How to improve your team's efficiency

Having highly effective teams is the goal of every business. These traits and factors can help to improve the productivity of your teams.

Diverse businesspeople gathered together for negotiations lead by african businesswoman

Image: fizkes, Getty Images/iStockphoto

We always hear that strong leadership is an essential element of a highly efficient team, and that's true. However, there are many other considerations. In addition to great leadership, here are some of the valuable skills, characteristics, and environmental factors that are woven into the fabric of highly effective teams.

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Safety and inclusiveness fuel performance

One of the most critical factors that help create efficiency is a feeling of emotional safety among the team members and the leadership team. Safety and inclusiveness help to increase each team member's willingness to take risks, share new ideas, and welcome diverse opinions, without fear of alienation. This is paramount to the emotional and mental well-being of a highly productive team and contributes to open communication and good collaboration. Developing an inclusive and safe environment encourages participation and buy-in, which in turn, improves productivity and effectiveness. 

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Reliability of management

When team members are able to rely on the leadership team and each other for their participation and support, the team and entire company benefits. The team, as a whole, should be able to reap the rewards of dependability, a solid team structure, and role clarity. If the entire team structure and individual roles make sense in relation to one another, each team member is more likely to recognize the need to become more reliable, contributing to more effective teamwork. Greater clarity of goals, objectives, and tasks also stimulates an increase in the contribution level within each role, and this improves the chance that all team members will develop a stronger sense of care within their roles and achieve success.

Fun in the workplace

It's important for companies to recognize the need for fun in the workplace. Let's face it, a team that cares about one another and can truly have fun together is far more likely to be productive and efficient. Teams that enjoy their working relationships typically find their jobs more satisfying, especially when compared with teams that don't participate in fun, team-building activities with their teammates. Remember that those employee-engagement activities should not revolve around work, especially when employees already spend a significant portion of their lives working. 

Here are some skills and characteristics that leaders need to look for when putting together a highly efficient team. 

Efficient teams members typically:

  • Have a genuine interest in striving for common goals and not individual agendas 

  • Trust in each other and feel free to communicate feelings and ideas respectfully

  • Engage in regular discussions in which everyone gets a chance to contribute 

  • Have clarity about how to work together and complete tasks

  • Quickly diffuse tension or friction in a relaxed and informal manner 

  • Make decisions using consensus whenever possible

  • Carry their fair share of the workload

  • Accept differences of opinion and view them as a good thing for problem-solving.

While some of these factors can be formalized within a team charter it isn't a guarantee of team efficiency and productivity. Finding team members that have the right mindset goes a long way to creating a cohesive team with a passion for becoming highly productive and efficient. 

Highly efficient teams take work and planning--they don't just happen. Teams that fit together like a puzzle are a product of deliberate effort, care, focus, and thoughtful leadership. Try some of these methods to build your successful team.

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