The 3 Keys To Building A World-Class, Super-Productive Team
The term “work” has a lot of negative connotations attached to it. For most people, hearing the word conjures up images of drudgery, glancing up at the clock and stumbling through uninteresting tasks while consuming copious amounts of caffeine. In fact, being happy at work might seem like a completely alien concept for a lot of folks.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re constantly trying to optimize the way you and your employees work. After all, your business is only as good as your team. And new research suggests that keeping your team happy is one of the best ways to increase productivity.
In this study, titled “Happiness and Productivity”, researchers Andrew J Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi of the University of Warwick definitely demonstrated that happy workers are more productive. The study reports that companies like Google and other major players in Silicon Valley are now investing significantly in employee satisfaction, and their output has really gone up as a result. At Google, the productivity increase was as much as 37%!
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small startup with a handful of employees, there are ways that you can improve the happiness level and in turn, the productivity of your team. Let’s take a look at how you can go about doing this.
· Let your employees do their thing.
Nobody likes extreme micromanagement. By constantly telling your workers what to do and checking in on every minute of their day, you are doing everyone a disservice. This doesn’t mean that you give your employees carte blanche, but you can certainly take away a little of the control and empower them to make their own decisions. We all know about companies who have very strict internet policies, often restricting access to anything but work-related websites. However, restricting internet access like this doesn’t necessarily make your team more productive. It just makes them resentful.
How to go about it
- Lay down clear milestones.
If you have set clear, unambiguous goals for your employees to achieve, then there’s no need for you to micromanage how they achieve these targets. This serves two purposes – it allows your team the freedom to choose their path, and it gives you a clear way to measure their output. If they want to check their Facebook profile for a few minutes, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re achieving the goals you set out for them.
- Incentivize your employees.
Recognizing and appreciating good work goes a long way towards improving employee satisfaction and productivity. Make sure you take the time to acknowledge good performers and reward them with some kind of incentive – free lunches, gift certificates, hampers etc.
- Let go of the 9-5 paradigm.
While there is something to be said for having your employees present in the office for certain portions of the day, it doesn’t really matter when as long as the work is getting done. Some people work better in the morning, while others like to get started around noon. Keep it flexible.
- Train your team.
Make sure you offer your employees the opportunity and the time to update their knowledge and learn about new tools and tactics. The time you spend on educating your employees will pay off handsomely when they become more productive and efficient.
· Improve your communication.
One of the best ways to improve your team’s productivity is to lay out exactly what it is you want them to do. Don’t leave too much space for interpretation or conjecture. By being forthcoming with your team, you gain trust and respect in their eyes.
How to go about it
- Be a good listener.
Communication isn’t just you speaking and your employees listening. Make sure you take the time to listen to feedback and ideas from your employees. Show them that you’re willing to entertain good ideas.
- Don’t stray from the topic at hand.
When you’re communicating an idea or concept to your team, don’t take the conversation to a dozen different places at once. Make sure you keep your communication concise and to-the-point.
- Make eye contact.
While this might seem like an obvious thing, it is becoming a lost art nowadays. Eye contact increases engagement and shows that you are focusing on the conversation at hand.
- Empower your team.
Once in a while, make sure you let your employees into the decision-making process. If they feel like they’re part of a team and not just employees, they are more likely to take their work seriously.
· Improve the work culture at your company.
Your employees are more likely to perform well if they’re excited by the idea of going to the office every day. If they feel like they’re droning away at a joyless job, they’re likely to get burned out and quit.
How to go about it
- Invest in your team’s health.
By offering team members perks such as a gym membership, regular counseling sessions with fitness and nutrition experts and keeping healthy snacks around the office, you create a stress-free and welcoming environment.
- Pay your employees well.
This is another crucial piece of the puzzle. It has been proven time and again that companies who share more of the profit pie with their employees have a happier, more dedicated workforce.
- Offer attractive leave options.
Nobody likes the idea of having to go through 11 people to approve a couple of days off. By having a relaxed leave policy, your employees are less likely to feel burned out and trapped.
- Respect your employees’ privacy.
It’s not a great idea to email your workers at 2 AM about a meeting they’re supposed to attend the next morning. You need to ensure that your employees are able to switch off work mode and enjoy their lives outside the office without feeling like they’re constantly answerable to you.
Building a productive, happy workforce isn’t easy. However, it’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your business succeeds. Think of investing in your employees’ happiness as one of the costs of doing business. As Google’s success in this arena proves, a happy team is a productive team.
You know what else is great for increasing productivity? Not having to worry about a ton of paperwork. With Dubsado, you can automate several recurring tasks such as client follow-ups, scheduling, invoicing and others so that you have time to focus on the big picture.