5 Ways to Improve Team Efficiency and See Results 260

5 Ways to Improve Team Efficiency and See Results

This is a guest post by Lexie Lu, a designer and blogger. She contributes to the design world and usually has a cup of coffee close by. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter.

The success of any professional team ultimately boils down to the skills and expertise of the individuals it includes. Even the most effective of leaders will find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to lead a team of struggling or subpar employees.

Regardless of the experience of your team members, there are a number of steps you can take to strengthen the team efficiency and experience real, quantifiable results.

1. Setting a Positive Example.

As any great leader knows, it’s vital that you set a positive example for your subordinates. Whether you realize it or not, the sheer nature of the leadership position automatically designates you as a workplace role model. Even those who aren’t a part of your team might begin looking up to you, so it’s important that you lead by setting an example for others.

In order to measure your success, try to solicit specific feedback from your co-workers, peers and team members. As a leader, much of your progress can be measured through the productivity, motivation and attitude of your team.

Here are some tips on how to stay positive at work.

2. Catering to Individual Strengths.

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Next, it’s also important to cater to the individual strengths and weaknesses of your squad.

While newly hired recruits aren’t always placed in positions that will fully utilize their skills, proactive team leaders will always do their best to assign and delegate tasks based on the experience and knowledge of their team.

Once again, your ability to do this effectively can be determined by the success of your employees and the level of team efficiency.

Have the assigned tasks been completed in a timely and accurate manner? If not, you may want to re-think your strategy.

Conversely, if you find that your team is constantly meeting or exceeding goals, and if they’re doing so at a heightened pace, you can rest assured you’ve done your job as a leader.

3. Holding an Effective Stand-Up Meeting.

The concept of the stand-up meeting is simple. Instead of taking the traditional approach to group-oriented meetings, where you gather all your team members around a conference table, you simply call a brief huddle.

By keeping your employees on their feet for the duration of the meeting, you’re able to strengthen the bond between teammates, facilitate the quick exchange of information, maximize team efficiency and even bolster their health.

In fact, recent studies have linked prolonged sitting with a 50% higher risk of early death. Moreover, individuals who sit for extended periods of time, or too frequently, are at a 125% greater risk of heart attack, diabetes and more.

Measuring the results of your stand-up meeting can be accomplished by recording meeting minutes and comparing them to the minutes from previous, traditional meetings. You’ll also be able to gauge the effectiveness of your stand-up meetings by analyzing team interaction and monitoring day-to-day productivity.

4. Establishing Clear and Realistic Goals.

You’ll also want to establish clear and viable goals on a consistent basis. Few things will hurt a good team’s motivation quicker than an unattainable or unrealistic goal.

On the other hand, a team that is able to meet and even exceed their goals will almost always strive for bigger and better achievements.

To determine your goal-setting prowess in terms of team efficiency, simply take a look at the actual progress your team has made toward their most recent goal.

If they’re currently on track to meet that goal, or if they already have, you can take that as an indication of your success. Conversely, if you find that your goals are often missed or ignored completely, you’re probably doing something wrong.

5. Making the Most of Technology.

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Leaders in the 21st century should always take advantage of the latest and greatest in software and information technology.

Mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets and digital notebooks, can now be used to keep in contact with remote employees who are located on the other side of the globe. Given the sheer accessibility and affordability of technology today, there’s really no excuse to avoid it.

There are a number of ways to measure your success when it comes to the utilization and integration of technology. Your team’s current level of knowledge with general IT is one indicator, but that can be misleading.

For best results, try to compare your company’s current profitability with figures from the past. By digging up such historical data, you’ll be able to see just how important of a role technology has played in the ongoing development and productivity of your business.

Bolstering Your Own Leadership Efficiency.

Unfortunately for today’s business professionals, there are no generic templates to rely on when leading a team of your workplace peers. As each team is bound to be different, and each individual team member will boast their own strengths and weaknesses, it’s crucial that you take the time and get to know your team, understand their abilities and support their productivity in any way possible.

What about your employees? What can you do today to increase team efficiency?




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9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic] 3

9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic]

When a big change happens in your life, it doesn’t have to be a negative change to have a huge impact on you.

Change causes uncertainty and our brains and bodies react to uncertainty by trying to protect us with the release of fight or flight chemicals and hormones.

The downside to this is that living with these for an extended time results in elevated heart rate and affects your digestion, immune systems and blood flow.

But there are ways you can regain control over your life even in the midst of big changes.

The first is to take a step back and reflect on what’s actually happening and what your involvement is, which will help you to understand and find perspective on the situation. Hopefully, this will enable you to find the opportunities that every change in your life brings, rather than obsessing over any short-term negative impacts.

It may also help you to allow yourself a transition period where you adjust to the changes. But with a firm deadline by which you expect to have moved on and settled into the new routine. Even if it doesn’t quite work out that way, it will still push you towards visualizing the end of the uncertainty, which will prepare you to make it happen sooner rather than later.

On a more basic level, you need to remember to look after yourself during this time of change and the related stresses.

It can be too easy to fall into bad habits like neglecting your own simple needs, like a good night’s sleep and staying active and eating right when you are going through something like this. Having a day in your pajamas eating ice cream out of the tub is fine. But your body needs sleep, exercise and nutrition to keep you healthy.

Routine can be a comfort when it feels like everything in your life is changing.

So try and stick to some simple ones like walking your dog every morning or going to a regular gym class to give your life some stability and consistency.

You also need the help and support of those around you. And having a strong support network is crucial when it comes to coping with big changes in your life. This means family and friends, but you could also seek out people going through similar experiences by looking online. There may well be communities who you can talk to and get helpful tips from.

Most importantly of all, you need to be aware of when you need more than just the love and support of other people to help you cope with stress and uncertainty. If you start to feel like your mental health is really suffering, or you have been feeling the symptoms of stress for more than a couple of months, you need to go and talk to a health professional to get the help you need to bounce back.

You can read more practical tips about dealing with change and the symptoms it causes in this infographic from Pounds to Pocket.