.”
- Attainable — if the goal you have set seems too hard to achieve, it will only lead to frustration among your employees and will deter them from working toward its accomplishment. Instead, break down large goals into small steps that are easier to accomplish.
- Realistic — setting unrealistic expectations will only discourage your employees and make them feel incompetent.
- Timely: it should be completed in a specific duration.
When you’re in charge of a team, you want your people to be as efficient and effective as possible. The best way to do that is to set and track attainable goals. You can do this with the following steps:
- Clarify roles and tasks
You need to help everyone understand exactly what they’re supposed to accomplish. They should all know what their job entails, and what’s expected of them.
- Review performance regularly
Check-in frequently so that you can make sure things are progressing on time, within budget, and according to plan. You also want to be able to address any hiccups as quickly as possible.
- Communicate openly
Encourage questions, feedback, and discussion about the project at hand. Nothing will slow things down more than when crucial information gets lost in translation.
Setting attainable goals and deadlines will help to keep your team focused and on track. If you want to achieve something big, be sure to break it down into smaller goals with their own deadlines. That way you can track the progress of each team member and make sure the work is being completed on time.
It’s also important to clarify roles and tasks for each member of your team. This will help to prevent any confusion or duplication of work. You can even ask each person to write a short report that explains what they’re working on and when they expect it to be finished.
This way, everyone will know what others are working on and you’ll have a clear understanding of how close you are to completing the project. You can also use this as an opportunity to provide feedback if anything needs to be tweaked or fixed in order for the project to move smoothly forward.
Every team member should be able to connect their role to the overall goal. And you need to explain that connection, clearly and repeatedly.
Ideally, each person should have a set of tasks that align with their role so they can see how their work drives your organization toward its vision.
If your employees don’t know what you expect from them, it can be a challenge for them to be efficient and effective team members.
You can open regular conversations about roles and responsibilities. This will help you clarify expectations and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Another way to boost efficiency is to make sure your employees understand how they contribute to your company’s bottom line. The more employees understand how they are part of the bigger picture, the better they’ll feel about their work—and the more motivated they’ll be to do a good job.
Finally, make sure employees have access to the tools that will help them do their jobs efficiently. If workers are spending too much time trying to get an outdated software system or piece of equipment to work, you may need an upgrade. Consider getting RisePath PlanCentral.