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8 Ingenious Ideas that will Improve Teamwork

Do you know why some teams perform better than others? Some of the most common reasons include good leadership skills of the team manager, assigning meaningful tasks which suit team capabilities, building healthy relationships among team members, and nurturing a healthy and open environment.

A team is a set of individuals with mixed backgrounds, experience, preferences and accomplishments. Hence, as a team leader/manager, you need to manage the different capabilities and experiences of each team member in a way which promotes teamwork and effective coordination. Working together towards the bigger picture can serve to motivate team members and encourage productivity at an individual level.

Factors such as complex task distribution and disagreement on professional or personal values may negatively affect the productivity of team members. Effective team management can greatly improve the strengths of your team members and convert their skills into practical solutions.

The following are eight ingenious ideas to improve teamwork, without having to micro-manage your team.

  1. Set Understandable Goals

Your team includes many different individuals, who may or may not be self-motivated. Hence, it is important to know your team members and their capabilities before setting achievable goals. These may include planning routine tasks and making weekly plans for a project, or setting quarterly goals, depending on the work and your team’s ability to take the initiative. Clear goals encourage team members to maximise their input, and helps ensure lesser time or cost overruns in a project. It may be worthwhile to sit down with each of your employees privately to get a better understand of how they work, if you don’t already know. You can then create goals for them based on the insights they give you.

  1. Improve Team Communication

Effective communication and coordination helps establish a productive and positive work environment, which in turn encourages team members to lend a helping hand whenever required, or seek help when they need it. Good communication between team leaders and members is the key to building an open, positive and supportive environment.  Look into communication platforms such as Slack which you and your employees can use to communicate. You should also have a staff break area so that when employees aren’t on the clock, they can sit and talk to one another about something other than the task they’re working on.

  1. Implement a Team Planner

Disputes in a team can arise due to unavailability of resources, the assignment of complex tasks or close and pressing deadlines. However, documenting your team’s routine tasks and holding meetings on a regular basis to keep them updated consumes a lot of time, which can lead to stress among team leaders. Thus, you need to look at alternative options.

Implementing team planning software can help save you from the daily stress of having to micro-manage your team. This software has features which additionally help in reducing the chances of human error and can save time with easy to use features. For example, the ‘drag and drop’ feature of Timewax’s online planner enables the team to effectively schedule tasks and set deadlines which can be made instantly available to all team members who are working on the project.

Furthermore, the team planner also automatically updates the task status at the end of the day, depending on the information entered by team members. An investment of this kind allows you to save time and energy, while improving team coordination and communication.

  1. Set Individual Recognition Programs/Rewards

Regular encouragement to team members can be the key to keeping them motivated and productive. You can use recognition programs and rewards to appreciate the hard work of your team members. This in turn can help build a sense of ownership while encouraging them to think beyond personal gains.

Monetary rewards are often the first thing that springs to most manager’s minds, but an increase in salary or a bonus isn’t the only option. For example, here are 101 other ways you can reward employees.

If you don’t feel comfortable with giving individual rewards, you could set something up for the whole team, such as a fun corporate day out at the end of the working month.

  1. Promote Honesty and Trustworthiness

Transparency at work can lead to enhanced productivity, open communication and trust among team members. Hence, it is important for managers to promote honesty and trustworthiness by encouraging freedom of expression and thoughts and encouraging innovative solutions offered by the members. This can lead to unbiased solutions to problems and make members feel that they are valued. By promoting this kind of work environment, you will be able to encourage a sense of belonging among team members which can lead to enhanced productivity.

  1. Encourage Self-Assessment

Team members feel discouraged when they sense biasness in your planning and decisions. This mostly happens when the members of your team compare their assignments, workload or even pay scales with other teams, without taking into consideration their capabilities and past performance. This creates conflict and loss of interest in work, leading to decreased motivation and productivity. Self-assessment reduces the chances of conflict and encourages a positive approach towards mutual resolution on any type of disagreement.

  1. Encourage Innovation, Self-Reliance and Contribution

Acceptance of innovative ideas and plans put forward by team members can promote individual contribution and productivity as it makes people feel valued. When you believe in the capabilities of your co-workers and team members, it is important to promote the concept of self-reliance. This can result in decreased workload and can help promote team and individual contribution.

  1. Promote Open-Work Environment

The concept of an open-work environment is now being implemented in many organisations. The ease of access improves information flow, increases accountability and boosts a sense of belonging among team members.

For easy management and timely completion of projects, it is necessary to avoid conflicts and disputes among team members. Effective teamwork can help promote a healthy work environment and maximise business revenue.