Both great teamwork and productivity are scarce. We won’t waste time describing how important these are for the success of your company.
Here are three remarkable tips to increase productivity and teamwork at your workplace.
Create an environment of trust
If you want to increase teamwork and enhance productivity, you have to set a robust foundation. Highly efficiency teams are able to trust each other and they don’t stay careful or protective around each other. Create an environment where employees are not scared of sharing their weaknesses, skill deficiencies and shortcomings with each other. When employees are truly comfortable around each other, they don’t maintain a protective or defensive attitude. They admit their weaknesses mistakes and ask for help without any fear of being evaluated or judged. They will even take risks in offering feedback to each other.
What is a good way to identify that employees trust each other? They don’t have a fear of conflict. If your team members trust each other, they won’t hesitate in carrying out passionate debates with each other. This may sound counter-intuitive, but constructive conflicts and debates indicate that your team members trust each other. When there is an absence of trust, employees think they will upset the other person if they engage in a passionate or emotional debate. However, it is important that you separate productive conflicts from destructive conflicts. Teams which trust each other and don’t have fear of conflict don’t have boring meetings. They are able to solve problems quickly and minimize politics at the workplace.
You cannot create an environment of trust overnight. Trust is established gradually. You can perform some exercises which enhance trust. For instance, when you conduct a team meeting, ask your team members to share their details with each other. Ask questions like
- Number of siblings
- Challenges they faced growing up
- Favourite hobbies
- Best job
- Worst job
While this exercise sounds simple, it will make them comfortable around each other as they relate to one another.
Get them committed
When employees are committed, they go ahead with complete buy-in from each member and can take quick decisions even when there is not enough data to support the decision. Even when an employee disagrees, they are confident that they don’t hold any grudge or don’t have any doubts in their mind, once a decision is taken.
Seeking consensus in every decision can stand in the way of commitment. Sometimes teams make wrong decisions when things are uncertain. Great teams do make wrong decisions but they are not indecisive. Taking a wrong decision is better than not making a decision at all. Your team members should be committed enough that they are able to unite behind decisions when things are not clear and when they don’t agree with the decision. Bad teams delay decisions when things are uncertain.
When employees are committed, they are able to align the whole team around common objectives and can take huge decisions, which can bring radical changes, without hesitation or guilt.
So, at the end of every meeting, make sure there are no doubts and every employee is moving forward with complete buy-in, even those who voted against the decision.
Make them accountable
Your employees must be able to hold themselves and their peers accountable for performance or behaviour problems. Accountability is different because workers hesitate to tolerate the discomfort that comes when calling out a peer on performance or behaviour problem. Tolerating the interpersonal discomfort, productive and great employees are able to conduct difficult conversations with each other.
Employees who are close to each other find it difficult to call each other out on shortcoming and deficiencies. They think if they do so, their relationship would be jeopardized. What they don’t realise is that if they don’t, they will begin to resent each other for not living up to expectations. If you feel your employees lack interpersonal skills, you can consult companies which provide talent assessment and Advisory Board Services. For instance, a company like Ecap can help you assess the interpersonal skills of your employees which can make them more self-aware and assertive.
When employees hold each other accountable, poor performers are able to improve under the pressure. Also, they are able to recognize and foresee potential problems because they don’t hesitate in asking questions.
A good way to make it easy for the employee to hold each other accountable is by publicly clarifying what is expected from each team and individual. Never leave anything ambiguous. It kills accountability.