How do I get my project teams to work more efficiently?

Managing a team can be a difficult task and improving team efficiency can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome. As a project manager, it is essential to motivate your team to consistently produce at an efficient rate. Project management is the backbone to an organisation's success, and with the right tools and attitude, companies can easily streamline this process to perform more efficiently. The points below will help you to get your teams working more efficiently:

Connect your team

Project managers often start thinking about team efficiency, assuming that they already have a team to make more effective. Yet in reality, they probably have a dispersed group of individuals with different skill sets who don’t yet know each other or each other's roles. Team work is vital when working on a project and communication across the team needs to be able to flow easily. Choose a project management system that provides team member profiles with contact details, a picture, activity stream, bio, specialities and experience. That way, people can easily search for, connect with and follow other team members, put a face to a name and find the right people when they need them. People profiles help connect your team and enhance their communication. Building relationships between team members is important because communicating what is happening on different aspects of the project will keep everyone up to date with its progress. A system like HighQ Collaborate provides the right tools to get work done quickly and efficiently, proving to be a great platform for project management. Make sure you don’t just connect your team virtually; organise a work social for people to socialise outside a working environment. 

Create an open environment where team members feel respected and responsible 

Team members should feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions with one another; and it’s partly down to you to make sure they do. If people feel confident discussing ideas, problems or concerns when they first appear, it could save issues occurring later on down the line when the repercussions are more severe. You should provide your team with an open online environment for discussions and encourage all members, from junior to senior level to use this space. It’s a good idea to get senior members in a team to like other peoples posts and to generate conversations as it will encourage others to use the platform. But do be aware of senior members dominating the site because this could just as easily deter junior members from using it. Addressing concerns in an open, honest, and direct manner lets people know their voices matter.

Discuss objectives with your team

Knowing what the overall objectives of a project are, tends to make people work more efficiently as they have an end goal to work towards. It also means there is an end in sight; sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated when a project is ongoing because it feels like you’re not getting anywhere. Giving your team all the information on what the project is all about and what you hope to achieve with it, will result in them feeling prouder of the part they are playing. 

Set team goals

You’ve set your project objectives, but you should also give objectives to your actual team. The key to setting team goals, is making sure that when you set the goals, the whole team is setting them together; everybody should have a voice and everybody should contribute. Make sure the goals are realistic; there’s nothing more degrading to team spirit and efficiency than setting goals that are unrealistic to accomplish in the first place, and inevitably not meeting them. Connect your team even further by getting together, and discussing some realistic team goals. Think about how you can keep track of progress in order to know how close or far the team is from reaching those goals. Come up with some rewards you will receive if you reach those goals. A team setting goals together, working towards them together and achieving them together will build great team spirit and ultimately boost team efficiency like nothing else.

Lead by example

You can’t expect your team to work in a certain way, if you don’t work in that way yourself. The example you set for your teams is more important than you think and you should take time thinking about how you behave and work in front of them. Being dedicated and efficient yourself will rub off on other team members, so remember to keep a positive, encouraging attitude and if your team does something well, let them know. Receiving praise and appreciation encourages team members to keep working hard to reach that next goal.

Conclusion

The key to teams working efficiently is collaboration. Teams that work together on a given task are more likely to outperform work done by individual employees. By giving employees the access to all the tools they need in one single platform, they can easily identify which resources can help them with different tasks, keep an eye on progress and gain an overall view of project status and milestones, resulting in an open and effective approach to team work.

Download: Simplify project management with social tools

Emily Sullivan

Editoral/PR assistant at HighQ
She has a passion for researching and writing engaging copy and has a keen interest in how technology can enhance people's personal and business lives.
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