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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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                  Last Updated on December 10, 2019

                  7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                  7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                  Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

                  But do you know what motivates your people?

                  It’s simple:

                  • Is their work stimulating?
                  • Does it challenge them?
                  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
                  • Do you encourage creativity?
                  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
                  • Do you praise them?
                  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
                  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
                  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

                  Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

                  In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

                  Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

                  These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

                  1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

                  You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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                  But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

                  If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

                  Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

                  2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

                  There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

                  In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

                  So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

                  Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

                  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
                  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
                  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
                  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

                  So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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                  3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

                  Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

                  When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

                  Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

                  So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

                  4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

                  Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

                  Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

                  Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

                  Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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                  5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

                  Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

                  Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

                  A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

                  Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

                  If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

                  6. Monitor Their Workload

                  Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

                  What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

                  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
                  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
                  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

                  I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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                  If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

                  And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

                  7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

                  Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

                  So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

                  The Bottom Line

                  A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

                  Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

                  More to Motivate Your Team

                  Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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