Let's say you've already built a great team for your next project; you know these employees produce quality work and you have every confidence in them. But how can you get your best workers to produce even better work? Here are five simple tips that should help you get your great employees to do even better.
1) Teams need informal communication
Coworkers need to have good communication outside of the workplace so that they are more likely to look out for each other as teammates. According to an MIT study published in Harvard Business Review, researchers discovered "patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team's success."
Encouraging communication outside of work would then be one of the most effective ways to increase the efficiency of a team because, if team members only communicate while doing their work, they may start to consider each other as simply part of a machine. Foster a sense of family among employees. Instead of organizing often awkward team-building exercises, arrange it so that everyone takes a break at the same time. This should prompt organic communication instead of forced interactions.
2) Consistency of team members
People perform better when they've worked together before. They already have an established group dynamic and are familiar with how the other members work.
They are more sensitive to one another's habits and can easily detect if someone is frustrated or if there is a problem. This familiarity allows them to take care of those issues with limited executive consultation. And, since they don't need to take the time to get to know each other, they will be able to work quicker and more efficiently.
3) A pleasant environment
A negative work environment can put a damper on any worker, and can especially affect a team of unhappy workers. Negativity can range anywhere from cramped and unimaginative space to strict bosses or distracting coworkers outside of the team.
If there isn't a great place at the office for a team meeting, and you know that your team already performs well, suggest a meeting outside of the office like at a restaurant for lunch. Not only will this boost communication, but team members will feel more relaxed and therefore more inclined to put forth better ideas.
4) Don't punish mistakes
Even the best teams will make mistakes sometimes, so it is important not to be too hard on anyone for making a mistake. A fear of being wrong may cause a team or team member to hold back and participate less or feel afraid to provide input which could be detrimental to the progress of the entire team. Every member of a team should feel valued and mistakes should be treated as learning opportunities instead of punishable failures.
Make sure that your team works under rules that welcome all ideas and don't put down members for less-than-optimal ideas or work. Discuss an honest mistake with the member responsible so that he or she can see their error and work better to avoid more. If a member is consistently making mistakes, it may be best to remove them from the team completely.
5) Don't micromanage
People don't like working with someone who is constantly looking over their shoulder. A micromanaging leader could cause team members to be afraid of doing something wrong under such close watch, which may result in a team that does less work, or does it less effectively. Team members may also feel like the leader doesn't trust their work and might become less motivated to put effort into something that will ultimately be rejected. Even worse, the team may think that a micromanaging leader will just end up doing the work his or her way. This sometimes causes team members to slack off on their part of the project.