You, as the project manager, have the responsibility of ensuring that your team members perform in an effective and efficient manner that, in turn, affects the team’s overall productivity. While getting the most out of the team members can appear like a daunting task considering the diversity of knowledge, skills and personalities present, you can keep the following tips in mind.

Just remember, that getting the most out of your project team does not mean encouraging them to slave away at their jobs, far from it. In fact, the best workplace combines playfulness and productivity so that the work becomes more pleasurable.

Ways to Get Most Out of Your Project Team

1. Accountability Matters

As a project manager, you cannot do every single task, activity and step for the team because that’s not what a team is. You have to delegate the lower-level tasks, using task management software, to your team members so that you can concentrate your time, energy and effort into the higher-level tasks that cannot be delegated to your junior members.

But delegation should come with an understanding of the accountability of the person to whom the tasks were delegated. You must hold the person responsible and accountable for the accomplishment of the assigned tasks within the agreed schedule and costs, thus, ensuring that he takes both the credit and the blame for its achievement or failure, respectively.

2. Motivation Is Key

Motivated people are more likely to work better, harder and smarter, thus, making greater contributions to the team’s overall success. As team leader, one of your most important jobs is to motivate, inspire and encourage your members to work better, harder and smarter – and the best way to do is to lead by example.

When your team members see your unbridled enthusiasm, positive energy and deep commitment to the project, they will be motivated to follow your example. You should also reward them for a job well done, even when it means a simple pat on the back or a few select words of praise during team meetings.

3. Follow Up

While delegation involves trust that the person to whom the tasks were delegated will accomplish them, you should still follow up on his progress. Keep in mind that while micromanaging is a big no-no in effective project management, regular monitoring of progress is still a must. Otherwise, you will be unable to identify and address project risks as early and appropriately as necessary.

You must also encourage your team members to reach out when issues crop up. Think of it as reverse follow up, which will also lessen the risks to the project.

4. Avoid Micromanaging

Your team members are capable professional in their own right; otherwise, they would not be working on the project. You should then avoid checking up on them too many times during the day – watching over their shoulders, checking their work to the last detail, and asking them about their progress every hour – because you become dictator, not manager.

Besides, micromanagement is a waste of time – yours and theirs. You waste your time on lower-level tasks that your team members can perform well while you waste their time answering your questions. Let your team members work on their tasks without your annoying interference and, thus, get the most productivity out of them.

5. Provide Access to Work-Related Information

Think of information as the currency of the team. When the team members have authorized access to the right work-related information at the right time and place, then they are more likely to achieve higher productivity. With the right information on hand, they can make smarter decisions that will benefit the team.

Use technology to provide said access to work-related information. Look at information and communication solutions that allow the team members to work anywhere and anytime on urgent tasks. Communicate with them using technology, such as mobile messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls, which maximise the time for all participants (i.e., stop wasting time your commutes).

6. Use Technology to Improve Productivity

Technology is not just for improving communication among the team members. It should also be used to improve productivity by providing the team members with advanced techniques and tools for work-related tasks.

Look into business productivity solutions, such as the full suite offered by Synquis, which enhances work productivity if and when used appropriately. These solutions make it easier for people to share their expertise, communicate with others, and plan for success as well as find information and gain task insight. These are usually accessible via a wide range of platforms and devices. Of course, technology is not the be-all and end-all of getting the most productivity from your team members. Technology is just a tool that facilitates productivity but the people who use it will still do the work including making the decisions and performing the actions toward goal achievement. You should still focus on people while training them on the appropriate use of technology at work.

Recommended Reading: Ways to be a Good Team Player

7. Conduct Effective Meetings

Conduct Effective Meetings

While meetings are important in project planning, execution and evaluation, too many meetings for too long periods with too many people will be counterproductive. Stop wasting time, energy and effort, both your own and your team members’, with ineffective meetings.

Effective meetings should be the norm instead. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Make the objectives of the meeting clear.
  • Invite only the people concerned into the meeting so that the others can work on their tasks, thus, increasing overall team productivity.
  • Establish ground rules about who will listen and who will talk instead of letting a single person monopolize the meeting.
  • Start and end on time. Time is valuable for all team members and showing respect for their time encourages work productivity.
  • Limit meetings to an hour or less. Studies have shown that active involvement slowly tapers off after 60 minutes in a meeting.
  • Ban technology – or at least, technology that will distract the people from the meeting. The use of iPads and smartphones to email, surf the web, and play games should be banned to maximise meeting results.

Most important of all, you have to be more productive than expected because the best leader leads by example.