4 Ways to Improve Team Performance

By Madison White on October 14, 2019

Improving your team’s performance usually has something to do with the way they interact with each other and how positively they feel about working as a team. If they are unhappy with the work that they’re doing or with the people they are working with, it is unlikely that they will perform well. Since every person has a different personality and every team will have a different working dynamic, there is no perfect solution for everyone. There are, however, a few steps you can take that will hopefully improve how your team performs together.

1. Create a fun work environment

Many studies have shown that people who feel comfortable in their work environment will perform better than those who don’t. You can create a fun work environment in a variety of ways. Firstly, you can start with the space around you. Is it lifeless and sterile? If so, then you may want to try and add some things that will make the space feel more inviting. Bring in some plants and some color to the office. You should also allow employees to decorate their own space because then it will help them feel more at home and allow them to connect with other employees.

Secondly, you should think about the kinds of activities that happen in your office. Do your workers often talk to each other and hang out, or does everyone keep to themselves? Without having good interpersonal connections, it is unlikely that your team will work well together. You may want to liven up the office with some fun events whether it be celebrating birthdays or having a weekly lunch. Make sure that there are spaces for workers to interact like a shared kitchen or break room. This will encourage them to make connections with each other.

2. Start a mentoring program

One reason that your team may not be performing well is because your employees don’t know exactly what is expected of them. Alternatively, if it is difficult to talk to managers in a comfortable way, it may be tricky for newer employees to ask for help when they need it.

A great solution to these problems is to begin a mentoring program. This is when you allow senior members to mentor newer members. A mentoring program will benefit your team’s performance because it allows everyone in your team to have at least one person that they are on the same page with. It also allows older workers to feel like they can connect to the newer employees and get to know them in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive. Another benefit is that the newer members will get a clearer sense of direction from their mentor, which will improve their overall task-related performance.

3. Allow for your employees to give back

If your employees are doing specialized tasks, it can sometimes be difficult for them to see the bigger picture of their efforts. They may not feel connected to the company’s success and begin slacking in certain areas. This lack of motivation may be stemming from a need to feel like an immediate part of something bigger, something with an impact.

A really amazing way for your team to bond and work well together is by allowing them to volunteer for a cause. Volunteering as a team is a great idea because it allows co-workers to work together in a space that is lower stakes than their usual position. It obviously benefits the cause they are volunteering for, but it also usually acts as a wonderful socializing tool. It often unites them as a team because they have a common goal that they can clearly see the team working towards. Besides just improving overall morale, volunteering can instill a sense of purpose that might not have been there before.

4. Provide incentives

One reason your team’s performance may be slacking is because they feel their work is not valued. There is a common way of thinking that if you do your work well, you will be rewarded with more work. If this is the way your office functions, intentionally or unintentionally, it can make workers become burned out and demotivated to continue.

Providing clear incentives for good work can be a good way to remedy this issue. What incentives you choose to provide will probably vary based on your company’s budget and the personalities of your workers, but it is important that these incentives are open to everyone. Make sure that you aren’t incentivizing behavior that may be unattainable by people with families or other outside of work obligations.

It may take some testing to figure out exactly what your team needs to improve its performance and how. It is usually a good idea to ask the members of the team directly if they have any ideas and work from there.

By Madison White

Uloop Writer
Wichita State University
Madison graduated with her Master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester (UK), and holds Bachelor's degrees in English and Creative Writing from Wichita State University. She currently teaches English at Wichita State University and works as a freelance writer and blogger on her website Madison White Writes and elsewhere.

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