How to Improve Group Productivity

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You can have a productive team.
You can have a productive team. (Image: business teamwork image by Andrey Kiselev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Productivity is the most vital component of any business in operation. On every level, team members must learn to work together to achieve company goals and initiatives. A successful manager or supervisor can guide employees in a manner designed to increase performance by following six steps.

Give clear instructions based on your company's policies, initiatives and requirements. As a leader, people will look to you for direction. Having clear directions will help the group more efficiently and quickly complete a project and eliminate the need to redo components completed incorrectly.

Study the members of your group until you know their strengths, weaknesses, skills and needs. Balance the group to ensure a broad mix of abilities. This is more likely to produce results quickly and accurately.

Establish clear expectations for everyone in the group. Set a reasonable time frame to complete the project. Do not overload or underload any one member of the team, or feelings of antagonism might develop that would reduce overall group productivity.

Adapt to situational needs. In real-world situations, emergencies will arise. This can create unbalanced performances, and someone may need to step in and shoulder more than his fair share of the project's responsibilities. Preparing people to cover for others or pitch in if necessary will ensure that no part of the project gets dropped and that the group is more productive overall. This will eliminate the need for last-minute scrambling to complete projects.

Recognize and reward team members that exceed expectations. People need recognition for jobs well done, and if they know their efforts will be appreciated and recognized, they will work harder for the organization. Support the growth of individuals' skills so they will bring their new skills to later projects.

Assess the team's performance at the end of each project. Reevaluate skills if necessary, and measure each member's contribution and productivity. Revise your strategy, if needed, before the next project commences.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make an example of yourself--be a visible part of the team and let your people know they can approach you with problems, ideas, or other concerns.
  • In every group there will be under- and over-achievers; be prepared to smooth over any group disputes resulting from a disparity in contributions.

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