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4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

By now, you must have figured that the people you hire have a lot to do with how successful your company is going to be. This is why you can see many companies out there trying to personalize their recruitment process to look for the specific character traits and skillsets that can be easily teamed up and allow people to work together efficiently.

Yeah, that can certainly be a difficult task. And let me tell you something, even if you manage to do an excellent job during the recruitment process, it’s going to be hard to get to the dream-team phase.

All of the HR manuals out there make this part of business sound too boring and generic. It seems that somehow, in the process of increasing revenue and cutting down expenses, people have forgotten that it’s the connection that matters; that spark that ignites productivity when there is chemistry within a team.

Without further ado let’s get down to business. Here are some tips on how to create a team everyone would like to be a part of.

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1. Reshape Interview Process

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    In the last couple of years, we have seen some really interesting questions that were standard during job interviews in some of the biggest companies in the world. Many of you may have thought to yourself, “Why didn’t I come up with this? It’s so cool!” Well, to be honest, it’s good that you didn’t. Even, Laszlo Bock, former head of human resources at Google, admitted that those have proven to be terrible tools to identify the best potential employees.

    You won’t make any mistake if you sit down and write some of the questions. In the end, if you create a question, you will be the one who knows best what kind of response works best. A good start would be to write down your business goals and what it takes to achieve them, as well as what it took to get to the current state of your business. Check if the candidates have the same mindset as yours, as it is really important to be on the same page.

    2. Create a Positive Working Atmosphere

    There are several crucial things that you should always keep in mind when trying to create a dream team. Organizational culture, relationships between team members and supervisors and, of course, the possibility for personal development.

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    Everything should start and end with a conversation. This is why, right from the start, you need to encourage co-workers to exchange all the information that has value for team progress. The best way to make the employees feel that they belong in the organization is to feed their need to feel like they are contributing in more than one way. If you keep an open form of communication with them, especially during meetings, there is a great chance that their paycheck won’t be the only incentive in their motivation repertoire.

    Also, try to bring diversity to the workplace. There are some really cool software tools that can lift the team’s spirit by spicing things up with mini games. For instance, you can use time-tracking software like Toggl, Hubstaff or RescueTime to create multiple “timed goals” for each team member and organize a competition with symbolic rewards. This game will also increase time-management skills for both you and the team.

    3. Become a Great Leader

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      You already possess most of the qualities that make a good leader. You just need to embrace them and let them work out for you. Just wait and you will see, some of them are embedded in our human nature.

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      Let’s start with honesty. Honesty is a characteristic found in all great team leaders and when you practice it, it leaves you with that great feeling in your chest. When you make honesty a key virtue, you can expect that your co-workers will follow your example. Honesty is a pillar of every helpful and friendly workspace.

      Next in line is confidence. I’ve already mentioned how your behavior reflects on the team as a whole. Well, confidence is something very important, especially in times when things aren’t going according to plan. If you remain calm during difficult times, team morale will flourish and everyone will be working and moving ahead with their crosshairs on a larger goal.

      4. Reinvent Team Building

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        Team Building is a time when your employees should not feel like it is another “business” day. The emphasis should be on spending time together and sharing some unique experiences, even if that’s something a bit outside of someone’s comfort zone.

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        When you are planning a team building activity or creating one, you should also set some goals. You can organize events where people can discover what motivates and demotivates other team members. Or, play a game that shows the value of everyone’s ideas. Also, don’t restrain from trying the good old get to know each other games. Not only will your co-workers get the chance to find out something new about their colleagues, but you can also use this material for future team building events.

        Team building games are also an excellent opportunity to improve problem-solving skills and to inspire creativity. These types of games are popular by the name “Use what you have”. For newly formed teams, a scavenger hunt game can improve collaboration and teamwork, and you can always make it more interesting with clues and riddles.

        Conclusion

        As you can see, building a good team is a process and it can be hard at times. But, let those “hard” times and how your team passes through them serve you as a key indicator of where the team is going. Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that

        Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that develops between team members when it comes to increasing productivity and morale at the workplace.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on January 6, 2021

        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

        Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

        In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

        For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

        For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

        Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

        Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

        Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

        How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

        1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

        Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

        For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

        2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

        Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

        Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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        Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

        3. Create a System

        Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

        This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

        You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

        Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

        4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

        We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

        If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

        Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

        Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

        5. Use a Ratings Scale

        Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

        Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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        It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

        6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

        This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

        You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

        You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

        7. Offer Feedback Forms

        Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

        First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

        Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

        You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

        8. Track Cost Effectiveness

        This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

        Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

        Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

        9. Use Self-Evaluations

        Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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        Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

        10. Monitor Time Management

        This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

        Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

          The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

          While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

          11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

          We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

          Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

          For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

          Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

          Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

          From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

          12. Utilize Peer Feedback

          This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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          Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

          Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

          It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

          13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

          When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

          Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

          Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

          14. Use an External Evaluator

          Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

          They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

          While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

          Final Thoughts

          These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

          The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

          The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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          Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

          Reference

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