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How to Improve Your Teamís Productivity

If you want to maximize your teamís potential, it starts with increasing productivity. Unfortunately, we often overcomplicate this issue by focusing on the wrong things. With a simple shift in how we view this issue, we can make significant strides. What follows are some simple yet highly effective techniques.

Set Smart Goals. We all have goals at the start of a new year. The question is, do you have the right goals? In other words, do you have goals that will move your team to action, or are they just something you talk about?

Most people use the SMART framework when setting goals, but have you considered Micheal Hyattís SMARTER goal system? Itís a slightly nuanced take on the traditional framework, but tends to produce even more effective results. 

With the SMARTER system, you write out each goal to be specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time bound, exciting, and relevant. You can learn more about the specifics of each action item in this goal setting guide.

Abolish To-Do Lists. People have been keeping to-do lists for centuries. Unfortunately, most to-do lists do very little to produce results. And if they do help us organize our thoughts, most items rarely get done. 

Weíre not saying you canít ever make a to-do list, but you should train your team to shift away from writing to-do lists and help them focus on putting those items into action. You do this by scheduling tasks on a calendar Ė not a sticky note. Once something is put on a calendar, itís much more likely to get done. 

Use SMS for Internal Communications. Poor communication will sully even the greatest plan. The problem is that most teams have no idea how to communicate properly Ė and this is an issue that starts from the top of the chain of command.

If you want your team to be on the same page, you have to prioritize good communication. This means switching away from clumsy, slow mediums like email and using modes of communication that your team is already using in their personal life Ė like texting. 

Try SMS software for internal communications. Research shows that 91 percent of all Americans have their mobile device within reach at all times (including while sleeping). This leads to 90 percent of texts being read within 15 minutes of being received and the average user responding within 90 seconds. That means you rarely have to deal with delays in communication.

Hold Fewer Meetings. Nothing slows down your teamís daily productivity more than throwing meetings onto their calendars. Meetings have a way of dividing up an employeeís day and compartmentalizing their time into tiny little chunks that are insufficient for doing meaningful work. The fewer meetings you call, the more productive your team can be.

When you do have meetings, keep them short and straight to the point. Only invite people who absolutely need to be there. If someone merely needs to be kept in the loop, you can just send them the meeting notes aftward.

Encourage New Ideas. As difficult as it is to admit, sometimes we donít fully understand whatís happening in the trenches. We think we do, but itís really just an outside perspective. If you want to maximize productivity, you need to allow individual team members to speak up.

Depending on your workplace culture, some employees may not feel comfortable speaking up or being critical. If you want them to chime in, make sure youíre specifically asking for feedback. This might look like asking each team member to provide two weekly recommendations for how processes could be more efficient.  

Keep Teams Small. Try limiting individual teams to no more than three to five people. Once you get past this point, it becomes difficult to hold individual team members accountable. As the saying goes, if everyone is responsible, nobody is responsible. 

When teams are small, each person carries more weight and responsibility. This causes them to move with greater urgency and conviction, which results in higher levels of productivity across the board.

Give Your Productivity a Boost in 2022

Want your team to be more productive this year? You donít need to initiate some massive organizational change or huge shift in your underlying processes. Sometimes itís as simple as eliminating distractions, increasing focus, and putting your team in the right position at the right time. 

Use the tips in this article as a starting point for doing bigger and better things in 2022.