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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Fostering Efficiency in Your Internal Teams

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As a manager, your job is to create an efficient environment in which your team can succeed. That means developing a workflow that supports collaboration, positivity, and productivity all while fostering the efficiency you need to be competitive in the modern economy.

Fortunately for you, there is a wide range of available tools and strategies that can help you support a hyper-efficient team, regardless of your industry. Integrating these into your workflow can make all the difference in promoting a Lean strategy that fosters productive teamwork.

Overcome common barriers to team efficiency with the following strategies. But first, understand the challenges you face.

Common Barriers to Team Efficiency

Let’s start with the difficulties of modern teamwork.

The internet has opened up world trade, allowed for virtually limitless business opportunities, and supported heavy competition in just about every product and service niche there is. That said, we all have a lot to keep in mind when developing internal projects, campaigns and strategies to meet various client needs.

However, another component of modern offices has added to the challenge. COVID-19 caused a rapid shift in the way we work, and now many teams have to coordinate work from their homes as the world begins to embrace remote work. For many teams, this has created obstacles in the path of efficiency, such as the following.

Poor Communication

Professionals have to communicate all the time. Without the benefit of face-to-face meetings, many are left having to rely on digital tools, coworkers in different time zones, and text communication that fails to relay vocal tone and body language. Naturally, this is a recipe for poor communication.

Without clearly stated goals, tasks, and objectives, any team will struggle with efficiency. Poor communication leads to re-briefs, work that has to be re-done, and wasted time and money overall. That’s why managers have to go above and beyond to ensure teams are on the same page.

Unclear Roles

In a similar vein, unclear roles can be a huge problem among teams — especially those that work in virtual environments. That’s because it can be harder to understand workflows at a distance. Without the benefit of seeing what your coworkers are doing on a consistent basis, it’s more difficult to know exactly where you might be able to step in and solve problems. Take care to check in daily and make yourself open to answering questions to better address this problem.

Lack of Motivation

Apathy in the workplace can be another challenge when it comes to productivity. This apathy might be the result of one or more factors all pressing on the industry at once, from pandemic concerns to analysis paralysis caused by too much data and too little actionable insight.

Fear of failure in decision-making is another huge problem, one that is making firms less efficient and less honest in many cases. Rather than creating easy-to-reach key performance indicators (KPIs) or changing them altogether when the data doesn’t go your way, embrace team brainstorming and innovation instead.

These are only a sampling of the obstacles in the path of increased efficiency and job satisfaction, but being aware of these issues is half the battle. If you know what to look for, you can better understand when it’s time for a change. But how can you go about actively fostering greater efficiency?

Ways to Foster Efficiency

Today’s data-driven business environment has a lot to offer. Knowledge is everywhere waiting to be cultivated. Meanwhile, businesses better understand the value of a diverse, inclusive workforce that is open to continuous innovation. Even if your team is operating remotely, the tools of success are available to you.

These are but five ways you can begin fostering efficiency through tech and best practices:

  1. Foster emotional intelligence among your team. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Charles Duhigg, equality of voices through conversational turn-taking and high emotional intelligence are the best methods of fostering effective teamwork. Build a psychological safety net in your meetings by creating an environment of respect, empathy, and awareness. 
  1. Adopt Lean practices. Lean principles are all about continuous innovation, optimization, and waste elimination. When a team applies these principles, they set themselves up for success through constant improvement. Adopt Lean practices for greater efficiency. 
  1. Embrace modern tools. Lean sales and marketing should bring value directly to customers — and they should also bring value directly to your team. The right toolset allows individuals to communicate with each other, assign tasks, check in, and measure the effectiveness of their work through customer feedback. Find software platforms and systems that will help you enhance your efficiency.
  1. Make employee development a priority. Your employees are bound to lose motivation if they don’t feel progress in their careers. Instead, offer them chances to learn new skills. This might take the form of internal mentorship programs or access to educational resources, which can help foster better internal processes and team relationships.
  1. Define worthy KPIs. Your KPIs are the metrics by which you measure your efficiency. Don’t set the bar low. Rather, define the outcome you want to achieve and then track the metrics that align with your goals. From lead-to-sale conversion rates to cost-per-lead, understanding these metrics is essential for maximizing your productivity.

These are just a few of the many ways you might go about fostering efficiency in your team. From here, it’s a matter of maintaining clear goals and inclusive working environments in which employees always feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.

Your efficiency depends on emotional intelligence aligned with cohesive communication software. Whether you’re managing a team remotely or in-office, these tips can help you cultivate a thriving, productive team for a long time to come. Start now by practicing emotional intelligence in your leadership strategies.


About the Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and business topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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