Ensuring and maintaining team productivity practices is important for any organization, especially a small and growing team. The biggest part of the equation is each individual team member. Hiring productive employees is the foundation of any team or should be.
Here is a list of items I’ve found to be important and have incorporated into our team productivity practices.
This is the obvious one but the most difficult. It’s so easy to get tied up in the day to day activities that communicating with your team can fall to the wayside. There are a few things we do to ensure everyone’s up to date with what’s happening both short and long term with the team and company.
Team Standups are a great tool to keep everyone updated with a quick update. With our team, we have two different standups based on individual focus. During the standup, each member addresses three questions:
- What did you do since the last standup?
- What do you plan on doing till the next standup?
- What impediments do you have?
When each team member addresses these three questions, you may then have a parking lot discussion – a deeper discussion around impediments, or other items that have arisen over the last day of work. It’s called a standup as you are meant to stand (which is healthier for you anyways) to encourage a quicker meeting.
It’s a balance where you don’t want to spend all of your time in meetings but you need to ensure you have proper communication with your team members. We aim for two in-person company meetings a year with other meetings via video conference call or email updates where needed. In our team meetings, we focus on providing a summary of the past several months and direction for the upcoming months.
Employee 1 on 1
Employee 1 on 1’s, I focus on the employee to understand what challenges they may be facing, setting and measuring goals and seeking open and honest feedback as to how I as a manager can improve and help them better.
Having goals that you track and measure progress towards is good for anyone or any company. Without this you’ll slip and lose sight of what you want to accomplish. Having goals written down that you measure towards doesn’t mean that they are written in stone. On occasion, you’ll have to adjust and update your goals based on current priorities. This said, it should be rare that you must do so and if you find yourself having to refocus on a new goal, you need to step back and rethink where you want to go.
Work is, well, work. It’s tough to be on, 100% of the time. Taking time away as a team is important to incorporate into your team productivity practices. This doesn’t have to be a trip to the Caribbean but as simple as lunch or bowling. We head out on team outings twice a year and mix up the activity. We’ve gone bowling, raced go-carts, had a BBQ at the park and other similar activities.
What have you found to be beneficial and that you’ve added to your team productivity practices?