At some point in our lives, we have experienced what it feels like to be the only functional team member in a class project, or some other group and you have to do the bulk work and make the whole decisions by yourself because you know that your success depends on getting the job done.
So frustrating isn’t it?
Perhaps you’d agree with me when i say that the popular adage, “Two heads are better than one” would only be accurate if the heads described are good and are willing to be effective.
Team productivity and individual productivity work in tandem – work together as one. There is no “i” in a team; very true, but this doesn’t mean that a team is made up of lax, uninterested, unfocused individuals with no clear-cut goals or similar objectives.
Individuals who would make effective members of a team should have the potential, and willingness and should have proven themselves as capable of doing so.
Therefore, it is wise to say that
With the above mentioned, we should seek to understand that having individuals who are capable on board is only but a side of the coin. A seedling from a good tree will only flourish if the right environment is provided. This right environment should include but not be limited to sunlight, water, oxygen, and good soil that contains the right nutrients. Just like this seedling, members of a team require a good working environment and conditions in other to bring on their ‘A game’ to the table.
Ways to maximize team productivity
- Role Modelling
You can only get people, no matter their capabilities, to work effectively if you make sure you are an accountable and efficient team player yourself. Be open to contrary opinions. Be polite yet, firm when standing your ground when they will not help in your work towards your goals.
Be charismatic, and try to maintain a good working relationship with members of your team as this will not only help you understand them better but it will help ease your workload.
- Setting Unrealistic goals
Break up projects into phases. Just like a house being built from foundation up, goals can be broken down to simplify their execution.
Team members should know what to do and what is unnecessary in other to avoid burnout and unwarranted stress.
This can be achieved by effectively communicating the task at hand and getting their views and ideas. It is best to keep people from juggling too much because a burnt-out teammate can potentially cause setbacks.
3. Clarify Expectations
Everyone loves it when expectations are exceeded but having a clear expectation helps to place a particular area on focus. Having a focus helps to improve the quality of work and also lets people determine the exact steps they need to take to achieve the goals.
4. Open Communication
“Without communication, there is no fellowship”. Communication is a key tool to building bridges of trust and understanding.
“How can two work together except they agree?”
It is essential to note that disagreements, misunderstandings, difficult situations, or challenges should be duly communicated.
This is just so we know if, “we are on track”, “are they relevant?”, “what has changed?” and to find the root of the problems faced, persons involved, and workload.
Having clear goals does not mean you should dictate how to go about achieving them.
Members of the team should be able to make decisions freely at the level of their expertise to reach this goal. Autonomy also helps to build trust and a cordial working relationship as well. They should be able to use pragmatism where needed.
6. Seek Help
When open communications have been established, members find a leveled playing field and when difficulty arises, it is easier to seek help.
Seeking help when in need does not make you incapable but helps to ease stress and prevent burnout. Besides, a different view can help you see things clearly from your standpoint.
7. Track progress
Reassessment and progress tracking help to deter you from sailing in the wrong direction for too long.
The zeal to work is killed sometimes when you discover that you’ve been working on the wrong course. It is honestly a waste of time, resources, and effort when you are working in the wrong direction so, tracking and assessment are necessary.
8. Make clear-purpose meetings
Do not have meetings except where necessary. Staying out of unimportant meetings helps to save time and reduce stress. Time management is very important to productivity
Just as timely meetings are important, too many of them leave very little time to do what has been planned.
Truly, there is no ‘I’ in a team; collective effort, providing support and assistance where needed, makes the workload reduce and finish in due time. It also helps to keep yourself and others in check so as not to stay long in the wrong direction and not waste valuable resources.
Indeed, individual productivity is key to achieving good working relationships and achieving team productivity in general. Like motor parts doing different things, yet, working together to achieve the motion of the car, members of a team also have to work together while performing different functions, timely, effectively, and efficiently to achieve high-quality goals.
After successfully following these steps, how then do you track the effectiveness of your team?
Tracking the productivity progress of a team will help the leader to see how things can be better. It will also reveal how things have been going.
What you don’t know, you cannot solve. This is why we need to learn how to calculate productivity.
How To Calculate Productivity
Productivity is never an accident, it is always the result of the commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.Paul J. Meyer
Consistency, focus, adequate planning, and implementation are the bits and pieces that make up a great start towards accomplishing our goals and hitting the ‘productivity mark’ we strive for.
Individuals, groups, organizations, etc. not only plan towards achieving a goal, but they also always find the easiest and fasted ways to achieve them without reducing the quality they needed. The best is what we all strive for, right?
Why should Productivity be tracked
Productivity is said to be calculated when comparing input versus output. For example, when 2 bags of potatoes were planted and 12 bags of potatoes were realized after harvest, you can say that the harvest was of good yield, right?
Productivity can easily be said to be the driving force behind the continuity of companies, establishments, and educational pedigrees, you name it! You wouldn’t like to reap nothing after all of your consistency and hard work, or would you?
This phenomenon helps to put to focus that without output, effort, time, as well as all our input are considered wasted. These resources are limited, as they are precious. You agree that absolutely no one can afford to be wasting them and therefore, running at a loss.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the need to know more methods on how to calculate productivity besides the conventional ‘output versus input’ has arisen.
So stick with me as we uncover more insights into this journey of ours.
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Methods of Calculating Productivity
1. Productivity with efficiency and effectiveness
“Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right thing.”
These phenomena seek to question the efficiency of workers and the effectiveness of their work. Time is always being spent whether we choose to or not, however, it is a matter of how well time was spent, and not how much time we spend. The quality of time spent at work is a direct determinant of the quality of output received.
When adequate time is spent on a task, careful details are brought to reality. Errors are less and more ground is covered.
For example, when a fashion designer hurriedly puts together fabric for a client, the bulk of the time is spent on readjustment and refitting, compared to when adequate time is given.
2. Circle Feedback
Feedback on workers’ effectiveness and efficiency can also be received from colleagues who may be in the same field of work or fields that work in collaboration with one another. This information will be more accurate if bias is eliminated successfully.
This method is also known as the ‘360 -feedback’ or brother keeper method.
Workers give feedback on each other and, collectively, productivity is measured.
3. Total Sales/ Working Hours
This method can be adequately applied in a marketing/sales department, store or shopping outlet, or manufacturing company. Especially those whose payments are made hourly and run shifts.
With the number of working hours per day, the company can estimate the productivity of its labour yearly, quarterly, or even monthly.
4. Online Tracking
This method helps employers estimate the quality of time utilization and the quality of output produced.
For example, An online customer care executive can be monitored by his/her boss to access the hours spent resolving consumer issues. The rate of customer satisfaction achieved can be directly estimated from the ratings.
5. Objectives Management
“There are few secrets to success, courage, goal setting, and focus.”
Setting SMART goals help employees checkmate themselves, identify barriers, make corrections where necessary, perform quality control, and monitor their progress.
SMART stands for –
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant and,
This method also gives room for creativity and helps create a healthy working environment because having clear goals helps you know what to do and how to go about it.
Objective management also entails adequate communication between employers and employees that is established. This helps employees to understand the set goals and communicate barriers. It also helps employers recruit the right team for the job at hand.
6. Quality Control
Setting standards helps to define and measure tasks. This includes conducting client surveys, understanding culture, and receiving daily updates.
Let’s take a look into this one after the other
- Conducting client surveys is important to access the availability and satisfaction a product provides when meeting a pressing need.
For example, Costumers compare detergents available for purchase to measure their ability to remove stains, foam in water, remove odour and be user-friendly.
- Understanding culture: For example, people tend to buy more items coloured red during the Yuletide season. Understanding the culture helps you to provide items that will be in high demand just before the orders start coming in.
- Receiving daily updates – Daily reports give the idea of work on a day-to-day basis. It shows daily progress and setbacks. It creates room for colleagues to gain a common ground of understanding.
It has been a long ride. Thank you for sticking around
We can all learn a thing or two from all of the above methods, but the best part is seeing the results of the methods we’ve applied. There are many different methods to achieve our goals, but what we have to do is find, which is best for us and use it.
There is always room for a new star in the sky. All you’ve got to do is shine your light.
Written By: Ifeoma Deborah Uwanna