The New Year festivities are over, annual performance reviews have probably wrapped up, and life at the office is getting back to normal. Is your team finding their rhythm once again with business-as-usual? Do you find that your team is able to keep their momentum going as we settle into the longer, winter months? Maybe you’re struggling to put a group back on the same path for productivity they were on before the New Year. Maybe you’re having a hard time getting a newly created team to mesh and work well together. As a manager, supervisor, or team lead, what are some effective ways to put your team back on the track toward productivity? Whether the team is the department that you are responsible for managing or you are part of a special team working on a specific project, here are a few ideas for getting your group back on track.
- Meet one-on-one with your team members to understand their frustrations and road blocks. In an individual session, meet with your team members and ask them to be candid about triumphs and frustrations. What is going well so far this year? Where might they be hitting snags? In this article on Inc.com, Sales coach Jeremy J. Ulmer suggests that a manager or supervisor ask questions such as, “What makes their jobs difficult? What could they do better? What could they be provided with to do better?” Honest responses from employees could help you identify what specifically is holding your team back from greater productivity.
- Reprioritize, refocus. Maybe it’s time to sit back and reassess your goals and the avenues for reaching them. What was the initial vision or goal for the team? Has this goal or vision changed since it was first created? Should it? Asking yourself these questions and then your team as a whole can create a good team building exercise and help to create an atmosphere for cohesion and single-mindedness within the team.
- Recognize your teammates for their accomplishments and significant contributions. Within a one-on-one session as well as during group meetings, make sure to recognize your employees for the work they have already done. This will help to build the confidence of individual team members and hopefully encourage all of the members of the team to continue their hard work.
- Consider your employee’s progress and reassess them for their qualifications. Difficult as this step may be, if your team is struggling and you can’t pinpoint the reason, it may be time to reassess all the members as individual employees and based on their performance. Has everyone on the team been contributing, doing their job well, and striving to exceed expectations? Where do the strengths lie on the team and who might be holding the team back from their greatest productivity? Should this person receive a mild reminder about their role or do you need to take more drastic actions?
As a manager, the difficult job falls to you of making sure that your team remains on the track toward productivity. When you find your group stumbling for some reason, it may be a sign that you need to take a few extra steps to discover the problem as well as incorporate a few different exercises such as employee recognition to help motivate and reenergize the group. In the long run, this time of reflection and refocusing could make the difference between a team’s progress forward or a major project falling flat.
What are some ways you motivate your team members when they’re falling short of what they’re capable of? Share with us in the comments.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Victor1558