Results come from performance, and the only way to up your company’s results is by tweaking those things that impact how well your team performs. Here are eight ways you can raise your team’s performance:
1. Reduce Repetitive, Time-Consuming Processes
Many projects often require the same type of reports and documents along with signatures. These repetitive, time-consuming processes involve a lot of paperwork and labor to create, send, and receive. Although that time is being used to develop something that can yield a sale or new client, it can all be done more efficiently to raise that productivity.
PandaDoc provides a way to take this process online and provides a collection of templates for these common documents, including proposals, quotes, contracts and more, so that your team does not have to recreate one for every lead or project. The content can be saved so the only time spent is on the personalization of each document.
This reduces the time it takes by more than half. Additionally, your team can also obtain electronic signatures, which further reduces the resources needed, incrementally increasing their productivity.
2. Make Collaboration Easier
Your company most likely reflects the common trend of having a disbursed team with members in every corner of the world. Without that face-to-face contact, many may feel it is difficult to collaborate on work because they cannot get regular updates on what’s been done, what is still needed, and a timeline of when it’s expected. Just having one team member out of the loop can slow down the whole team.
Solutions like Wrike offer a way to bring everyone on the team together in one virtual office where they can interact, message, check on tasks, get updates on what is outstanding and follow-up on assignments. The team becomes more productive when they can use this virtual dashboard to stay up-to-date, grab files, and ask questions. The time used for meetings, email inquiries, and information searches can be slashed. Instead, that time can be used for checking tasks off the list and getting things done.
3. Insist on Regular Breaks for Exercise
Science has proven that people perform better when they take mental and physical breaks away from their desk and work. Involving movement helps get the blood flowing and increases the energy needed to work faster and smarter. Help your staff out by providing them at least two 15-minute breaks where they can choose to walk, do stair climbs, or grab a quick run on the office treadmill.
First, equip them with a free app like StandUp! It reminds the user that it is time to walk away from their desk even when they are deep in thought. Second, encourage them to get a wearable device like FitBit to track their steps and exercise. This helps them create new goals focused on their health while upping their productivity game. Of course, with the FitBit, you can even make it something to gift (See #5 on this list).
4. Show Leadership Cares About Every Individual
There is no external app or platform for this tip because you are the app and platform that can make a difference in your team’s productivity. They want to know that they are doing something meaningful and count in the big picture scheme of things. While you are busy running the company, don’t become too busy that you forget to take the time to get to know each team member personally, including their likes and dislikes, birthdays and work anniversaries, family names, hobbies and whatever else defines them as individuals.
While they are part of a collective effort, they are still people who have opinions and feelings. Knowing you are interested and care can drive them to be more productive because they see what they do matters.
5. Provide Incentives for Meeting Metrics
The carrot on the string approach to improved productivity still works because human nature is drawn to those situations where there is something in it for them. There has to be an underlying reason to be productive and it’s not just a paycheck, chance at a raise, or because it helps the company. While publicly commending a team member for a job well done gives you some leverage, you can go that much farther with actual incentives and rewards.
Not only does it make it fun, but team members also have something that they can take, use, and enjoy outside of work.Others then see the ability to get these rewards and they want to work harder to be the next “winner”. Companies like Tango make it easy for you to integrate an online, service-based rewards model where you can order gift cards across many brands, finding those that fit each team member’s preferences. Personalizing rewards can further increase productivity.
6. Nurture a Balanced Work/Life Culture
As the architect of the company’s culture, you can set the precedent to show the team that it is okay – and very important – to play just as hard as you work.
Creating an environment that offers fun things to do on-site, including team sports and competitions and games as well as plans for social activities off-site can help the team create an effective balance. That social and fun time is also a diversion that can then stimulate creativity and ideas when it is time to work again, driving a higher performance level in a shorter amount of time.
7. Keep Lines of Communication Open
Communication is the WD-40 of productivity because it greases the wheels of team and individual work tasks by providing the information needed to keep moving forward. On the other hand, silence creates the questions and concerns that often stop team members in their tracks. While it can be challenging to have a virtual team, new technology puts everyone in one room and within contact at all times.
There are many options to choose from, including Skype for instant messaging and video calls, as well as Google Hangouts, which actually provides a way to have a free video conference with up to 100 people at a time. Numerous other online video conferencing solutions are available to suit your individual needs and budget, providing a way to stay in touch and on top of all projects, keeping the machine moving at a brisk pace.
8. Provide Ongoing Learning & Skill-Building Opportunities
Learning and gaining new skills is another incentive-based tip that can raise the bar on productivity. Additional knowledge also helps team members do things better and more efficiently. Whether it is introducing them to new software and technology or providing online educational and training opportunities, team members will thrive and transfer that energy into how they perform.
Companies like Brightspace provide engaging e-learning experiences for employees designed to boost productivity while Bunchball is a gamification company that drives engagement through competitions that enhance employee skills and works through enterprise systems like SAP, Salesforce, and Remedyforce.
Bonus: Automate Billing
Billing your customers can either be the biggest pain or a breeze. Without customers and billing working, your business can’t run smoothly. Companies like Due allow companies to auto-bill their customers and get paid online without having to bill them manually each month. With the growing number of freelancers it’s important to have a billing system that works for todays world. They work with several large fortune 500 companies.
While technology is helping to spark productivity among your team, don’t forget that you are the most influential platform, so leverage that human connection to motivate and inspire more for greater satisfaction and success for everyone involved.
Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt,
specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free,
for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that
helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.