I’m the type of entrepreneur who likes to do it all. I find it tempting to get involved with every project and deal with every problem personally. I have to curb this instinct, however, to avoid getting burned out and reap the benefits of having a competent team working with me.
In your business or at the office, no one person can take on every role. Especially if you are looking to expand your business, learning how to use teamwork to increase productivity is important.
The first step to begin using teamwork to increase productivity is assembling the right team. When you are looking for people to join your team, focus on qualifications and compatibility. A qualified team that works well together will be more stable in the long run. Finding the right people is a process, so take the time you need to assemble your team.
The only way working with a team will increase productivity is if the members are qualified. Think about the type of work you want to delegate. Look for people who have experience doing the kind of work you need. Qualified individuals may even have a better understanding of how to help you increase productivity and will bring their own ideas to the table about streamlining your company’s work process.
After you’ve found people who have experience in your line of work, make sure your team is compatible. The whole point of teamwork is to create a collaborative environment, and that won’t happen if you don’t work well with your team. A compatible team is made up of people who have good rapport and feed off of each other’s productive energy—avoid any applicants with an every-man-for-themselves mentality.
When it comes to your business, it can be difficult to give up control. But if you want to increase productivity, you need to learn to delegate tasks. The reason you are using teamwork to increase productivity is because you can’t do it alone.
When you delegate tasks, you will most likely be overseeing the completion of the work. In this respect, you will maintain some control over the work. It’s up to you to decide who does what, and give feedback on the work being done.
Delegating tasks also gives you a fresh perspective. Maybe some of your business practices are limiting your ability to increase productivity, but you aren’t sure how to improve them. Bringing in experienced individuals with unique perspectives will help you find creative solutions to increase productivity.
As you begin working closely with others, take time to observe their personal strengths. While everyone you bring on should be qualified, everyone on your team likely has extra strengths that you can use to further increase productivity. Consider these strengths when you are delegating tasks. The stronger your team is, the more you can grow and expand.
Now that you’ve assembled your team, pay attention to the work environment you create. Creating a positive work environment increases efficiency and productivity. If the people you employ feel a sense of camaraderie in the workplace, they are more likely to do their best work.
Communication is a major component of increasing productivity. Not only do you want to have a good rapport with your team, but the actual teamwork depends on your ability to communicate objectives. Team members should feel free to ask clarifying questions, bring up concerns, and introduce new ideas.
If you create an environment where people don’t feel comfortable communicating, productivity will suffer and expansion will stagnate.
When Google studied what elements makes the perfect team, they discovered those teams that fostered psychological safety were the most successful. Teams that could have fun, and that could share personal and emotional conversations were those that became most effective.
Open communication is great, but excessive communication will hurt efficiency. Wasting your employees’ time with excessive e-mails and meetings will cut down on the time they spend working. Details might also slip through the cracks if your employees spend a lot of their time sifting through full inboxes. Streamline your communication by cutting back on e-mails, and only bringing in the relevant people to meetings.
In addition to distracting your employees from their work, excessive communication also brings down morale. Cutting back on constant communication is part of delegating and building trust with the people you hire.
Cutting back on excessive communication is the first step to giving your team space to succeed. No one likes to be micromanaged, so once you have properly trained your employees, let them do their work without hovering over their shoulders.
Of course you will be managing progress and monitoring productivity, but if you hired a qualified team, the best way to increase productivity is to give employees a certain amount of independence.
Even when you bring on experienced people, you will still need to provide them with the right tools to succeed. Continually update your employees with the latest information in your field, new business practices, and the latest computer equipment, and any other extra information or tools that will improve their work.
People do their best work when they have fresh eyes. No one likes to be overworked, so allow your employees time to shift focus or take a break from challenging work.
Performance review is necessary in the workplace. Let your employees know how to grow and improve and praise them when they are doing well or find a new strength.
Although most of the tips I’ve discussed apply to any kind of workplace, remember you are using teamwork to increase productivity. Use collaboration to generate new ideas, come up with solutions, and get things done—better and faster.
Although some of the work you delegate will be individual, stress teamwork by creating opportunities for collaboration. People often get stuck when they only have one perspective, so letting your team communicate and contribute to group work will improve the quality of the work as well as help to increase productivity.
Building the right team, delegating tasks, maintaining a positive work environment, and stressing collaboration are the keys to learning how to use teamwork to increase productivity. Remember that delegation and teamwork free up your time to focus on innovating and expanding your business.
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LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR
After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.