Summary: There is no one-strategy-fits-all answer to increase team efficiency, but these five ideas will help create a custom game plan based on making it Almost Easy™ for teams to follow the company vision and culture, stay motivated and achieve common goals.
The technical definition for efficiency is the ratio of useful work performed to the total energy expended. Most people hope to be in a state of efficiency most of the time - achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort. Time efficiency is a common goal in any company, for any leader, and any team.
But what does it take to get there?
This depends on what the company does, its vision and culture, what the team structure looks like, how well team members understand the vision, follow the culture and stay motivated to achieve common goals.
Would implementing time leadership strategies make teams feel constrained? Probably not. They’ll likely be less stressed, work better than ever and have more energy to Get Smart Stuff Done™.
Here are five ideas to increase team efficiency.
1. Add More Structure
Research polls suggest that meetings are most people’s least favorite part of their day; they are unnecessary, don’t stick to the agenda, discussions meander all over the place, are more un-motivating than invigorating, and that nothing gets done in a meeting. Which leads us to ask, what’s a better way to run a meeting?
Scheduling regular meetings is a great start to adding more structure to the day. By meeting consistently, the conversation among team members starts to flow, opening the lines of communication for honest dialogue about the most important challenges that affect the vision of success and staying focused on resolving issues and being productive in achieving goals.
A better structure for regular meetings also looks like this:
- Meet on the same day, every week.
- Start on time at the same time.
- Use the same format and agenda.
- End on time.
In a well-run meeting, the agenda is based on priorities that require further discussion with the team. The team identifies opportunities and holds one other accountable for proposing solutions that create value.
The most interactive and effective way to use Ninety's Whole Company Tools™ is in weekly meetings. With a well-organized meeting structure built right in, highly efficient meetings are quickly launched and team members stay on task and on time, with one-click options for creating actions the team can use immediately.
2. Set Aside Time To Complete Projects
The idea behind chunking is a modern approach to planning time for projects that focuses on completing single tasks one at a time rather than reacting to constant multiple interruptions all at once. Start by breaking up time into dedicated chunks to get specific things done and get more accomplished throughout the day.
Setting aside uninterrupted blocks of time to complete projects helps us understand that not every request requires a real-time response all the time. We can learn to discern between things that truly need an immediate response and those that can't wait for an answer.
3. Automate Office Processes
Instead of staying on top of overflowing inboxes, updating spreadsheets, using email for repetitive tasks and monitoring to-do lists of an ever-expanding group of people, automate office processes like employee requests, time tracking, attendance, leave and to-dos with a team communication tool, like Ninety.io®.
Ninety's Whole Company Tools can streamline processes as well as integrate company vision into a team’s Rocks, roles, metrics and goals. Stay up-to-date with direct reports through instant quarterly conversations and annual reviews. Cascade a view of issues for the team anytime or easily create an issue out of any item and include the original item’s detail. Every Ninety tool is intuitive, making it Almost Easy™ to organize to-do lists to see what is on the horizon or past due, solve issues faster and create opportunities.
4. Carry Out Work Better
Most leaders can’t carry out their work without setting up quick chats with teams to follow up on progress. These necessary conversations eat up a lot of time, so it’s essential to think of different ways to get the rundown on a project without needing to set up meetings with everyone involved.
Tracking projects and tasks are easier with a digital tool like Ninety to efficiently organize projects, evaluate roadblocks much faster and visualize improvements.
Using Ninety's Whole Company Tools, team members have clear next steps. For instance, everyone can write down notes throughout each meeting, track each agenda item over time, review to-dos and cascading messages, see all the details from past meetings and create recap emails with meeting activity for review.
5. Coach Teams To Plan, Prioritize and Streamline Work
Leaders know how to plan, prioritize and streamline their own work and they can help team members do the same. Leaders can set the strategic vision and help weed out unreasonable expectations from other stakeholders so people won’t take on too much, constantly spin their wheels or burn out altogether.
By setting the example, creating goals, clarifying expectations and giving people room to grow, leaders can become coaches for team efficiency. And Ninety.io can help.
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