This Team Productivity template provides you with three steps that will help you to identify the issues affecting your team's productivity and how they can be resolved.
As a manager, the productivity of your team is one of the most important aspects of your position. If you are in charge of a team that is under-perform ing, the blame will quickly land on your shoulders. By tracking and correcting any issues that are compromising the productivity or your team, you can stay on track and impress the company with your accomplishments.
Unfortunately, singling out the issues that affect productivity is sometimes easier said than done. Teams are made up of complex individuals who all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Each member of your team also has unique goals for their careers, something that has to be remembered when evaluating performance.
To get started accurately identifying the issues that could be hurting productivity, try speaking with each member of the team on an individual basis. These meetings should be confidential between you and each member of the team, and it should be made clear upfront that nothing said will leave the room. You want to foster an environment of honesty and trust, through which you can gather the real details of the culture within the team.
So what are you trying to learn in these meetings? Nothing in particular, but everything in general. You want to let the team members do the talking, and just guide them along as they speak. By not asking too specific of questions, you won't point them toward talking about one particular thing. Even if you have an issue you are curious about, let them speak and see if it comes up. If your issue doesn't come up naturally in the discussion, it is likely not as important as you might have thought.
When you have these meetings, take notes and compare the comments of many different team members when you are complete. The feelings of one member alone might not represent the actual problems within the team - however, if many different team members feel the same way, you will want to address that issue. No one will know more about why the team is unproductive than the team members themselves, so listen carefully and value all of their opinions.
With the individual meetings complete, call a group meeting where you can speak to the team as a whole regarding the productivity issues. While you are not going to divulge the thoughts of any specific team members in the meeting, you can use the results of the meetings to bring up problem areas and look for resolutions. Team members will be much less willing to talk in a group setting, so you as the manager will have to take the lead and direct the discussion toward the issues at hand.
Since the individual success of each employee is tied to the success of the team, there should exist a positive culture of wanting to solve problems and improve performance. If you detect dissension among one or two members of the team specifically, you might want to consider if their skills and talents warrant their continued inclusion in the team. Sometimes, addition by subtraction is the best way to improve productivity as a whole.
Productivity problems within a team are not likely to improve themselves naturally when left alone. More likely, you will need to take intervening steps to remedy the issues and get the performance levels up to where they need to be. By using the technique outlined above, you should be able to flesh out the real issues in a way that mitigates any hard feelings and keeps the team working together. With all of the potential problems out in the open and cleared up going forward, productivity should quickly increase and the team as a whole will benefit.