Being highly productive on our own is no small feat. It’s not easy to stay focused day in and day out, especially on time consuming activities – even if they will ultimately help us achieve our goals.
But what if we are part of –or lead –a team?
In that case, it’s more than our personal productivity we have to contend with. When it comes to keeping a team productive, everything is magnified. When everyone’s firing on all cylinders, we can achieve greater success than we could on our own. But if everyone’s not working together, the opposite can also be true.
This can put a lot of pressure on you as a leader to ensure your team stays on point. But you don’t have to go at it alone. We’re here to help. Here are our favorite tools and tactics for ensuring our team never wavers.
Keep Everyone on the Same Page with the 4-1-1
Group productivity starts with an understanding of what everyone’s contributions to a project or goal entail. This is where the 4-1-1 comes into play. This one page document stands for 4 weeks, one month, and one year of goals, and is the secret to making sure that everyone’s goals and tasks line up with your team’s objective.
Start by filling in your annual goals. Once you’ve pinpointed what you’d like to accomplish by year-end, you can figure out what to do in the coming month. Be honest with yourself. What needs to be done to stay on track to accomplish your annual goals? Once you’ve clarified your monthly goals, it’s time to get real about your work this week. You’ll lay out what you want to achieve for the week before the week actually begins. This way, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your action plan based on what you’ve already achieved in the weeks prior to ensure you continue the trajectory toward your monthly and annual goal.
The 4-1-1 worksheet is a beneficial tool for individuals as well as teammates. When everyone is working with the same goal-setting document, it means that everyone has the same starting point. This is essential to getting everyone on the same page. It can also help give context to those around us. In other words, our teammates will better understand our role in the action plan once they know the ultimate goal we are working toward. Plus, working together to determine a goal creates a type of camaraderie and support that is good for productivity.
Set Standard Weekly Meetings
When 4-1-1s are used between managers and their staff, it also keeps everyone’s eyes on the same ball. The only requirement for this alignment is a weekly meeting with each member of the staff on an individual basis.
Employees can expect a standard format to this recurring appointment: they’ll prepare their personal 4-1-1 every week for review. An environment where teams can count on a regular meeting with their managers is an environment where productivity thrives. This is because it encourages employees to have vital and ongoing communication with their manager in order to ensure the right work is being done. On the flip side of the coin, it also ensures that managers can interject wisdom and course correction if necessary before too much time elapses so an employee doesn’t have to worry about getting too far off track.
Identify an Accountability Partner
It’s no surprise that when it comes to getting things done, one of the best ways to ensure something happens is to have someone other than yourself hold you accountable.
Accountability partners are valuable in all aspects of life. Take one of our own teammate’s recent experiences for instance. She had several big life events to attend in a short span of time and wanted to look her best – so she hired a coach. Not only did the coach give her the extra encouragement she needed to keep her diet going, but because she found it much harder to explain to the coach if she fell short any given week – she simply didn’t.
Working with an accountability partner is no different in a team setting. When we have to report back to a supervisor, coach, or fellow employee about the progress we made, we don’t want to disappoint them by not accomplishing what we set out to do. Because of this need to please others, we are more likely to adhere to the action plan we laid out to accomplish our goals.
If you’re ready to increase your team’s productivity but need some guidance on setting those first few big goals, check out our Kick Ass Guide to Goal Setting. We’ll walk you through each step from determining your ultimate goal to implementing the action steps to achieving it, and help you navigate how to make goal setting for your team it’s most productive.
What do you do to encourage your team to work at its highest level? Leave us a note on our Facebook page and let us know what works for you!