People are the cornerstone of every good business. Throughout my career as an entrepreneur, I've made a point of recruiting candidates who, like me, are driven by work efficiency and team effectiveness.
Everyone on my team wants to do well. It's my job to create an environment in which they can naturally thrive. How did I do it?
1. Create a collaborative culture.
When it comes to work efficiency, establishing a collaborative culture is key.
I've found that building strong relationships with employees is the first step. I've done this by:
- scheduling regular check-ins,
- tracking goals and progress together,
- developing a firm understanding of their strengths,
- telling them you appreciate them and
- hearing them out.
Implementing a project management system that automatically tracks tasks and sends reminders can help improve delivery rates.
Making sure each person feels valued creates a supportive and productive environment. Forming strong bonds with your employees sets the foundation for them to form strong bonds with each other.
Team effectiveness is built from a place of cohesion. If your employees are invested in the process, you are already halfway there.
2. Hire people who crave work efficiency.
When I was building my agency, Tote + Pears, I needed the right team to support my vision. I needed more than just skilled employees—designers, strategists and content creators—I needed people whose core values and goals aligned with my own.
But hiring was just the beginning. As a leader, it is also my responsibility to create opportunities for my people to feel connected to their work and each other. Team building is an essential part of running a successful business.
If you are looking to maximize work efficiency, the people you hire should also be driven by team effectiveness. Once you employ the right people, it's easy to give them the space that they need to succeed.
3. Set up systems that improve team effectiveness.
Organization contributes significantly to work efficiency. Set up structures that help your team to succeed.
For example, implementing a project management system that automatically tracks tasks and sends reminders can help improve delivery rates. In most Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, you can add workflows and templates that help employees stay connected with your customers.
Making use of automated systems to better manage time can boost team effectiveness.
4. Delegate tasks.
Try building work efficiency into your processes. One way we do this at my agency is by delegating creative problems to the team instead of assigning projects individually. Try adding problem-solving sessions to your team meeting agendas, creating a place for people to post challenges and creative solutions in your team's communication tool or converting check-in meetings to challenge sessions.
To reach peak team effectiveness, it is important to show your employees that you trust them. Creative problem solving is a form of team building that will strengthen their ability to work through challenges together and give you insight into how to leverage their strengths and weaknesses.
The goal is to get to a place where operating as a cohesive team is second nature.
5. Define and nurture team goals.
Once your team knows the ropes, they can start to create systems that work best for them, independently. Freeing up your time is an important part of work efficiency, too. The more effective the team, the more time you have to expand the business.
Have your employees ask themselves where their contributions fit in to the mission and vision of the company. What are the business's goals and how do they hope to reach them? How can they do so together? Get clear. The team should be able to identify what role each of them will fulfill so there is no confusion or overlapping tasks.
If you've created a collaborative culture, everyone should be able to contribute openly and cooperatively. They each have a different skill set—encourage them to play to their strengths as a group. Defining team goals creates a clear roadmap to follow.
A fun way to nurture team goals is to set up activities that bring the group together and allow them to learn how they work as a team in a more relaxed setting. This can include immersive company retreats or even bringing a consultant in for a day to host team building exercises.
Work efficiency should be built into your company's process. Set up structures. Communicate openly. Value your people. By creating a cohesive environment, you will ultimately encourage team effectiveness.
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