You might think you know your team, seemingly working away and giving it their all day in and day out. But, ultimately, when your back’s turned, they might not be as productive as you think. You see spreadsheets and inter-departmental communication over your shoulders, but once you return to your desk, your guys’ screens could be filled with funny videos and instant messaging between one another. And, let’s be honest, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
We all know that keeping people happy at work is giving them the chance to blow off steam. But there’s a big increase in productivity that can be achieved, even while allowing people to enjoy some lighthearted fun at work, instead of feeling like office drones; those that turn up, log on, and graft their fingers to the bone. That doesn’t work for anyone. Recent studies suggest that a 23% increase in efficiency can be achieved in a number of ways – read on to learn what they are.
Know Your Strengths and Play to Them
It’s human nature for some people to be better at some tasks than others. John Doe might kill it when it comes to data entry whereas Jane Doe could be a whizz at conceptualizing ways to streamline tasks. Being a good boss and driving productivity means recognizing this. If you can’t, you’re passing up the perfect opportunity to get systems running smoother.
Get your guys doing what they’re good at – it’s on you to put this in place. You can do this in a number of ways, be it individual sit-downs with your employees or a group thought session. Getting your team to fess up to their strengths isn’t all too easy – no one likes to blow their own trumpet, after all – but the team surrounding your communication ace in the hole will gladly express how well they nail this task.
If you’d prefer, you could seek out this info privately over email, but you’re missing the chance to get personal and strengthen your relationship with your team there. In practical terms, email and task management, among various other tasks, are key to increasing efficiency. Get the right person on the job.
Build, Build, Build
At the end of the day, we all go back to our separate homes, lead our separate lives, and have our own separate expectations of how we can better enjoy office life. Keeping that linear, typical relationship with your team, though, means you’re not tapping into the ways you can grow positivity and efficiency, and this only serves to perpetuate the detachment you have from the ones you need to count on.
Ultimately, this leads to the people you count on seeing work as nothing other than work; perceiving goals as something that they may know they need to complete, but there’s no loyalty there. That could be brand loyalty or loyalty to their own contributions and, really, you.
Being a good boss is evident to everyone in the team and to those on the outside. People need to feel like a part of something, and the mentality of not letting you down isn’t sufficient for the long term. Make yourself one of the guys – arrange nights out, eat out together, even go bowling, or laser tag. Creating bonds and building a team that’s defined off-paper will motive your guys to push their output beyond the usual.
Praise But Give Space
It’s all too easy to give your team members the impression that no news is good news; that they only hear something when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have. Take the time out for individual check-ins – be sure to praise your staff for good work, even if it’s the usual work they do every day.
Just remember that you can go too far with praise and that not everyone feels comfortable with it, to begin with. Knowing the people you work with and what they respond to is key here. But everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions, especially when they go above and beyond and making people feel like they play a role in keeping the wheels turning can do wonders for output efficiency.