How to build an efficient team

Time lost in the workplace costs your business money. But building an efficient team does more than improve a company’s bottom line.

It can also build morale and enhance staff retention, and with some simple strategies it’s possible to turn your company into a more effective workplace.

Set goals to encourage an efficient team

The key to developing an efficient team is to set goals for everyone to work towards. Make the goals clear but be sure they are achievable. Setting overwhelming goals can lower staff morale.

Rather than focusing on single large goals, aim to break goals down into smaller bite-sized chunks. This makes it easier to measure progress, and motivates your team to keep pressing forward.

Be clear about roles and tasks

When people are unsure about what is expected of them, they can easily become frustrated. This inevitably leads to time being wasted. Meet with your team to give clear direction on what you expect from each employee. This ensures no doubling up on effort.

Explain which tasks take top priority so that each team member knows how to allocate their time most effectively. Then give your team the space to work in the most efficient way possible, while still being available to provide direction when it’s needed.

Provide feedback

Maintain clear lines of communication so that employees know they can come to you if they unsure of anything or face a challenge.

Encourage your people with praise when they are working well, and if necessary, ask employees about what you can do to help them work as a more efficient team. It may be that they need additional resources to get the job done sooner without cutting corners.

Watch out for time-wasters

Some workplace elements can be hidden time wasters, and meetings are often high on the list of tasks that can take far longer than expected, without a corresponding benefit.

Rethink the way you conduct meetings – only invite those who really need to be there. Send an email beforehand explaining the type of meeting – is it one where a decision needs to be made or are you planning to discuss sales results?

Understanding the type of meeting helps attendees prepare for the discussion. Draft an agenda for the meeting, and stick to it. Don’t be sidetracked by other issues.

Consider the workplace layout

The physical structure of your workplace environment could be hampering your ability to build an efficient team.

Consider the noise level – if it’s too high, employees may be unable to concentrate. Are there designated meeting areas so that staff aren’t interrupted by gatherings? Do team members have to move far from their desks to access printers and other equipment? Even small adjustments to your work environment can increase workflow.

Running an efficient team doesn’t involve managing every minute of the day. Rather it’s about galvanising your employees with clear targets, constructive feedback and looking at other aspects of the workplace that could be soaking up time.

If you can address all these factors, it is possible to build a high performance team that sends productivity soaring.

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