4 Tips for Boosting Team Efficiency and Results

people inside room

Inefficiency leads to more than wasted time. Team members grow dissatisfied with their roles and the company because they don’t feel like they’re accomplishing anything. Customers wonder why their needs aren’t met. Budgets run amok. And the organization’s future becomes a question, leaving everyone wondering if they’re standing on shaky ground.

Yet achieving efficiency and boosting group outcomes isn’t an overnight endeavor. Like most achievements, it takes conscious effort, planning, teamwork, and adjustment. But it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a handful of tips along the way. Learn about four of them below.

1. Use Visuals in Your Communication

Words are wonderful, but they can get lost in translation. It’s not just language barriers you have to worry about. It’s context and interpretation. What one person says may mean something different to everyone in the room due to their unique experiences.

A common example is when someone with a technical background attempts to explain troubleshooting steps to a client. A person without tech training and exposure can become confused really quickly. The use of jargon isn’t the only reason. It’s because each person is looking at the problem through different lenses.

They’re relying on past experiences to associate what someone is explaining now with the bank of knowledge in their brains. Using visuals, such as screenshots and videos made with a screen recorder, can eliminate misunderstandings. By showing the exact context, team members stay on the same page. You don’t have to spend time in meetings and conversations clarifying or re-clarifying the subject matter. With visual demonstrations, you cut right to the chase.

2. Stop the Meeting Madness

You don’t have to hold a meeting about everything. If your team raises concerns about the number of meetings they’re invited to, it’s often because they can’t get anything done. Talking about the work only goes so far. Most employees would rather do their tasks than give teammates a status update. They also don’t want to join discussions where they’re not sure how to contribute.

You might think all the meetings you pencil in are productive, but the data shows otherwise. About 47% of employees believe they’re nothing more than a waste of time. Around 39% of the group dozes off, while 91% daydreams. Simply put, they’re not actively listening and perhaps only piping in when asked.

Although some meetings are necessary, you can give your team back their time by only holding those that are. You can share a lot of information through project management tools and online knowledge bases. Quick status updates might serve better as emails or asynchronous conversations in collaboration software. Before scheduling a meeting, determine if there’s a clear agenda, who should attend, and if a face-to-face discussion is imperative.

3. Implement a Workload Management System

Unclear priorities and too many tasks can lead to inefficiencies. When team members see a mountain of work, they’ll find ways to compensate. They’ll slow or shut down to reduce their stress levels.

Unfortunately, this strategy causes the mountain to get higher. Someone eventually has to play catch-up. And employees spend their time knee-deep in service recovery rather than proactive efforts. Establishing a system for handling tasks with various priorities helps your team stay focused. They’ll recognize when a task might be unnecessary, needs delegating, or can wait until tomorrow.

The system you implement should align with your company’s strategic goals. But if you’re unsure where to start, referencing a framework like the Eisenhower Matrix can spark ideas. According to the matrix, tasks with the highest urgency get done on the same day. Necessary items that can wait a few days are tasks you schedule. In the meantime, you can delegate less important work and eliminate the unessential.

4. Have an Action Plan

Nothing is a bigger time waster than people sitting around wondering what to do. It happens when roles, responsibilities, goals, and deliverables are unclear. To get results, you must determine what you want them to be. Without some sense of structure, your team will wander aimlessly.

Yes, you’ll have a few speak up and say they’re unsure how to proceed. They might mention they’re bored. Some team members could ask for clarification on what leadership expects. Still, if they constantly have to do this, something’s out of whack.

It’s usually because leadership and the organization don’t have an action plan. There isn’t a clear sense of purpose with a desired outcome. Employees spin their wheels as a result, which isn’t productive for anyone. It’s better to map out the goal before you let the team loose. Your action plan should include responsibilities, deadlines, key performance indicators, financials, and expectations.

Get Your Team Cooking With Gas

Boosting team efficiency and improving results takes more than pep talks. You’ve got to create structures and work with tools to enable productivity. While some employees will naturally find ways to be more efficient, they can even lose momentum without proper support.

As a leader, it’s up to you to provide guidance and implement systems to keep the group on track. Some of the ways you can do this include communicating with visual context and developing sensible action plans. With these tips in your back pocket, you’ll increase your team’s chances of producing efficient and favorable results.