Bringing a Team back to Life

I came across this great infographic by the guys at Marketo about how people can actually kill their productivity with seemingly normal activities, such as multitasking and long to-do lists. Low productivity stalls careers, leads to reduced levels of engagement and generally sucks the life out of a team.

If you want to start re-engaging your team, here are a few tips on how to get started:

1. Create some focus

Some employees may be disengaged because they are just bored or have no idea what direction they should be going, so point them in the right direction and help them clearly understand what is expected of them.

How to do it: Align organization, team and individual goals. When employees understand the overarching objective, the goals that need to be met along the way will make more sense.

2. Talk about it

Have an on-going conversation with employees about progress. Continually asking “Is it done yet?” is NOT a conversation. Ask how it’s going, encourage, offer advice, remove obstacles, be a sounding board—that’s the kind of conversation that’s helpful.

3. Encourage collaboration

Collaboration is one of the keys to great performance. Team members who work together are more likely to come up with better ideas as they feed off of one another.

How to do it: Showcase work that has been accomplished, goals in progress, and goal priorities.

4. Coach

Coaching allows your team to understand what they should be doing more and less of in order to succeed. If you want to maintain your team’s morale (and you do), don’t forget to acknowledge the effort they have made.

How to do it: Sit down often with each team member and actually go through their work in real-time. When doing so, discuss how they could improve or what they can continue doing so that they are constantly in the know about their individual performance. You can also automate the performance review process by giving performance ratings, feedback and recognition. The combination of these allows employees to be constantly aware of their progress without having to wonder about it.