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8 Tools for Building an Effective Team

8 Tools for Building an Effective Team

When it comes to getting projects completed, you need to have a great team working on them. Before you can work on projects, you need to put that team together.

There is a lot more to building an effective team than just getting a bunch of employees together to work on a project. You need to use the right tools that are going to help the team to be as productive and effective as possible.

Here are some of the tools that you should be using.

1. Work(etc)

work-etc

    Here is an all-in-one project management, CRM, and collaboration tool that is a must-have for effective teams. It is basically a software solution for your whole business, and then some.

    You can use the cloud-based mobile and web apps to manage your business from anywhere, so you don’t have to be tied to a desk in the office. This is going to mean a huge increase in productivity and efficiency, with the best practices in place.

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    2. Campfire

    campfire

      This is another messaging tool, but it is specifically for group usage. You can use it to share files, text, and code in real time, and of course, save transcripts so you don’t forget anything.

      This is a web-based group chat tool that lets users set up chatrooms that are password protected, in just a few seconds. There is nothing to install, and it is easy to use from any device.

      3. Six Disciplines

      six-disciplines

        Employees can use this tool to track and update the progress of everything they are doing, including plans, goals, and performance results.

        Performance management solutions by Six Disciplines can be used at any time, and from any device, and it makes setting up multi-rater feedback for employees easy for managers to do. With this tool, team management and coaching is team and employee oriented.

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        4. Bitrix24

        bitrix24

          Here is a free collaboration suite with more than 35 awesome tools. It is an all-in-one suite for collaboration, communication, and management tools, and in addition to the free plan, you can also upgrade to paid plans for even more benefits.

          You can even use the self-hosted version to run your server, and you have total control over data and source code access. There is even a help desk, as well as e-learning.

          5. Zoom

          zoom

            This is the number one video conferencing and web conferencing service, and you can sign up for free. It can be used on all devices, so you can use it while you are on the go and no one will ever miss an important meeting again.

            More than 350,000 companies all over the world use this tool. In addition to the free basic service, you can also choose from a variety of paid plans that offer even more great benefits, and none cost more than $20 per month.

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            6. Slack

            slack

              This is a messaging app that teams need in order to be able to stay in contact with each other whenever they need to be.

              You have various options for communicating, including open channels for team conversations, private channels for smaller or one-on-one conversations, and direct messages that let you reach colleagues directly.

              7. Redbooth

              redbooth

                Busy teams should be using this tool for tasks and project management. You can manage all projects, as well as day-to-day work, with all of your chat, email, and file storage apps in one convenient location.

                The software is easy to use and offers an intuitive, user-friendly design that even inexperienced users can enjoy.

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                8. Zoomshift

                zshift

                  Make scheduling easy with this tool that will make your life a whole lot easier. You never have to worry about schedule changes again, because you will always have instant access to it on any device.

                  You can see all employee schedules, make changes, and use the Time Clock app. There are shift reminders, notification settings, mobile notifications, and many other features that make this an indispensable tool for any business.

                  Featured photo credit: Nick Karvounis via unsplash.com

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                  Published on September 18, 2018

                  17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                  17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                  Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

                  Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

                  Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

                  After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

                  Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

                  1. Show your appreciation

                  In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

                  The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

                  Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

                  2. Communicate effectively

                  Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

                  Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

                  3. Be open to dialogue

                  Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

                  New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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                  In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

                  For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

                  4. Provide constructive criticism

                  Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

                  So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

                  Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

                  Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

                  Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

                  5. Conduct one-on-ones

                  Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

                  While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

                  Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

                  More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

                  6. Build training programs

                  In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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                  From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

                  While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

                  7. Offer growth opportunities

                  Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

                  Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

                  Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

                  8. Reward them

                  Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

                  If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

                  Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

                  9. Encourage team outings

                  Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

                  From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

                  10. Involve them

                  Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

                  Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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                  11. Set meaningful goals

                  In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

                  Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

                  12. Empower them

                  You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

                  Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

                  Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

                  13. Deal with conflict

                  A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

                  How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

                  As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

                  14. Implement a flexible work culture

                  Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

                  Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

                  It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

                  15. Host engaging activities

                  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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                  From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

                  16. Maintain a positive work space

                  Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

                  Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

                  These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

                  17. Avoid discrimination

                  Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

                  In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

                  The bottom line

                  Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

                  It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

                  This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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