Maximizing Team Productivity: How Great Leaders Drive Results
“Work is a process, and any process needs to be controlled. To make work productive, therefore, requires building the appropriate controls into the process of work.”
Peter F. Drucker in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.
Today’s leaders have dual responsibilities — “setting the strategic vision” and acting as “the buffer for expectations” from the rest of the team. Of course, great leaders know how to leverage their team’s strengths and steer them toward success.
To that end, let’s explore how great leaders maximize team productivity.
Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations
Great team leaders understand that setting goals and expectations that are too high or too low is counterproductive. They ensure that their team goals are achievable yet challenging. They work with their team to establish a clear understanding of the expectations and the resources needed to meet these goals.
However, setting realistic goals and expectations requires a deep understanding of the team’s capabilities, as well as the resources available to them. These leaders take the time to analyze their team’s strengths and weaknesses and set goals accordingly.
Realistic goals and expectations are important because they help nurture trust between the leader and the team. When team members feel that their goals are achievable, they are more likely to trust their leader and work towards those goals with enthusiasm and dedication.
Another important aspect of setting realistic goals and expectations is that it helps to prevent burnout. Leaders who set unrealistic goals or expectations often end up overworking their team members, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Great leaders, on the other hand, ensure that their team is not overworked or underutilized but has a clear direction, which leads to increased engagement and productivity.
The path to success includes failure, which great leaders are aware of. They motivate their team members to take risks and make mistakes, knowing that learning from those experiences will enable their team to reach new heights of productivity. However, it’s not just about encouraging risks but also about creating a safe environment where team members feel comfortable taking them. Leaders who foster this type of environment create a culture where innovation and creativity can thrive.
Having a “no-fail” mindset also means they empower their team to learn from mistakes and trust them to find solutions. They believe that mistakes are learning opportunities and that, ultimately, they are responsible for their team’s success. This mindset also helps leaders to build trust with their team members. When team members feel that their leader trusts them to take risks and learn from mistakes, they are highly likely to feel invested in team’s success and the organization as a whole.
Another important aspect of having a “no-fail” mindset is the ability to bounce back from setbacks. Great leaders understand that setbacks are inevitable, but it’s how they respond to them that sets them apart. They remain calm and composed in the face of adversity and encourage their team members to do the same. By modeling this behavior, they help their team to develop resilience and perseverance, which are essential qualities for success in any field.
Healthy Competition Among Team Members
Competition can drive productivity. Great leaders use healthy competition to challenge team members to perform at their best. Healthy competition promotes continuous learning and pushes team members to think outside the box to meet their goals.
At the same time, great leaders ensure that competition does not devolve into negative behaviors such as sabotage or taking credit for others’ work. They monitor their team and intervene if necessary to keep the environment positive and goal-oriented.
Transparency in the Approach
Transparency builds trust in any relationship, and great leaders understand this. They regularly communicate with their teams about their vision, objectives, and the progress being made toward them. They provide feedback and updates to ensure that their team members are aware of the bigger picture and comprehend how their work fits into it.
When employees receive little or no feedback, 98% of them become disengaged from their work, outlines a study. Favorably, being transparent also means leaders are open to feedback and encourage their team members to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. By fostering a culture of transparency and feedback, teams can align their efforts and work towards the same goals efficiently.
Incentivizing Good Performance
Great leaders motivate their team members to perform well by recognizing and rewarding their hard work. They know that monetary and non-monetary incentives can motivate team members to reach for success and contribute to overall productivity.
However, these leaders don’t rely solely on incentives; they also make sure that their team members feel valued and appreciated. By acknowledging their team’s contributions, great leaders inspire their team members to continue to perform at their best.
Great leaders understand that micromanaging is counterproductive and stifles creativity. Instead, they trust their team members to get the job done, giving them flexibility and autonomy within their roles.
By delegating responsibilities to their team members, they also provide them with opportunities for growth and development. Empowering team members to make decisions is an essential aspect of maximizing team productivity.
Giving and Soliciting Feedback
Feedback is crucial for personal and professional growth, and great leaders understand this. They regularly provide feedback to their team members to improve their performance and help them address areas that need improvement.
Such leaders also encourage their team members to provide feedback to them. This two-way communication is essential to build trust and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
Collaboration – the Center of Productivity
Collaboration is vital for team productivity. Great leaders know how to build a collaborative environment where team members can work together effectively. They encourage teamwork by facilitating communication, setting clear expectations, and providing resources to achieve the common goal.
Keeping collaboration at the center, great leaders maximize team productivity by leveraging the strengths of each team member and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objective.
Addressing Questionable Behavior
Great leaders understand that addressing bad or questionable behavior is crucial to maintaining team productivity. They actively address any behavior that detracts from the team’s success and work towards resolving any conflicts professionally.
They’re quick to address any distractions or issues that arise and help their team members find solutions. By creating a positive work environment, such leaders create a platform for their team members to be productive.
Servant leadership puts the needs of the team, stakeholders, and customers first. Great leaders who use this approach understand that by serving others, they create a positive work environment and culture that leads to increased productivity.
As such, they prioritize their team’s needs and develop strategies and plans that will benefit the individuals and drive the organization’s overall success. They lead by example, demonstrating servant leadership principles themselves.
Cheryl Bachelder is an excellent example of a servant leader who emphasizes humility, listening, and service to others. As the former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, she revitalized the firm by building a culture of collaboration, trust, and empowerment. Her leadership approach motivates and inspires others and results in organizational success.
Similar to baking a cake, team productivity requires assembling the proper materials (team members). A well-balanced batter of varied ingredients is needed to enable your teams to be at their most productive.
A number of corporate disciplines are involved in the complicated process of productivity. But if you keep in mind the aforementioned practices, you’ll be able to improve the performance of your staff.