27 Apr 10 Tips for Optimising Team Performance
Here are our top 10 tips to implementing a positive project approach to get the best out of your team members. We hope they help you.
At New Age Engineering Solutions, we believe that the best way for business to approach any task, regardless of the product, activity or supply chain function, is to adopt a project mindset. Everything we do in life is a project, with a driver at the helm to set the direction and ensure we meet our goals. This approach helps us to bring together the right team and the right tools to get the job done, as well as enabling us to understand what success means for that task. This enables the team to set specific milestones to measure progress. It also helps to keep tasks from falling by the wayside or being neglected.
As a manager, a supervisor or even a team leader, your success depends on how well your team performs. This is encapsulated in the motto ‘One Team, One Goal’. The project leader is the ‘driver’, but the team is the engine – without them, the project can’t go anywhere. If you want to improve your team performance, here are some daily project approach tips to get you and your team focused.
Tip 1: Share the vision
People only perform well in a role if they understand what they need to deliver and why. For this reason, we suggest you get your team together to reinforce the project vision, objectives, timeframes and deadlines. Make your team feel wanted and needed by showing them that the project is critical to the success of the business. You will gain their buy-in and commitment going forward.
Tip 2: Have one-on-one meetings
After meeting the team as a whole, take each team member aside and tell them what it is that you need from them to help you deliver the project. Make sure they have a clear job description and know how you are going to measure their performance. Ask them how they like to be managed, what motivates them and how you can support them in their role.
Tip 3: Give them room
At this point, you need to back off a little and give the team room to perform. If the pressure increases, you actually need to give them more room rather than less. It’s hard to do this, but if you over-pressurize them their performance will likely deteriorate. Rather focus on managing expectations, both within the team and in the broader business.
Tip 4: Track your milestones
Stepping back doesn’t mean letting go of the wheel. As you back off, you need to put in place checks and milestones to measure the team’s performance regularly. Meet with each team member every month to discuss their achievements, what’s outstanding and how they can improve. Make sure you don’t “bottle up” your concerns. Instead speak to them openly, staying constructive at all times.
Tip 5: Be positive
If you’re stressed and weary, ease off on your staff – don’t take it out on them. Shouting or being negative will only rub off on them. It’s incredibly difficult, but you need to be positive, reassuring and supportive at all times, even if the project is delayed. Your attitude sets the tone for everyone.
Tip 6: Shake hands and pat backs
It’s easy to forget to praise your team’s successes. Every time you deliver a great quality product, finish a difficult task on time or get great feedback from a customer, congratulate those responsible in your team.
Tip 7: Meet at halftime
Bring your team together regularly, even when you are not actively working on a project, to build a strong team spirit. Encourage them to socialise so that new friendships can form. The stronger your team’s internal social bonds, the more likely they are to work together as a cohesive unit and achieve the objectives you have set.
Tip 8: Take time out
Don’t be afraid to give team members time off for working hard. Allowing them to take time out to regroup and refocus will reduce sick leave, improve motivation and increase efficiency.
Tip 9: Give them what they need
Everyone is motivated by different things. You need to know what motivates each member of your team. Get to know them well. If you can reward each person based on what works for them, then you’ll improve their performance every time. This is the hardest trick in the book, but the one that pays the biggest dividends.
Tip 10: Celebrate your wins
All too often, staff finish a project and move straight on to the next one without celebrating their success. When this happens, they often carry the stress and pressure of the project into the new task at hand. Help your team to “start fresh” by celebrating your success at the end of each project.
By taking these 10 tips seriously, you will improve the performance of your team, develop better leadership skills and boost your chances of success.
One Team, One Goal!
Jacques Wagner (SENIOR SITE MANAGER)
Jacques holds Master’s Degrees in Project Management and Business Administration, as well as a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, a BM NQF6 (GMIT), and numerous other industry-related qualifications. Outside of work, Jacques also acts as a motivational speaker and rehabilitation advisor for young adults.