Managing a Team – How to Encourage Productivity and Boost Morale

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Effective leadership is key when it comes to running a successful business. Not only will your existing employees thrive in a supportive and minimal stress work environment, but you will attract the most dedicated and hardworking talent.  


Investing your time and resources into developing more effective management skills will pay dividends in the long term of your enterprise. So how can you ensure you’re optimizing workplace productivity within your business while maintaining a healthy and comfortable staff?


Set and Clarify Expectations from Day One


When building and maintaining a successful team, it is essential that employees be on the same page with respect to expectations and goals. Miscommunication can often lead to disappointment and a subsequent loss of morale and momentum.


Setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based) for each period such as weekly, quarterly and annually, means that all employees have a solid understanding of what is expected of them, as well as how to achieve business goals.


Get to Know Each Individual


A successful leader will be able to pick up on nuances early enough to prevent a negative, domino-effect impact on the team as a whole. To achieve this, a manager must know and trust each employee.


When a manager is able to establish trust and positive working relationships with employees, communication comes more naturally – which leads to greater efficiency. Knowing your team personally will save time in the long run and give useful insight into individual career goals, areas of expertise and planned areas of improvement.


Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance


According to a recent LinkedIn survey, almost 50% of American workers would choose flexible hours over a higher salary. 


You will significantly increase employee morale and productivity if you offer team members the autonomy to decide when they work (so long as they meet performance standards), instead of forcing them to choose between work and their personal lives and/or mental health. In some cases, this method can actually reduce the number of sick days taken by employees.


Promote Physical Activity and Time Spent Outdoors


A Stanford University research study concluded that a short walk in the fresh air is highly conducive to the production of more creative thoughts and responses.


As the generation of creative ideas is an integral part of improving team productivity and solving problems that may hinder progress, leaders should encourage outdoor breaks to get creative juices flowing in a productive direction. Productivity can also be enhanced by introducing a low-energy form of exercise, which pumps endorphins into the bloodstream and ultimately reduces work-induced stress.


In the interest of reaping these benefits, leaders should incorporate various forms of physical activity into their employees’ daily routines by endorsing outdoor lunches or scheduling team walks.


The Pomodoro Technique


The Pomodoro Technique is a theory developed by Francesco Cirillo. The time management method suggests workers break the workday into short intervals, helping to boost productivity.


By following its core guidelines, employees select a task, work on said task for a set interval (25 minutes is recommended), and take a one-to-five minute break, before resuming.


Once four full intervals have been carried out, a longer twenty-to-thirty minute break should be taken. This gives employees time to step away from their screen, stretch, restore energy and switch their focus to new objectives, if necessary.  


As laid out above, improving employee morale and implementing various work methods can have a direct influence on productivity and efficiency in the workplace.


When your employees genuinely enjoy their work atmosphere, they are more likely to achieve goals and work more efficiently. Furthermore, when morale is boosted, the quality of work will be much higher as a result.