6 Strategies to Become a More Productive Team Manager

Simple project management softwareManagers have a lot on their plate. Right from managing day-to-day activities to monitoring team productivity - there are so many responsibilities that managers need to take care off. SAs a result, they might lose track of the most important responsibility.

What’s that, you ask?

Increasing employee productivity.

It is vital to keep your employees motivated to work better and smarter. 

In a Ron Ashkenas snippet of a Harvard Business Review, he said “At higher levels, managers are advised to dial down their operational focus. This can only be done by trusting their team members to manage day-to-day operations on their own. Managers need to be more strategic and train employees, as needed, rather than solving the problems themselves.” 

Managers are required to work harder towards avoiding major blockades in the workplace that hampers critical operations.

But to achieve that, your company needs to thrive. It means you’ll focus on hiring the best talent. A talent that fits into your organizational culture. Except, you’ll always ensure to keep them engaged. Employee engagement is the oxygen that transforms poor performers into the productivity powerhouse.

According to Gallup survey (2016), teams with high employee engagement rates are 21% more productive.

Engaged employees stay longer, show up more often and are generally more productive. On the other hand, disengaged staff will drag your company down.

Unfortunately, according to a Gallup report (2017), only about 33% of US workforce feels engaged, and the disengaged employees cost the U.S. businesses from $483 to $605 billion each year.

So, to be a productive manager, it is essential to know all your responsibilities and act upon them accordingly. That’s exactly what this blog post talks about. We cover six strategies that can help you become a productive team manager.

How to be a Productive Manager? Follow These Six Strategies!

Improving team productivity is hard work, but with the right strategies, it is possible and easy. Here are six practical strategies you can implement to improve your teams’ productivity:

1. Define and Effectively Communicate Your Vision

Communicate EffectivelyOne of the most common productivity secrets successful managers tend to give is to “define and effectively communicate with your vision.”

Every manager has a vision for their team. Without a vision, your team can end up working quite hard. But might not attain important goals at the end of the day. So if you don’t know how you are going to share your vision with your team members, rather than put it into action and drive results, it is as good as dead.

Without effective two-way communication, your relationships with your team may be jeopardized. Ultimately leading the business towards failure.

On the other side, if you clearly communicate your vision and expectations, you will be rewarded with an engaged, productive workforce.

But there are pitfalls to overcome.

Your communication should not be focused on the past, but rather on the future. One of the challenges of today’s work conversation is that 80% of work-related conversation is spent on the problems of the past.

At the end of the day, you spend a tiny portion of your time discussing the real solution and future visions. It’s like modeling positive, open communication that helps to increase engagement for team members at every level.

Recommended Read: Project Managers – Learn to Be Proactive Not Reactive

2. Commit Towards Continued Training

Just as great leaders commit to continued refinement through continued education, so are your employees. You will never go wrong offering extra training for your team members. Whether they were recently hired or have spent over a decade on the job, training is a crucial part of ensuring improved productivity.

According to a Gulf study, “84% of employees working at the best organizations are receiving the training they need.” 

What are some of the benefits of training your employees?

  • Improves their skill set, making them more confident in their jobs.
  • Helps them realize their value in the company.
  • Increases skill set and helps them boost their performance. It also helps to bring in more innovation in the workplace.
  • Helps organizations identify top performers in the organization.

3. Empower Your Team

product management teamAre you one of those managers whose team cannot finish their work because they are waiting for you? Do they have to wait for you to approve their work?

If that’s you, this is one of the ‘areas of operation’ you should consider letting go. One of the greatest leadership strategies you can employ to increase your team’s engagement is by empowering them by delegating responsibilities.

Power and responsibility give managers a sense of self-worth. Everyone feels excited when they are entrusted with a position of responsibility and authority to get things done.

To make them more productive, empower them and if necessary coach them. Encourage them where possible and be ready to reward them for any feats achieved.

You can also adopt a productive task manager to keep check of all tasks in real-time. Such tools help in assigning, monitoring, managing, and closing tasks easily.

4. Encourage Self-Care Among Employees

Simple project management softwareStatistics don’t lie. Employee absenteeism and turnover rate has been on the increase.

In fact, between the year 1996 and 2000, the number of employees calling in sick due to work-related stress or burnout has tripled. (Source)

Why do so many employees feel stressed? According to The American Institute of Stress, the leading source of stress in adult Americans is “fears and occupational pressures.

And as a result of their poor mental, physical and emotional health, their productivity is hampered.

So, how to be a productive manager in such a situation?

The solution is not to advise them to combat stress. In fact, moderate stress is healthy and triggers much better performance.

As a team manager, you should be worried about burnouts – and purpose to combat it before it happens. So, encourage your team members at all levels to care for their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Do all things necessary to foster a better organizational culture – that is sensitive to the well being of your employees. Also, be a good example of showing – and not just telling – employees that you value work-life balance by taking time to relax or exercise.

Recommended Read: Challenges Faced By The Project Managers & Its Resolution

5. Embrace Telecommuting

Initially dismissed as another annoying “millennial trait”, telecommuting is fast becoming the future of work. Companies are hiring more remote workers. In fact, according to different Gallup reports (2012 – 2016), the number of employees working remotely increased from 39% to 43%.

Remote workersWhat’s so special about remote workers? Remote workers cost less, and usually more productive compared to their in-house counterparts. A study conducted by Hubspot found out that remote workers log more hours, perform better, take less sick leave and are generally more engaged at work.

6. Offer More Perks to Increase Employee Satisfaction

web based chat toolsThe value of on-the-job perks can never be underestimated. Giant corporations like Google and Facebook think it’s a good idea. Silicon Valley behemoths have become famous for offering nap pads, massage rooms, and complimentary haircuts.

Why is this important for your company? 

A recent survey conducted by Glassdoor survey revealed that 4 in 5 employees want benefits or perks more than a pay raise.

While you don’t have to be corporation bagging billions of dollars in revenue, you can provide your team with a handful of extras to increase their morale and loyalty to your business.

Become a Productive Team Manager With Productivity Management Tools

Employee engagement and happiness are the two key aspects that define an organization's success. If managers can achieve these two aspects properly, they turn out to be more productive. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on it, though.

As a project manager, you need to put yourself in your employees’ shoes and find out what can improve their morale and as a result, increases their productivity.

If you haven’t got that figured, then it is important you head on towards becoming a productive team manager. And in case you don’t know where to start, then read on this blog to find out the ‘how’ part.

You can also manage productivity by adopting productivity management software that helps in monitoring team performance. A robust productive task manager must use a project management software and maintain regular reports to analyze pain points and help in training employees to become better. Keeping this in mind, we’ve made sure to cover some of the best project management strategy tips in this piece. We welcome your suggestions for more tips in the comment section below. Now, let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions to help you understand how to be a productivity manager and productivity management.

Q1.  What exactly is a strategic, productive project manager?

Strategic project managers spend their time in understand the company dynamics and build relationships with employees. This helps in increasing team engagement, satisfaction, and productivity.

Q2. What are the different ways you can make your team productive?

Along with the six strategies mentioned in this article, you can do multiple things to make your team productive. A few things include giving ownership, communicate effectively, and incorporate team-building exercises. 

Q3. Is it true that happy employees = happy customers?

Yes. Although it is not a perfect scenario, but most employees do get affected if they aren’t working in a positive environment or have any personal issue. This affects customer relationships and their ability to provide proper support. So, it is essential to keep your employees happy for customer delight.

Q4. Do you have to accept ALL the demands of your employees?

No. When it comes to employee happiness, engagement, or satisfaction, it is important to keep employees in check and make sure you don’t say yes to unnecessary demands. 

Q5. How does productivity management software help managers boost employee performance?

Productivity management software is the ideal way to help managers monitor team productivity and improve overall organizational performance. Robust tools have a time tracking and reporting feature that helps managers to keep a check on day-to-day activities. 

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in Jeffbullas.com, Hr.com, and eLearningIndustry. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency.Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twiiter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.


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