Top 7 Strategies for Improving Productivity In your Team
By Robert Hoffman
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Most people do not get the oppurtunity to hand pick the team that reports to them. Therefore you have to take the good with the bad. First (and this is the easy part) you will need to determine who your high fliers are. Second you will need to identify those in the middle of the pack. By now you will know who your bottom feeders are, this is your biggest challenge.
- Concentrate on your middle performers.
They are most likely just in need of some coaching and a little TLC. Find out if they are happy with their current assignment. A change in scenery may be all they need to move to the head of the pack.
- Improve or remove.
When dealing with your bottom feeders,give them a chance to improve but if they do not have the skills, let them go. Best to let them pursue other career options than in another business than kill off yours. Sometimes even the best attitude towards the job won't get it done if they can't do the job. For example I would love to be the starting quarterback for the carolina Panthers. It doesn't mean I would be any good at it.
- Encourage Creative thinking.
Allow your team to come up with their own unique solutions and ways of meeting their daily tasks. A new idea that one of them provides may benefit the entire team making your position as the team leader just a bit easier.
- Work with them, not against them.
Don't become a roadblock to your team and their pursuit of the objectives. Too many managers will make decisions and bog them down with unneccessary procedures because "That's the way it has always been done."
- Clearly define any and all expectations and objectives.
Relaying results that are expected by corporate standards is one thing. Making sure the team understands them and how the numbers are generated is another. Take the time with them as a group and as individuals to ensure they fully understand what it is they are trying to accomplish.
- Celebrate all wins and learn from losses.
Reward them and praise them whenever they do well. A winning attitude should be rewarded, it will become contagious. Instead of punishment for mistakes, learn from it. This will help to ensure that not only the individual willl make the same mistake again, but the rest of the team will be more likely to avoid it as well.
- Be loyal to the team and its mission.
Long ago when I was a Platoon sergeant in the Marines, the priorities were Mission, Team, Individual. Treat it the same way. Focus on your mission and keep the team on the same path. Always deliver on your promises to the team and treat all members fairly.Having them believe in you as their leader is crucial.
Robert Hoffman is a former Marine and Manager with Verizon Communications. He has received 3 Verizon excellence awards for productivity,was awarded for best work center team work and highest productivity for the year in 2002. He has also received the Verizon Heroes award for saving the life of a fellow employee.
Article Submitted On: September 09, 2006