11 Creative Ways to Improve Team Performance | project.co (2023)

Last updated on December 9, 2022

Regardless of their business niche or industry, great leaders are always looking for ways to improve team performance. In this article, we look at 11 creative ideas: tips, tricks and tools you need to get started.

You don't have to be a sports fan to hear about Tom Brady.

He is the most successful NFL player of all time, with six Super Bowl wins, more than any other player in history, and a number of personal honors.

If anyone had an excuse to be a little selfish, it would be Brady.

But a story released in early 2019, ahead of his recent Super Bowl triumph, shed a lot of light not only on Brady's greatness as a leader, but also on the Patriots' greatness as a team.

The story written by Adam Kilgore in theWashington Post, talked about the four simple words Brady uses when meeting a newcomer to the team:Hello, I'm Tom Brady.

His humility is illustrated by the simplicity and humility of the introduction to people who definitely know him and have probably idolized him his entire life.

But it's also typical of Brady's appreciation for thethe importance ofO hour🇧🇷 An understanding that your individual performance reflects the (often unheralded) efforts of the collective.

If the team wins, he wins. When the team improves, it improves.

This is the spirit we all must channel when it comes to improving our teams; Find those small marginal wins and empower our people to do itbe at your bestit is almost always the determining factor in how well we do in leadership roles.

Here are some ways you can help your team improve, develop, and thrive.

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1. Education and Development

“Knowledge is power” is often said, and in many ways, effective education and training remains the cornerstone of excellent team performance.

At its core, it's important to equip your team with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their role effectively.

But it is also very important to give them training time so that they can grow with their own ambitions.

Studies have consistently shown that investing in education and training is money well spent, with up to68%of workers who cite it as a TTO DIEmost important labor policy.

It has been strongly associated with reduced employee turnover and increased productivity.

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we could write aanother complete articleabout what ideal training looks like, how it should be carried out, but we believe that the crucial components of training are:

Determine training needs:First, it's important to identify any knowledge/skill gaps that are preventing your employees from excelling at the fundamentals of their daily work. You can do this during regular (biweekly or monthly) scans and updates. You might consider creating some kind of knowledge base that covers common areas of uncertainty in your team, with "on-demand" content to help them improve those areas.

Identify training needs:If you have employees who are slowing down from their normal work performance, it's important to keep them growing by asking what's going on.Next🇧🇷 You can let the employee guide this process and identify areas of passion and interest they want to focus on. Of course, how close this is to your current role and overall business goals is up to you. There will be times when you will need to be flexible and accept that you will enjoy the benefits of your skills longer if it fits with your long-term ambitions to retain your outstanding employees.

Assign time:Regardless of whether you can allocate funds for your training programs, make no mistake: the most valuable resource in training is time. We recommend scheduling regular training time in the employee's calendar, perhaps one day or half a day per month. Once this schedule is reserved, it must be respected. Don't Let It Get Away Allow your employees to say “no” to things that come up that threaten to interrupt their training time, unless it's absolutely critical. If things get in the way, be sure to make up that time during quieter times in other parts of the month.


From here, you should meet with your employees regularly, preferably one-on-one, to review their training and ensure they are working towards the goals you've set.

2. Set (and measure) goals.

We all know that goals motivate us and push us to achieve more. There is no doubt that goals are a key component to improving team performance.

Still, people make mistakes when they set goals.

We're like a bunch of sheep talking about SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

But many people set goals that are beyond their control because they focus on them.what they want to achieveinstead of stockshow are they going to achieve this.

Let's illustrate this with an example. Let's say you want to get in shape. Just "getting in shape" is clearly a terrible goal.

So, using the SMART philosophy, you might think that a good goal would be:Lose 10 pounds in the next 8 weeks, Right? It's specific, it's measurable, it's achievable, it's realistic, and it's time-bound. So what's the problem?

Well, let's think about how you could do that. You're 8 weeks old, so the first few weeks you'll probably live like a monk and lose, say, 3-4 pounds. great start. But the next week you might get a little depressed and start using something again. A few more good weeks will get him back on track, but then he'll go on vacation for a week and totally relax and gain 10 pounds.

Even if you manage not to be completely put off by the wobble and lack of control, it will likely be a last-minute dash to try to reach your ideal weight, with chance being a key factor. You will have to worry about how your body will react to all sorts of factors. You can do this, you can't.

Really, what you should be doing is asking yourself what tasks you need to do to "get in shape" or whatever your goal is. Therefore, to achieve 'X', you must do 'Y'.

So your goal shouldn't be "lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks". Instead, he could say to himself:"For the next 8 weeks, I will hit the gym 3 times a week and work out 45-60 minutes at a time."This is fully controllable, fully accountable: it's a simple yes or no question: did you take the time or not? Real weight loss will take care of itself depending on your goals you achieve.completelyunder your control.

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The golden rule:"Only set goals that you have complete control over." See our downloadable form to help you with this process.

3. Drive performance

As committed as you are to making improvements, there's no escaping the fact that this is a two-way street – it requires approval from your team members.

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The 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, once said: “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do.tuI want to do it' And that gets to the heart of the problem.

Great employees are often motivated by professional pride in achieving and accomplishing, but sometimes they need a solid reason to increase their contribution. This is where employee incentives come in.

You might think that this is just a money-wasting exercise, but that's usually not the case. Research carried out byIncentive Marketing Associationfound that nearly two-thirds of workers (65%) actually prefer non-cash incentives. There are many creative options on offer.non-monetary incentivesfor your employees: time off, travel incentives, tickets to sporting events, awards, gift cards and more.

So here's a question:what moves peoplethishoping to improve your game?What can you offer them that yousabreWill it encourage them to exceed your expectations? If you don't know, you have to find out. Talk to them personally and encourage them to be as honest as possible. Some are motivated purely by money, which is fine. Others want to work less, enjoy social events, or simply be motivated by management recognition.

Once you understand what really drives your leverage, you can respond by offering appropriate incentives tailored to your unique characteristics.

Remember that incentives should always be clearly and measurably linked to performance. Otherwise, you'll get the "expected" incentives only given to people who do their jobs. That way, you're still paying, but you're missing out on real performance improvements.

You should also be careful not to "overdo" incentives to the point where they lose their luster. They work particularly well when you need short-term performance boosts, during a busy period, or when a tight deadline looms.

4. Enables excellent internal communication

It is a simple, yet regrettable, fact that most people simplythey are notgreat communicators. It's a shame because communication between leaders and teams is key.

Communication creates clarity, builds trust, and ensures focus.

As much as you want information to flow effortlessly through your team, it's unlikely to happen automatically. Things get lost and important information is lost if you don't have systems and processes in place to facilitate great communication.

There are two aspects to this.


First interpersonal; definitely planindividual callsregularly so that your people sit in a room with you without an agenda and ask how they are doing. Encourage them to be open and honest, andresponderto the questions they raise. Escalate when necessary; represent your interests in other parts of the company.

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As business thought leader Gary Vaynerchuk puts it: “Many managers think that people work for them; They don't realize they must work for their employees.” One-on-one meetings are an important opportunity to show that you work for your employees, earn their trust and defend your position. Listen more than you talk and commit to solving any problems they have. By doing so, you remove barriers to their full potential as an employee.

Not everyone will be as open about their issues, so consider conducting anonymous surveys to uncover bigger issues. A simple tool likeresearch monkeyallows you to do this quickly and easily.

Set up a comments/suggestions board or just go old school and have a suggestion box. Remember that people are not always comfortable expressing their concerns or ideas "out loud".

5. Make meetings productive

Isn't this just a continuation of the previous point? Well, no, it's not. As we've all probably experienced, meetings don't always equal communication!

The truth is, a staggering amount of time is spent, and often wasted, in unproductive meetings that we could all eliminate altogether.

This is not to say that meetings are a bad idea in general, quite the contrary. They can add incredible value to a business, and often do, as they are an extremely useful source of collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

However, in order not to waste time, it is always better to follow these simple tips:

  • Questions: is the meetingSeriousrequired? For example, would it be just as productive to discuss something over email or collaborate on a Google Doc?
  • Make sure you only invite people who need to be there. Check the guest list!
  • Set an agenda (and stick to it) to keep the conversation from getting off topic.
  • Schedule less time for the meeting and apply the allotted time. Consider setting aside 15 or 30 minutes instead of a full hour and getting things done.
  • Prohibit phones and laptops from meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Set action points during the meeting and make sure everyone leaves with things to do.

There are some ways to fundamentally rethink the way meetings are organized in your organization.

For example, you can imitate Oprah Winfrey's speech.approach to meetings🇧🇷 Essentially, she starts every meeting with a simple question: "What are we going to get away with?

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The result is that instead of random "recoveries" where each brain gives up on what it has done in the past and nothing really gets resolved, you end up with a single quality talking point that actually helps move the business forward.

Conversation topics can be things like:

"How can we improve customer satisfaction?"


"What can we do to ensure that Product A is released according to the release plan?"

In short: you keep itaction pointsbased on quality discussions. Agreed ideas for improving the things that matter in your business.

If you don't have a single topic of conversation in mind, why not democratize the process? Let your team vote on issues that are important to them.Agente Sprint WilyDo you have a formula for meetings that might come in handy?

6. Effective project management

Our teams are made up of diverse and unique people, who often have their own way of working.

This is usually a good thing; brings many new approaches and contributes to creative and inventive solutions.

But it can also cause problems.

Have you ever searched for a specific file or message, only to find out after many hours that it's on someone's desktop or in their private inbox? (Bonus points if you find this out after going off the market or right after going on vacation for 2 weeks!)

Problems like these are annoying and common.

Project management is all about getting everyone working in one system, with an agreed flow of messages, deadlines and tasks.

with the rightproject management systemhelps managers get key information about the project, with results broken down into "tasks" linked to specific dates and assigned to specific people.

(Video) The secret to giving great feedback | The Way We Work, a TED series

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It also provides one place for all internal and external communication, meaning projects are organized and can be accessed and reviewed by anyone at any time.

someone is sick

Did anyone leave the store?

No problem! With a project management system, everything is stored in one place, which streamlines information sharing, reduces the need for repeat customers, and ultimately results in a simpler, easier experience for everyone.

7. Purpose, Vision and Shared Culture

We have already mentioned the importance of motivation. But it is important to distinguish that humans are notOnlymotivated to increase performance through extrinsic rewards.

In other words, people are not just motivated by money or success.We want our work to mean something.

There's nothing new about that, of course.

There is an old story about President Kennedy's first visit to NASA Headquarters in 1961. During the visit, he introduced himself to a janitor who was cleaning the bathroom floor and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor ignored the small details of his daily chores, which presumably consisted of cleaning floors and bathrooms, restocking toilet paper and soap. He simply replied:"I'm helping to put a man on the moon."

The idea that our daily tasks don't exist in isolation, but actually doMaterialAs part of a broad and noble purpose, they invariably motivate and inspire us to do our best, whatever role we play.

Does your team have a “higher” sense of purpose they believe in? Does your brand have a vision of the better world you are trying to create and the role each person should play in that noble journey? If not, you should take some time to change it.

Culture is another cornerstone of the modern workplace, and it can make a big difference in the performance (and morale) of your team. This is often your main differentiator as an employer.

If you don't already have a culture and values ​​that describe that culture, we recommend the following exercise we've done for our own brands:

Gather your entire team in one room. Encourage them to write down what they think are the behaviors/attitudes/beliefs that best exemplify their team. Go through these. Isolate and consecrate those that are most common. Hang them on posters/art in your office. You are your culture, and it is even stronger because it is decided by the people in your organization.

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Once you define your culture this way, you can embed it in every aspect of your business: hiring, onboarding, retention, performance reviews.

8. Give credit

We've talked about incentives before, but while incentives can work, there's one more "basic" box to check here: recognition.

Humans naturally crave approval. Again, we want to know that we are making a difference and that our work is appreciated/seen.

Contrary to intuition, speaking from experience, private recognition is often more powerful than public recognition.

While public recognition feels ostentatious and can sometimes embarrass the recipient, private recognition feels human, personal, and unexpected. Of course, you want to make sure you don't overdo it to the point expected, but whenever people go the extra mile, remember that a simple thank you and appreciation message is one of the most important things to an employer. Manager. never can.

It doesn't have to be complicated - try to add a personal touch. Send a private text or email to someone who's done it all and let them know they were instrumental in making this happen and we appreciate their hard work. You might be surprised by the answer.

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9. Flexible sea

It's always helpful to remember that the "people" you manage are really "people". We are all so busy at work that we can forget that each person on our team has aLife, like us, with dozens of other things to balance.

One of the current dominant trends in our world of work is the demand for flexibility. And it's important to be aware of that.

Thanks to the advent of online technology and collaborative tools, people are able to work more and morewherever,even across continents and time zones.

(Video) Creative thinking - how to get out of the box and generate ideas: Giovanni Corazza at TEDxRoma

This is a huge leap forward for many companies, but flexible working in terms of time and location is surprisingly easy to implement.

They can manage flexible work schedules in a simple spreadsheet to ensure everyone sticks to their contracted hours, and use collaboration tools (Google Drive, project management systems, etc.) so employees can work from a location convenient for them.

The employees' flexibility in terms of working hours and place of work allows them to offer more to the team, increasing their commitment and motivation for the cause. This kind of flexibility will help optimize employee retention AND broaden your hiring criteria, allowing you to hire from anywhere in the world. This helps you attract and retain top talent, which can only benefit your team's overall performance over time, especially when it comes to specialist skills.

10. Give great feedback

Feedback is an essential part of continuous improvement for all of us.

Giving is vital as a leaderqualityFeedback on the work of our teams. This doesn't just mean telling them when they've done a good or bad job, but conveying both in a spirit of support and kindness.

Giving negative feedback isn't always the easiest thing in the world, especially when you're trying to build positive working relationships. But think of a time when someone gave you really constructive and critical feedback.

I kill you? Did that make you hate that person? Of course.

Do you have the confidence to say whennotas a piece; Ask them to explain their thoughts and clarify their reasoning. The worst thing you can do is pretend your work is great when it really isn't. It doesn't do anyone any favors.

Peer feedback can also be very valuable when given and received in the right way, for example during group/team meetings where work can be critiqued and revised.

11. Automate where you can

If flexible working is one of the dominant trends in the world of work, automation and AI are arguably the others.

Understandably, there are major concerns about how automation might impact the human workforce.

But there are several ways automation can do this.silentlyHelp your human employees, free them up to focus on tasks and responsibilities that require a more human touch, and add much more value to the organization as a whole.

Make no mistake: limitations that existed in the past regarding AI have been fixed or are in the works. For example, see how Google Assistant can actually do this.Phone calla local business and make an appointment…

But how do you do it? First, ask yourself how your employees spend their time; What is productive and what can be changed/automated?

Keep an eye on the ever-changing field of AI and machine learning because new things are always possible.

For example, customer service teams can review thisevery customer ordercurrently under immense pressure to do so quickly, for example as measured by average call/response time.

But you can consider implementing itChatbots, or create content/features like videos or FAQs to help customers resolve their own issues, freeing up your customer service team to actually help people in need with less time pressure to optimize overall performance and customer satisfaction.

thanks for reading

We all strive to be perfect. But, as the old saying goes, perfection is a moving target.

It is very unlikely that you will get to a point in your team where everything is perfect.

Instead, focus on developing continuous improvement habits. Use the steps outlined in this article: set goals, measure performance, provide training, give great feedback, communicate with your team about what tools and processes they can use to make their lives easier.

You'll be amazed at how far these small improvements will take you over time!

And remember, you can always trustprojeto.coto significantly improve communication and task management for your team.


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