When you run your own business, everything runs much more smoothly when your team is able to do their best work. Success depends on productivity, and there’s a lot you can do to ensure your team stays in their optimal productivity levels. Implement these nine techniques to increase your team's productivity and your team will be on fire. Pinky promise.
1) Batch Similar Activities
It’s hard to switch from one mindset to another. There’s spin-up time and spin-down time. Eliminate that extra time by batching similar activities. If you have a series of internal 1:1s, try to book them during the same block of time week after week. Not one at 9 am on Monday, 3 pm Monday, 1 pm Tuesday, etc. Do them back to back so you stay in the same frame of mind and you don’t have to ping pong between tasks. If you have blog posts to review, stack them together. Block of time to review four at once versus one at a time throughout the week.
2) Block Off Time On the Calendar
If you’re like me, your life is run by your calendar. True story. And I like to color coordinate mine so at a glance I can immediately see where my time is being spent based on the colors used. Increase team productivity by encouraging your team to block off time on their calendars as well. You can lead by example by blocking off time in your own calendar first for designated focus time, whether that focus is on business strategy, product development, developing passive revenue streams, marketing, administrative work, or something else that’s relevant to what you do. Then, encourage your team to do the same.
3) Weekly Status Meetings
Take time every week for status meetings. These meetings are space to check in, assess progress, and hash out any issues before they become bigger issues. Keep everybody focused on the goal at hand—moving projects forward toward their deadlines—by providing agendas ahead of time and ending with action items to provide your team with the direction they need. Keep in mind that your team should be focused on moving forward on big goals that are fundamental to the growth and progress of your business, while still tackling the details to make the big goals happen.
4) Project Management Tools
Leverage project management tools to keep your team on track. Tools like Asana, Monday, and ClickUp are great for managing tasks, team collaboration, and deadline tracking and keeping your email inbox free of clutter and feedback threads. It provides a centralized infrastructure to keep everybody on the same page, which reduces back and forths. Even though these tools are ubiquitous with work today, different companies use different tools, so it’s important to make sure every member of your team knows how to use them. Figure out which one you like best and create a training document so everyone uses it the same way for the best outcome.
5) Have Quiet Time
Another day, another distraction. But you can reduce all the things that slow your team down by blocking off time on the calendar so they can focus on what’s important. Encourage your team to resist the need to be constantly available. If they’re pinging between questions and meetings and checking email and checking their project management tools, it’s a tall order to get anything done.
Make it part of your team culture to update Slack messages saying they’re unavailable because they’re in “get it done” mode. You can even consider company-wide meeting-free days; they’re great for carving out time for your team to be heads-down on their tasks.
6) Automate and Delegate
Make a list of all tasks your team is currently doing an audit which things can be automated and which should be delegated to someone else. Automate and delegate often, whenever possible in order to increase team productivity. We’ve done this exercise before and sometimes what happens is they find more efficient ways to execute things and combine them internally, so if nothing else, it’s a great exercise. But remember, technology is your friend. Use it to make your life easier.
7) Pomodoro Technique
Teach your team the Pomodoro Technique. Sustained focus can create diminishing returns. So while we’ve all been there, slogging away at a task or project for four hours straight, have you ever asked how much you actually got done during that time? Instead, utilize the Pomodoro Technique to keep your team fresh and productive. It’s simple: spend 25 minutes working, five minutes taking a break. Rinse and repeat.
8) Streamline Responsibilities
Your job as a leader is to bring out the best in your people, and you can do that by identifying overlap between the contributions of your team members and then shifting them away from that overlap. Restructure your workflow to give everyone the opportunity to excel at a few things that are not overlapping, but rather complementary. Your team (just like all humans) seeks autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Help them get there.
Giving the opportunity of mastery is a gift in and of itself. The gift you get in return is a more productive team.
9) Structure Communication
Our days are filled with communication—from meetings to emails to real-time message threads. When you structure your communication, everybody wins and is more likely to be productive. Schedule meetings to get everybody on the same page instead of having multiple chains of fragmented, one-on-one conversations.
Share meeting agendas ahead of time and designate a note-taker to create a comprehensive overview of meeting takeaways. If you use team communication apps like Slack, create channels by client or project that serve as command centers. Designate point people, usually project managers, to facilitate communication throughout your team so everybody knows who to expect updates from and who to go to for questions.
Increase Team Productivity With Coaching
While adding structure via project management tools, calendar hacks, and meeting-free days can increase your team productivity, you can reach record highs by using coaching skills. Understanding your people on a deeper level can give you insights so you can tweak your approach to productivity person-by-person adding that special sauce based on individual skill sets, goals, and dreams. I’d be happy to talk to you about how coaching can transform your business. Let’s schedule a Discovery Call.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Executive Coaching, Small Business
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life