Do you know what you need to do to skyrocket your team’s productivity and keep them inspired to do their best work?

As the team leader, you influence the performance of your team. To get things moving in the right direction, sustained motivation will be essential. Unfortunately, staying motivated can be tricky. There will come times when they just won’t feel inspired or work well together.

How will you ensure that your team achieves optimal results on a regular basis? Use these six strategies to move your team toward peak performance all year round.

6 Ways to Skyrocket Your Team’s Productivity

1. Set Clear and Attainable Goals

Without goals, your team will have no direction. Without clear goals, they may have a path to follow, but it will probably be crooked. Set your team up for success and ensure that they know exactly what they’re striving for.

  • Are there milestones they should be reaching each month or quarter?
  • Are those goals clear, specific, and realistically attainable?
  • Are goals documented and easily accessible so that team members can refer to and refresh their memories from time to time?

Discuss the short- and long-term milestones they need to attain as well as deadlines they must meet.

2. Refine Team Workflow

Each member on your team has skills that make them an integral part of the group. They must be able to work with each other and use their strengths to produce the results you’re looking for. That said, it’s important for them to have a clear understanding of the team’s workflow and the part they play.

Take a look at your team’s process of “doing things” and ensure that it’s the most efficient. Streamline the workflow and remove any tasks that are redundant or no longer needed. This will allow your team to deliver big results consistently and effectively.

Focus on being productive instead of busy. ~Tim Ferris #productivity

3. Provide Training

So, yes, you know that each individual on your team is there for a reason — they have the right skill set and attitude to get the job done. But, they’ll still need to keep those skills fresh and gain new ones, so be sure to provide training and the resources they need to work at their best.

Training doesn’t have to mean sitting in a physical classroom. Here are other ways you can develop your team:

  • Allow team members to shadow more seasoned employees or work for a day in a related department.
  • If they need step-by-step instruction, consider microlearning sessions (e.g., 3-4 minute content-rich videos, short podcasts) with ample time to practice, ask questions, and/or demonstrate what they’ve learned.
  • Don’t forget the immense value that small group training opportunities can provide.

Something else to keep in mind — training can involve experimenting and trying new things. Giving team members new or different responsibilities can stretch their capabilities.

Above all, try to keep learning experiences interactive, engaging, and entertaining. If they’re boring, your team will check out mentally and most likely not retain anything you’ve shared with them.

4. Create a Clear Communication Plan

How often will you communicate with each other? How often will you check in and deliver feedback? Is there a communication chain in place for business emergencies that come up? Who’s the point of contact for specific questions or situations? How should team members share concerns?

These are just some of the aspects you’ll need to include in your communication plan.

But, don’t get caught in the communication trap. Keep in mind that communicating too often (as well as micromanaging) can be very disruptive and have a negative impact on your team’s productivity.

  • Do you really need to meet every week?
  • Does everyone — including virtual team members — need to be present?
  • Can the meeting be shortened (e.g., 20 minutes instead of 60)?
  • Could quick walking meetings take the place of longer sit-down sessions?

Repetitive, endless meetings not only sap time, but they also drain everyone’s energy — energy that can be put to better use. Besides, the more time they spend in meetings, the less time they spend focusing on your business goals.

5. Use Tech Tools to Foster Collaboration

To work as a well-oiled machine, your team members will probably need some tech tools or apps to help them effectively collaborate with each other. This is especially true if some members on your team work remotely or from various locations.

Once the workflow is defined, find the right tech tools to help team members work together and perform optimally. Many applications, like Evernote Business, have features specifically geared towards multi-person workgroups (e.g, three or more people). For example, Evernote Business will allow your team to work on projects together, collect web research, share files, and communicate easily with each other (via Work Chat).

Other tools to consider include Google Drive (work on the same document at the same time), Trello (visual project management), and (team meetings or screen sharing).

Oh, and did you know that Google Drive integrates with Evernote? If your team uses either app, this would be a good time to see how the integration might enhance your team’s workflow and productivity.

6. Develop a Reward System

When your team achieves a win, there should be a system to thank them for their efforts. Sure, everyone likes raises and bonuses, but those are not the only options for rewarding exceptional performers who contribute to overall group success.

Find out from each person on your team how they like to be recognized. While some people want the spotlight, others might prefer a more subdued reward. And, remember, while big wins are awesome, small steps forward should be celebrated, too!

One More Thing About Team Productivity

These are just six areas you can start focusing on to develop a highly productive team. Of course, it goes without saying that when you invest in your team, their well-being, and their professional development, you provide them with a great work environment.

And, the result: you guessed it — your team’s productivity will skyrocket and go through the roof.

Start thinking about your company culture and the environment you want to cultivate now. What’s working? What need improving? Make the necessary changes to encourage optimal team productivity.