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It can be frustrating to lead a work team when you receive complaints from some team members that others aren’t contributing their fair share. Even when everyone does what’s expected of them, there’s always room for improvement and the opportunity to increase productivity. Below are several tips that just might transform your work team from one that usually meets expectations but does little else to one that works exceptionally well together and consistently produces more than you expect.

Capitalize on Strengths and Work Around Weaknesses

Every person on your team has strengths and weaknesses that others on the team don’t share. These should become obvious to you after observing the work of other employees for only a short time. If it’s not, however, be sure to sit down with each member of the team to learn more about how they work best.

Once you have identified a few key strengths, assign work to individual employees based on what they do best and avoid tasks that don’t bring out their best work qualities. One caveat here is to make sure employees aren’t declaring a weakness just to get out of something they prefer not to do. All employees will still need to take their turn at performing less than desirable tasks to ensure the completion of all work on schedule.

Strive for Clear, Professional Communication

Communicating your expectations to team members clearly and without value judgments is one of the most important things you can do as a business leader. Besides financial mismanagement, lack of clear communication among team members is one of the leading reasons that small businesses fail. Whether you speak to team members verbally, through email, or at a meeting, try asking them to repeat your expectations in their own words. This gives you confidence that they understood what you said.

Once you have achieved buy-in, give each team member ownership over their own projects. That means holding them accountable for results as well as the process it takes to get there. People tend to take greater pride in projects they feel they have personal control over as opposed to something they’re doing for someone else.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Team Building Exercises

Whether your team has two other people or 50, there’s a strong likelihood that some won’t get along or will even outright show hostility towards each other. While you can’t necessarily change that, you have every right to insist on professional behavior at work. You might also consider some team-building exercises to help everyone learn to work together better. Some possibilities include attending seminars on the topic, inviting everyone out for a social event, and encouraging your team to show gratitude towards each other for a job well done.

Consider Outsourcing to Increase Team Productivity

Sometimes teams are not as productive as they could be simply because they’re bogged down with work that would be better to outsource. Payroll and human resources functions are just two common examples. We invite you to contact Palmetto Payroll to learn more about our services and how outsourcing could be just the productivity booster your small business needs.