Leading a team can involve a lot of finesse. When you have creative and competent employees, the process can appear deceptively easy. But to draw out consistently strong performances (and to improve and evolve over time), you have to take a multifaceted approach.
On a rotating basis, you can become task-master, psychologist, friend, rival and mentor. Like raising children or coaching a team, managing a strong team goes well beyond the simple task of assigning roles and reviewing performance.
There are techniques you can use to tap into higher levels of performance. Here are five tricks you can use to maximize productivity:
This is the simplest solution to driving additional output. It comes down to a basic calculation. People work for money. Offer more money, and you can get more work out of them.
However, the rewards don’t have to come in cash. If your resources are thin, you can substitute smaller rewards to spark that extra push. A $20 gift card for the week’s MVP. An extra day off. A special lunch for the office if certain targets are met.
Seemingly tiny inducements can encourage people to give the little additional oomph it takes to meet a preset goal. String out enough of these carrots and you can lead your team a long way.
Nothing drives excellence like a competitive spirit. Ali and Frazier. Brady and Manning. LeBron and Steph. A little rivalry can spur higher levels of achievement.
Tap into this by devising ways to turn productivity into a friendly game among your employees.
There’s a warning that goes with this one, though: don’t let it go too far. What starts as friendly competition can easily descend into back-biting and infighting. You don’t want to spark an office Armageddon just to squeeze a little extra output.
Improve the Workspace
Drab, dreary surroundings can sap enthusiasm and stymie creativity. On the other hand, a pleasant physical environment can help brighten attitudes and induce teamwork.
Open up as much natural light as possible. Arrange workspaces in a way that encourages the highest level of productivity. Add plants. Consider providing snacks and beverages for the break room.
Small, simple (and inexpensive) upgrades to your workspace can make people more comfortable, leading to improved morale and a higher level of performance.
Give Frequent Feedback
It’s easy to assume people act only to maximize their paychecks, but don’t underestimate the power of psychology to drive performance. Motivational speeches probably only actually work in corny movies, but you can get a lot out of your team by asking, and showing you appreciate the effort.
Provide feedback as often as possible. It gives you a framework to deliver encouragement. It also lets you fine-tune processes. Frequent discussions with your employees gives you chance to say “you’re doing great…but maybe we can work on this.”
Frequent feedback lets you build your team members’ confidence, enrich your relationships with them and promote incremental improvement.
Keep Production Targets Short and Transparent
Keep timelines short and let people know exactly what you expect from them. This discourages procrastination and lets you monitor things more closely.
Also, set output levels just slightly beyond an employee’s comfort zone. Not so much that they start pulling their hair out, but far enough out that they have to stretch slightly to reach them.
Motivation gets easier when you have a strong team to start with. Partnering with a strong recruiting partner, like PrideStaff, lets you assemble the creative, enthusiastic workers you need to drive growth in your business.
Contact PrideStaff Bend today to find out more.
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