Having well-functioning teams is critical for a business to have an advantage over its competition.
Just think of some of the more recognisable companies or brands in the world — we’ll find that they all have great teams driving their success. It is extremely rare for anyone or any business to achieve notable success without having highly productive and effective teams.
Oftentimes, when considering improving team performance, a lot of focus is given to different types or training, mentoring or coaching programs. While they are extremely valuable and should always be the foundation of any team improvement initiatives, in my experience, when businesses are under pressure to cut costs, one of the first areas that suffers is employee training.
As training is often seen as a cost rather than an investment in people, continually providing training programs may not be seen as the best solution during difficult times. There are other things that can be done to improve team performance that won’t cost anything.
When done well, not only will it result in bottom-line improvements to a business, it will also create a happier, more enjoyable work environment for team members.
If you’re a leader of a team, here are five simple but effective ways to improve your team performance that won’t cost you anything except for some commitment on your part. If these ideas are applied consistently, it’s inevitable that your team will become a better performing team over time.
- Show more appreciation. People like to be acknowledged and appreciated for the work they do. Sometimes a simple “Thank you!” or ‘Well done!” can go a long way to improving a team’s attitude and morale. Appreciation taps into our need to belong to a community where we feel we’re a valuable contributor.
- Reduce the amount of meetings and/or emails. Nothing destroys productivity more than unnecessary meetings that do not have a clear purpose or are not action-oriented. Team members can easily become unmotivated if actions are not carried out after meetings. Likewise with emails, employees can spend up to 20% of their time reading or responding to emails. Any reduction in emails, will lead to an improvement in how much gets done.
- Empower team members to make decisions. Instead of having meetings to make simple decisions, team members should be given the authority to make decisions on behalf of their team. Obviously the type of decisions team members can make has to be agreed upon beforehand, but once it’s in place, it will save both the team members and leader a lot of time over the long term.
- Challenge team members. This is where having a clear team vision and goals that team members believe and buy into is important because they’re the guideposts which determine what a team should focus on. When team members are challenged to achieve a goal they believe in, that will drive performance and innovation within a team.
- Highlight individual and team success. When having team meetings, any successes, either a team member or the team has achieved, should be highlighted. Success breeds success, and the more it is highlighted, the greater the motivation will be for team members to continue achieving success. Focusing on what’s positive in the team will continue to generate more positivity.
Improving any team comes down to focusing on a few fundamental things. When these things are done right, it will result in improved team performance, unity and harmony amongst all team members. If they’re not done well, then chances are the atmosphere within the team will start to deteriorate over time, which can result in conflict and team members wanting to leave the team.
Question: What is another simple way to improve the performance of a team?
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