One common question that I come across frequently is what things can you do to encourage your team to create efficiencies? This can be a tricky question because it depends on your company’s rewards system and the individual dynamics of your team. Some teams can be motivated by just the sheer desire of the team members to outdo other teams in a competitive spirit. However, in most corporate structures, there are not many opportunities to create such a competitive atmosphere.
So how can a manager encourage efficiencies in their team in a non-competitive environment? The first step is make it a goal of the employees to find time-saving efficiencies for their work as well as for the work assigned to the team as a whole. This can be done by either creating goals informally with your team or through a formal Individual Performance Evaluation process. The benefit of doing it formally through an Individual Performance Evaluation is that it will be included in their permanent employee record and can even help them when looking to change positions throughout the company or when applying for promotions. Just like any other goal, it is extremely important to make sure there is an expected completion date included with the goal to encourage it to be completed in a timely manner.
The second step is to show your team the benefits of creating efficiencies. One of the biggest benefits I have seen when creating efficiencies is the reduction of overtime. Many individuals in professional fields are salary and thus the number of hours in the office usually exceeds the 40 hours per week without additional pay, so keeping this number as close to 40 per week is extremely important. Another benefit is the reduction of stress because it is easier to meet deadlines without extra pressure from processes taking longer to complete.
The third step is to determine what kinds of rewards you can and want to offer when these goals are reached by members of your team. Of course the most effective reward medium is money, whether it is in the form of a raise or a bonus, and can be a great incentive. However, especially in this economy, this isn’t always an available option, so look for other ways to show recognition. This could be in the form of simply a small token of appreciation that includes acknowledgement of their accomplishments in front of their peers. In either case, just make sure that they know how much you appreciate their hard work and keep rewards consistent based on the level of efficiencies created.
Encouraging your team to create efficiencies can reduce stress, increase team work, and increase morale when your team’s hard work is acknowledged. With these simple tips you can be well on your way to a happy, efficient, and productive team.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, please use the comment section below! 🙂