How can I improve efficiency and productivity within my team?

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Answered by: Janie, An Expert in the People Management Category
Managing a team can be a difficult task and improving team efficiency can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome. As organizations are perpetually trying to improve efficiency and productivity within their workforce, they often rely on their management team to motivate workers. While managers are typically trained in how to manage their teams, it is often left up to them to figure out a management style and implement processes that will motivate employees to consistently produce at an efficient rate.

In today's market, managers and their teams are becoming increasingly diverse which is creating issues related to difference in age, opinions on management styles, differences in work styles and preferences and a myriad of other workplace concerns. Overcoming some of these issues takes time, experience and training but improving one's team's efficiency can be as simple as how effectively a manager communicates with her/his subordinates.

Two management communication styles are typically seen in the workplace: charismatic and authoritative. The authoritative communication style manager has legitimated authority that is usually granted by the larger organization. This type of person can often be seen in a position such as a director, vice president, or senior manager- someone who has direct authority over others. The authoritative communication style manager tends to assume that once he or she has given a directive that that assignment will be carried out in a timely manner and will be the best possible output. For example, a senior manager of marketing sends an email to several team members discussing a project and asking them to complete it within two weeks.

The charismatic communication style manager does not have legitimated authority and therefore builds rapport with workers and creates positive relationships that she or he then uses to negotiate with employees and manage their daily tasks. The overarching difference between these two styles is the redundancy of their communications. Unlike the authoritative communication style manager, the charismatic communication style manager will communicate duties by holding meetings, then sending out follow up emails with a meeting summation, and following up a few days before the deadline with another email delineating the necessary task information and expectations.

Employees are typically very busy individuals that spend their time communicating with dozens of people a day and working on multiple projects at once which can lead to some things being put off or forgotten. A common mistake of the authoritative communication style manager is the assumption that the authority she or he holds is powerful enough to motivate employees to retain all of the information that the manager has communicated despite other pressing duties. Having several redundant communications allows workers to better understand what is expected of them and helps them create solid deadlines which will ultimately improve efficiency and productivity.

Team management is challenging in every setting and all managers struggle with issues of team communication. Having a method which allows managers to effectively supervise their subordinates while building positive working relationships is key to improving a team’s efficiency and quality of the output. Though communication styles vary greatly, redundancy of delegation can be very effective when properly implemented.

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