In a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of employers reported that their teams lose two hours a day of productive work on average. That's a lot of lost productivity! Any improvements teams can make will directly benefit the company's bottom line as workers finish projects faster and move on to the next one.
The HR team can help other work teams in the company improve their performance by putting guidelines in place for how teams need to function. Providing ongoing training in best practices for how teams work together can also improve performance. Without guidance, teams must fall back on what they know from previous interactions and team experiences, which may not be adequate or effective. More help is usually needed from those who have learned and studied what works best.
Get Input from All Team Members
While guidance will be important for better team performance, team members may have their own ideas and experiences about what works best. HR trainers are wise when they ask for input from team members about how they best work together, affirming and reinforcing the methods that dovetail with best practices while providing some of the missing pieces to help performance improve.
Encourage Clear Defining of Tasks and Roles
When everyone knows what they are supposed to do, they are more likely to focus on doing it and less likely to waste time because they aren't sure what to do. Having defined tasks and roles also helps with accountability because team leaders will know what each person is supposed to be doing and can get them back on track if they stray from their assignments.
Offer a Single, Unified Communication Tool
An online team messenger tool allows team members to communicate and collaborate even when they aren't face-to-face, which can be good for productivity. Besides being able to cut down on the number of time-consuming meetings, a team messenger tool can allow communication to take place even when people are working different shifts or out of the office. Team messenger tools also build trust, camaraderie, and a sense of working together over time.
Use Incentives for Positive Reinforcement
If you want your teams to be really motivated, offering them a reward (incentive) for meeting certain deadlines or otherwise completing the project will help accomplish this goal. While it would be nice if the "satisfaction of a job well done" were enough to motivate most people to do their best, this may not be the case for certain teams. When rewards are added to the equation, many people's competitive urges will also come out and increase motivation even more.
These methods and others will help improve team performance and can be implemented by HR professionals in most cases. For more HR help, contact GDH to see how we can help you reach important productivity goals through improved teamwork.