7 Ways to Improve Team Efficiency and Productivity

May 22, 2016

Managing a marketing team is not easy. Managing ANY team is not easy, for that matter. Take that from anyone who has done group projects in school. Grouping different kinds of people together leads to clashes in opinion, disarray and lots of miscommunication – however, if handled well and given a similar goal to work towards, most groups of people banded together can achieve the same unity we all see in shutterstock images (that we are all so envious of, I mean… how are those people always smiling?!).


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Before we’re all left pondering too deeply about the truth and philosophies behind stock images, let’s get into the depth of something that would be of actual use. To understand efficiency and productivity better, let’s get our basic definitions straight, shall we?


Efficiency signifies a level of performance that describes a process that uses the lowest amount of inputs to create the greatest amount of outputs. Efficiency relates to the use of all inputs in producing any given output, including personal time and energy.


Productivity on the other hand is an average measure of the efficiency of production. It can be expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in the production process, i.e. output per unit of input. When all outputs and inputs are included in the productivity measure, it’s called total productivity.


Efficiency affects productivity, which thereby affects profitability. How, you ask? Well, when you use the least amount of input, while to get the maximum amount of output, you save cash. (Ding ding ding! PROFIT! Also read as total sales – total costs = profit. So, reduced costs = more profit).


Profitability is usually one of the main objectives of any business, so improving efficiency and productivity should be standard, because… who wants to waste money, right?


Team Building Activities


For a team to work together efficiently and productively, it is of vital importance that the team members get along. The relationships the members have with each other will be the backbone of any team, otherwise a myriad of problems are likely to occur. So, the best idea would be to get your team involved in activities that would strengthen their relationships with each other. Here is a list of very useful team-building activities.


You may have to choose the activities that related to your business or the kind of team you ideally wanted to build. However, telling you from the experience, they actually help build a winning team.


Training


Staff productivity depends largely on the skills of the employees. In the case of marketing, training can help staff member increase their knowledge about what’s new is happening within the field so that they are better equipped at handling their tasks. Employees can join to conferences, webinars, read new books related to the subject or even best, you can involve them in a training program online.


In our case, we are a marketing agency and we believe that marketing is about creativity and creativity has no set rules and its changing all the time. So, if you want a winning marketing team that take your business and branding to the next level, you need to invest in training programs. A lot more than you think, you should.


Listen to your Employees


This one is understood, but communication is ESSENTIAL. You have to understand the needs of your employees, and also, any ideas that they might have. If employees feel sidelined, it will affect their motivation levels, which will, ergo affect their efficiency and productivity. So, be sure to be there for your employees. Give importance to their ideas, some might be pretty useful.


Another reason why you should be listening to your employees, way more than you are at the moment is because they are the real force behind your system. If they feel unheard, your system of profitability will affect negatively. Long story short, happy employee is directly proportional to healthy profitable business.


Financial Incentives


Generally, employees seek jobs to gets paid. However, since we’re dealing with humans here, the relationship between standard payment and the work produced doesn’t simplistically pertain to the laws of cause-and-effect – other factors does come into play.


Motivation, for one, can dwindle and that can affect the performance of employees, which, in turn can affect efficiency (and well, you know the rest). So, some extra financial incentives can get some gears working. Performance-related-pay or a bonus for the ‘employee of the month’ would definitely motivate the employees to be more efficient.


Delegation of Responsibility


I worked in under different organizations and one major flaw I see that creates frustration among teams. If you are not going to assign tasks based on SWOT analysis, you will see unnecessary pressure within the team and that will create demotivation amount those who are better performer among others.


The idea is to understand your team better (by identifying their strengths and weaknesses) you would be able to assign tasks based on strengths, or skills you know your team members want to sharpen. It’ll keep your top performers from being overloaded and help your whole team improve and stay engaged, while keeping the whole ordeal efficient.


Appropriate Management Style


Again, with understanding your team better, you would be able to understand their needs better and also, would be able to ascertain which management style would be appropriate for them. If your team members are experienced, then you can adopt a free-reign or (‘laissez-faire’) leadership style with them, leaving them to their own devices. If your team members are inexperienced, then you can adopt a more paternal leadership style, guiding them through their tasks.


The risks of adopting the wrong leadership styles are high. Let’s hypothetically assume that you adopt a free-reign leadership style with inexperienced team members. If you leave them to their own devices, they would be lost.


Define Roles and Tasks Clearly


Miscommunication can lead to a lot of disarray, but if you take care of that, the team can proceed smoothly with the work. For this purpose, tasks must be given with clear-cut instructions and what is expected of the team members. When there is clarity about who does what, people are much more likely to take ownership of their individual tasks.


There are tons more ideas to build a team that’s efficient as well as productive but I tried to cover few of the important points above. Try these ideas and building a winning team for your business.

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