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Productivity - 5 min READ

Planning and increasing your team’s efficiency for 2022

How to develop a strategy that meets your people's needs

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Author photo: Carrie Shaw

Carrie Shaw

Chief Marketing Officer

Improving your team’s work efficiency requires a thoughtful approach — especially in 2022. Now, it’s about more than setting goals and clear expectations; you’ll also want to focus on your people and develop a strategy that meets their needs.

Before the pandemic and the Great Resignation, it may have been possible for managers to tell their employees to “shape up or ship out,” but this hard-and-fast method won’t work anymore.

If employees were given these options in 2022, most of them would simply “ship out.” With 4.5 million people quitting their jobs in November 2021 alone and 65% of all employees looking for new jobs this year, managers will have to be much more tactful with how they manage and motivate their teams.

So, what’s the secret? Let’s chat about how to improve team efficiency in 2022.

The role of efficiency in a “post-COVID” world

It’s no secret that improving work efficiency and productivity enables teams to meet quarterly and annual goals. But these days, the benefits of strengthening team efficiency go far beyond reaching objectives.

Efficiency is all about gaining maximum results with as little resources, time and effort as possible. It’s about enhancing the quality of work to achieve those results easier.

Burnout rates and stress are at all-time highs. Your employees are likely feeling overworked and drained. But when you look at how to improve overall work efficiency, you’re looking for ways to simplify processes for your employees.

So, you might be able to eliminate tedious manual processes with workflow automation, cut back on arduous meetings with better planning, or eliminate complete processes when team efficiency is the goal.

In other words, efficiency doesn’t just help you reach your goals. It often helps your employees work less, too — and right now, that’s critical to curving those burnout rates and keeping your employees healthy, happy and whole.

Here’s a bit on how to make team work more efficient.

Efficiency vs. productivity? Taking a positive approach

In the past, companies and thought leaders put a lot of emphasis on improving productivity. But productivity focuses on increasing the number of actions completed to reach a goal.

An example of boosting productivity would be incentivizing your sales teams to make more phone calls because more phone calls result in more opportunities to close.

Productivity is important, but when you compare it to efficiency, you can see how it may not be the best metric. Productivity looks at increasing quantity, while efficiency looks at improving quality.

Both are important, but the key to success in 2022 lies in leading your team in a way that positively promotes and encourages efficiency instead of holding them to a lengthy to-do list.

Simply put, this year, prioritize being an “encourager” over a taskmaster.

How to improve team efficiency

But really, how can you prioritize work efficiency so that productivity doesn’t fall by the wayside while still achieving your company’s overall goals?

Here are six tips on how to make your team work more efficiently this year:

1. Put well-being at the heart of the equation

Put your employees’ well-being at the heart of your strategy this year, and really focus on how your people are feeling. Encourage your team to take care of themselves and take days off when needed. Adapt your culture to be a health-first (physical and mental), money-second organization.

When you do so, your employees will be more energized, less burnt out and much less likely to churn. In short, healthy employees are more efficient employees.

2. Enforce balance

Consider how you’re contributing to (or impeding) a good home-life balance. As more of us move into a hybrid environment, it’s important to keep an eye on how your employees spend their time. Studies have shown that employees are more productive when they work from home, but you’ll want to make sure that the productivity isn’t hurting your employees’ well-being.

Consider setting hard off-work hours and rules about sending or receiving emails and calls after a specific time. Working from home doesn’t mean working more, so you’ll need to be proactive about your hybrid and remote employees’ mental health.

3. Focus on engagement

Engagement and productivity go hand in hand. Companies with engaged employees are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than their less-engaged competition, a Gallup poll found.

There’s no easy equation to increase employee engagement, but research has shown that providing on-the-job training and advancement opportunities can go a long way. When you invest in your employees, they’re more likely to feel engaged. If you aren’t sure where you stand or how to get your employees excited, consider doing an anonymous survey to identify areas for improvement.

4. Establish collaboration equity

We’ve been doing this remote and hybrid workforce thing for a while now, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to improving internal communications. Collaboration equity is all about ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to collaborate and contribute, regardless of where and how they work.

In this “new normal” hybrid working environment, you’ll need to ensure everyone has the tools and support they need to communicate with each other and your customers with relative ease.

5. Eliminate unnecessary tasks and prioritize what matters

Find all the busy work in your employees’ workflow and throw it out the window. So often, our employees are bogged down by administrative tasks that don’t contribute to the bottom line.

As a manager, a huge part of your job is team task management. So, it’s your job to pinpoint the necessary tasks and prioritize them. Doing so will free up your team’s time and drastically improve overall work efficiency.

6. Simplify through technology

From automation to collaboration equity, technology will be a pivotal part of improving work efficiency in 2022. We’ve already talked about Gmail productivity tips and Google Workspace hacks, but you’ll need to look for even more technology that promotes hybrid work, innovation, execution and progress.

As part of this process, don’t overlook the potential of CRM. CRMs are crucial for team efficiency because, when used successfully, they serve as the single source of truth for your entire organization. CRMs simplify sales team management and close communication gaps between all your departments. The right CRM platform contributes to organizations’ collaboration equity, and even facilitates automation.

If you want to improve work efficiency in 2022, start using a CRM like Copper (or switch to one that better suits your needs).

Increase team efficiency with a holistic approach

One thing is clear this year: Managers must prioritize their employees’ well-being to increase work efficiency. This means eliminating unnecessary tasks, using innovative technology and software, and ensuring everyone feels supported, engaged and happy.

Easier said than done, right? But, thankfully, with the right approach, planning and tools, you can help increase team efficiency and reach all your goals this year.

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