As leaders, we all want to build a highly productive team. Having worked with a multitude of executive leaders, we can tell you that many in leadership tend to think their teams are highly productive and produce results. While this may be true, there is still always room for improvement.
Simply put, a good team is just that: it’s good. But a productive team is different. A productive team is formed when employees truly feel cared for and are engaged. Therefore, the key to creating a productive team and a positive workplace culture is rooted in strong collaboration and communication.
Here are three steps to help you build a productive team.
#1: Encourage Open Communication
As a leader, you model the behaviors you want your team to embody, as well as set the stage for what you want your company’s workplace culture to look like. Being open and transparent encourages your team to take the same approach. You want your team to feel comfortable discussing new ideas, issues and practicing the healthy art of debate. By encouraging open communication, your team establishes great synergy as a result. Not only does this allow your team to be productive, but it also allows them to feel valued and engaged.
#2: Establish A Baseline For Trust
A team cannot succeed, let alone operate, without trust. Establish a baseline that allows your team to feel safe. By doing so, you’ll see your employees freely discuss ideas or share concerns without the fear of judgment. And, don’t forget that as a leader it’s your job to create a safe space for your team members to experiment and fail. Mistakes will inevitably happen, which is part of the learning curve in any office environment. One of the things we tell our clients is, “We are not who we think we are, we are the perception of others.” As a leader, we need to provide an environment where team members can safely share creative ideas.
#3: Continually Support and Nurture The Team
These strategies are not one and done. In order to attain (and then maintain) a highly productive, performing team you must support and nurture your employees. Collaboration is the backbone to your strategy, and what you should build your culture around. Promote, encourage, model and support this principle continually and you will see success. If you ever sense collaboration or morale is low, consider team building. Team building is highly effective in helping teams come together, thrive and perform.
Whether you’ve had the same team for years, or are in the process of building a new team, we can assure you that you want your team to be both engaged and productive. A collaborative team is particularly important to the millennial generation. Because millennials are now the largest working demographic, we’d urge you to be responsive to this as you evaluate or build your team moving forward.
If you’re looking for some additional resources, we’d recommend Good To Great, and The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team. For more tips on how to motivate your team, or how to ensure your team performs, just give us a call. If you still have a question, or are interested in our team development services, contact us today.