Managing teams is not an easy task. If you remember doing group projects in school, you remember how difficult it can be for groups to work together. When five (or twelve) people, from different walks of life come together to work, clashes of interest, miscommunication, and ultimately, poor productivity. So many factors affecting productivity come into play when different people work together toward a singular goal.

Maybe this is the reason 75% of people surveyed by CareerBuilder said at least two hours of productive time is lost every day. If managed right, teams can work in cohesion, build coordination, and achieve near-impossible feats. With just a little bit of work, you, as a manager, can improve the overall productivity of your team. Here’s how:

Clear roles and tasks

The foremost point in promoting productivity, defining concise roles and tasks to your team members is going to alleviate any kind of confusion, and will probably cut down miscommunication substantially.

For each team member, allocate two or three high priority tasks, with a timeline, and explain clearly the kind of result you will be expecting. This way, with a precise goal in front of them, your team members will be able to concentrate their focus, and as a result, achieve better results in less time.

Value feedback

When it comes to a healthy work-relationship, feedback is the most important element. Give your team members regular, constructive, and actionable feedback on their performance, on areas that need improvement, and the challenges they may be facing. However, feedback doesn’t just stop there, it is a two way street.

Make sure you ask for your feedback from your team members. This will not only help you improve as a manager, it will build trust between you and the team, which is critical if you are working with them to achieve a common goal.

Team building

For maximised productivity, it is imperative that your team members get along. While it is true that getting along is natural when you work with someone, and see them everyday, there are still members in every team that may not get along so well.

In order to build cohesion, and keep your employees engaged, team building events are extremely important. Depending on your needs, abilities, and objectives, you can choose between a number of team building activities that are not only great for building cohesion, but are also a lot of fun!

Delegation based on strengths

Delegation of responsibilities is probably is most important and crucial job that a manager does. However, if delegation is not done based on strengths of your team members, it is going to create demotivation and pressure within the team, while of course, negatively affecting productivity.

The best way to delegate the right responsibilities and roles to your team members is to first get to know them. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis of each team member will reveal some valuable insight, which will help you, as a manager, with more efficient delegation. This efficiency will then be carried on in the tasks performed by your team members, thereby improving the overall productivity of your team.

Communication

Last but definitely not the least, two way communication is VITAL to efficiency and productivity. Not just in terms of feedback, but in terms of ideas as well. If you don’t listen to the ideas put forward by your team members, it is going to hurt their motivation levels. Think about it, they are taking an initiative to improve something, it is only fair that their idea deserves a chance. For this reason, it is critical to give importance to what your team members are saying or suggesting, some of their ideas might really be useful too!