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
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
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
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
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
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.