Productivity hacks for teams

Productivity Hacks

Ever wondered, why do we work in teams? Why not delegate the task to expert individuals and let them do it one after another?

Well, this is because when a team is formed, the productivity is a multiplicative result of each team member’s capabilities.

To put it in the words of Phil Jackson-

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” 

This simply means that when two or more people come together the result is double than what could’ve been achieved by each of them in isolation.

So the simple answer to the question ‘Why do we work in teams’ is- Teams are more progressive and high on momentum than individuals working in isolation. 

That said, often, the result is contrary. People are gathered, teams are formed but the result is lost. Amidst the ego clashes, lack of leadership and direction, ambiguity in performance and standards of comparison, the true spirit of forming the team is lost.

So, here are some of the productivity hacks to ensure that your team is standing strong by the vision with which it was built and the members get themselves to work in spite of too much distraction like socializing, texting, laziness, etc.

We are sure these hacks will prove to be your savior in increasing your team’s productivity:

1. Set Goals and Divide them Into Bite-Sized Goals.

Ever thought of eating a week’s food in a day? Well, practically that is even futile to think of. Same is the case with the organizations when it comes to task completion on time.

Some employees love the kind of work they get to do and some get crushed under it. Well, it all depends on the enthusiasm, the type of work and the time. But, you would agree that even the most productive person in the organization feel butterflies in the stomach some time or other.

Finishing up everything in a day is quite an impossible mission and such attitude does more harm than good. The exertion of work may lead to fatigue amongst team members, resulting in lower morale and ultimately prove to be counter-productive. Hence, a big goal should be fragmented into daily achievable targets.

These achievable targets are to be completed in a sequence, one at a time and hence are ‘bite-sized’. These targets should be achievable and systematically aligned to the goal.

With the division of the task into the subtask, even the pressure gets divided giving you the peace of mind you need to complete the work.

2. Use a reminder app to create a to-do list.

Now that the bite-sized goals have been created you actually need to start working on it instead of relaxing in the chair! They aren’t going to be finished on their own, right?

So, here starts the real work and reminder apps are of great help.

Reminder apps can be of great help if followed consistently. There are multiple options available, and the best part being many of them are free (for individual usage). A reminder app with your created to-do list will simply intimate you about the task to be completed on the scheduled time you feed into it.When using in groups:

  1. This will keep the group on the same page.
  2. The delegation of work becomes easier.
  3. Sequential tasks to be performed by different members can be planned smoothly.
  4. The flow of information regarding the completion of tasks becomes linear.

3. Have a Weekly Reporting Cycle.

Weekly reporting cycle is an efficient and easier way to keep up with the unfinished and finished task and make space for the upcoming task.

Weekly Reporting is beneficial in the following ways:

  1. Employees get a clear hierarchy of the work to be completed
  2. They would perform at their best to stay in the loop
  3. The transparency is improved and the mistakes are rectified quickly
  4. The accountability and control are maintained throughout

This simple hack can increase both collective and individual productivity exponentially. In these weekly reporting sessions, include the following:

  • Work done so far.
  • What is every member working on?
  • How can the team help the member?
  • Assessment of work done so far. 

Fact: According to 97% employees and executives believe that the lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.

The weekly cycle, when monitored properly, can remove many bottlenecks and unnecessary smaller or bigger complexities, making things simpler and convenient for all the members of the team involved.

4. Follow the 7 Cs of Communication:

Maximum problems faced while working in a team are all because of miscommunication. And they can be eradicated completely if these 7 Cs of Communication are satisfied:

  • Completeness
  • Conciseness
  • Clarity
  • Correctness
  • Consideration
  • Courtesy
  • Concreteness

These 7 Cs are textbook methods to ensure that the communication in your team is effective and efficient.

One may argue about the role communication plays in affecting productivity?

Well, a team member may misinterpret an instruction, the team leader may forget a crucial detail, a subordinate may report in an improper manner. If people from different cultural backgrounds are collaborating, such problems are bound to occur. So communication is definitely essential for a team’s daily tasks. 

In fact, a CMS Wire report stated that 97% respondents believed communications impacted daily tasks.

5. Create an Environment which motivates.

If you wonder whether Work Environment has any significant effect on Employee Productivity, have this:

A fact published by stated a 15% increase in time spent on work in offices which had windows against their windowless counterparts.

Imagine, if a factor as small as windows in the office can affect an employee’s productivity, what will it do to an entire team’s productivity?

As mentioned earlier, a team exemplifies results in an exponential manner. Hence, such components will have a greater impact on the team’s productivity.

So, to ensure your team’s productivity, you may make the following alterations to your work environment:

  • Give the team the right amount of break.
  • Avoid cubicles. They make the environment look more ‘ Creativity cannot foster in such serious environments.
  • Let the employees’ movement be free. Sitting at one place with a poker face don’t guarantee productivity.
  • Make an arrangement for the natural lights, and paint the walls in a mix of green- blue
  • Yoga/meditation/ regular exercise should be encouraged for better mental and physical health.
  • Make a small kitchen where healthy and hygienic food is served.

According to 67% employees with access to free food were ‘Happy’ or ‘Extremely Happy’, and Companies with happy employees registered 20% more annual growth, in comparison to their counterparts.

And remember, Productivity is a quantitative aspect and hacking it a continuous process. Because no matter what, there’s always  a scope for improvement.