Manage Your Business Team More Efficiently - dummies

Manage Your Business Team More Efficiently

By Marina Martin

Efficient management of a business means every task is executed on time, the first time, and with no duplication. Getting a team to increase productivity to this point requires clear communication tools and a dedication to giving your team members the resources they need to perform their best.

Increase productivity with clear communication

Managers have varying degrees of comfort with not knowing what their reports are doing at any given moment. Some are more trusting (or simply less concerned) and can go weeks without even an informal update. Others try to assuage their own discomfort by calling four meetings a day, paying surprise desk-side visits, and reminding everyone of upcoming deadlines like a broken record.

Micromanaging is the very height of inefficiency. It wastes your time, it wastes the employees’ time, and it erodes trust. Micromanaging creates a sense of resentment on the part of employees to the point that they are far less motivated to complete work on time, to par, or at all.

You can gain a great deal of transparency into team members’ progress without being a constant source of interruption by implementing the right communication tools. Namely, a granular task management tool that everyone updates and has access to can help you see exactly which tasks remain open and which have been tackled.

Protect your team members

One often-overlooked role of a manager is to shield her team members from outside influences that can interfere with or prohibit their productivity. An efficient manager is a guard protecting her team’s resources, one of which is time.

No employee should be expected to drop what he’s doing and handle tasks assigned to him randomly by outside employees or upper management (unless this is his role in the company, such as an IT support rep). The feeling that your time is constantly at risk of being co-opted by unknown forces can make it impossible to concentrate on bigger tasks at hand.

You can, and should, also protect your employees from unnecessary meetings. Where possible, it’s also more efficient to corral meetings into particular days or parts of the day (such as the morning) so team members have blocks of time long enough to complete their actual assignments.

Give clear assignments to employees

It sounds obvious enough, but it’s rarely done consistently. A well-oiled team needs to know exactly what to do, when to do it by, and what to do immediately after finishing. Getting in the habit of communicating and delegating tasks clearly is probably the best skill of an efficient manager.