Top Tips for Improving Team Productivity

BY Kathy Crosett
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You’re under a tight deadline. The problem is, your team has already been working overtime for months. You can sense they’re close to burning out. Is there a good way to motivate them to improve productivity?


A post on SalesForce​.com reminds managers that knowing each team member is the key to success in these situations. Are there people who will respond to incentives? Maybe someone on your team would be willing to put in extra hours now, in exchange for the promise of future time off when they have an important personal event. If you’re in a position to offer a financial incentive, and you have an employee who would respond positively, make the offer.

Task Assignments

When employees are under pressure to finish a big job, they may stress out about completing day-​to-​day tasks. You can remove that stress. Assign the work, temporarily, to another staff member, perhaps someone who’s been looking to broaden their skills. Another option, when feasible, is to allow staffers to put off the day-​to-​day work for a short time period. Or, if you really want to earn a little respect, do the menial tasks yourself for a while. Employees will remember that you’re the kind of manager who isn’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and pitch in. The bottom line is you should take responsibility for getting other tasks done, so your employees focus on meeting the big deadline.


Think about other sources of stress in your employees’ lives. For many, the daily commute is an aggravation. If they spend an hour or two getting to and from the office, that’s less time for them to work. Allow them to work from home for part of the time. You may notice a huge increase in happiness and in productivity.

Process Improvement

When is the last time you stepped through your employees’ work process with them? During a big project, ask them to take you through their tasks. Watch for inefficiencies. Part of a good work audit to improve productivity includes looking for tech-​based solutions to work slowdowns. Is there a solution you can offer the employee? Stay up-​to-​date on tech changes and think about ways to use them to improve your employees’ productivity.

During crunch times, managers can keep employees productive by monitoring for burnout, offering incentives and improving processes.