Business

5 Ways to Boost Your Team’s Performance

Everyone would love to build and lead a team of rock stars. Unfortunately, high-performing teams don’t materialize without intentional and focused effort. It takes thorough employee buy-in, concentrated engagement, and strong relationships to create the kinds of teams everyone hopes to manage.  

Good leaders bring their best selves to the table, day after day. They must also know how to help employees tap into their own maximum potential. Even largely functional teams don’t necessarily fall into the high-performance range. There’s always room for improvement, so try these five tips for boosting your team’s performance to its highest levels yet.

1. Focus on Relationship Building

Strong team relationships enhance workplace satisfaction, physical and mental well-being, and overall performance. Healthy team dynamics improve individual productivity as well as collaborative efforts. Prioritize a culture of teamwork and cooperation. 

Earmark regular time for team-building events, one-on-one meetings, and even simply socializing. Peer coaching can also be a good way to encourage new connections and the sharing of knowledge and skills.

Mentorship programs that utilize a mentoring platform are another method for building work relationships. They give junior employees access to senior team members and pave a path for growth and advancement. Senior staff can pass along their experiences and lessons to newer employees, while the latter gain a champion for their ideas and contributions. Mentorship also fosters the notion that employees have a whole community supporting their development.

2. Diversify Your Team

Having the right people on your team is a must for productivity. But it’s important to go a step further and ensure that you are bringing together a team that is both diverse and inclusive. Diversity falls into two categories: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity encompasses traits a person is born with, including race, gender, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity is derived experientially, though cultural experiences, religion, or living abroad.  

Studies have shown that diverse workplaces are happier, more productive, and more creative. Having a broad mix of employees from many different backgrounds produces an environment ripe for innovative and out-of-the-box thinking. It also increases the likelihood of having more varied skills and aptitudes within your team. 

Being exposed to different perspectives and views builds better understanding and communication between teammates. It also ultimately helps you to better serve much wider demographics of clients and customers.

3. Give Praise Freely and Frequently

While simple, praise is one of the most important things you can give to your team. When employees know their work is both seen and appreciated, they stay motivated to continue going the extra mile. 

Don’t forget the unsung heroes who show up consistently and reliably; they’re just as essential to team success as your MVPs. To make sure your praise resonates, continue to find new ways to recognize and call out the good work your team is doing.

This is an area where knowing and understanding your individual employees will pay off, as different people prefer receiving acknowledgment in different ways. Some employees may prefer more personal recognition, such as a small gift or handwritten thank-you note. Other employees might prefer emails sent to their managers or even more public shout-outs in meetings. Still others may respond best to receiving greater responsibilities or more benefits. It’s never wrong to ask what works!

4. Grant Autonomy

“Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum,” notes author Miles Anthony Smith. And that’s hardly surprising — after all, no one wants to feel like their judgments are constantly being scrutinized. Micromanaging has many negative consequences, including increased stress on employees, reduced performance, and lower retention levels. This management style chips away at loyalty and communicates a lack of confidence in staff to do their jobs. 

So work on letting go of perfectionism and trusting the team you’ve hired. Make sure to communicate roles and responsibilities so staff members have a clear understanding of what is expected. Then empower employees to make their own choices about how they’d like to approach their work. 

Offer flexibility in daily scheduling and allow staff to choose where they would prefer to work when possible. When employees can work with full trust, performance increases, as does their ability to solve problems creatively and effectively.

5. Promote Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has become something of a buzzword in the last few years, but that does not diminish its significance to team performance. It is easier than ever to remain continuously plugged in via cellphones and the blurred boundaries of remote work. Yet this is a sure avenue to burnout. It’s important that your team members know you value them beyond their productivity. Take a holistic approach when supporting employees by seeking to understand their lives both in and out of the office.

Encourage staff to fully utilize their paid time off. Normalize taking breaks and mental health days when needed. Dissuade employees from working outside of their scheduled hours whenever possible. Stress the importance of setting apart time to recharge with family and friends. Be an example of a healthy work-life balance, and your employees will feel safe to follow suit.

While building your ideal team will take time and diligent work, the payoffs are well worth it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see improvements immediately. Continue to lead by example and have confidence in your employees’ abilities. Focus less on perfection and more on growth and collaboration, and you are sure to see new gains in your team’s performance.

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