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  • Writer's pictureSubha

Building a consistent habit of work for teams

Building a consistent habit of work for teams

Good teams don’t just happen. With teams separated not only by space but also by time and circumstances, managing a scattered bunch of people has almost become a fine art.

Even when the entire team shares an office, the odds of things not running into trouble are awful. The reason is that sometimes miscommunications happen. From large conglomerates to small businesses, miscommunications can cause anxiety, conflict, even panic- and consequently, productivity takes a nosedive.

The first tenet of ensuring consistency and efficiency at work is having a clear-cut communications policy or system.

The usual miscommunications and how to avoid them

Miscommunications can sometimes happen when things are not written, nailed down, or otherwise documented. Moreover, clear timelines must be set and adhered to.

When every team member is on the same page about a deadline, plus where their roles and responsibilities fit in within the whole operation, the atmosphere becomes conducive to productivity. Setting expectations at the outset and being open to discussions and knowledge-sharing is an indispensable part of avoiding miscommunication within teams.

The manager or supervisor must also ascertain that communication is free-flowing and unblocked among members of their team. They must be sensitive to any undercurrents or rivalries among teammates that inevitably hold them back from collaborating or sharing information, to the detriment of the job at hand, and sort matters before they affect work.

Plus, everyone involved must commit to listening actively and fully to understand where things stand and suggest ways to overcome problems as they arise.

How to ensure that complex tasks get done on time

Complex tasks are especially challenging. This is where giving structure to a project comes in. For example, standardising formats for data-sharing, such as CRMs, forms, reports and such, is greatly helpful, as it attunes everyone to a common manner of absorbing information.

Even business emails can be written in a pre-decided, clear format: Keeping them simple, on point, and easy to read. Adding headings and bullet points can help boost their readability.

Well-designed collaboration tools and apps can come in handy to get a dashboard view of where things are, in addition to providing the ability to drill down into a specific area of the complex project if required.

A significant factor in executing complex projects is assigning the right jobs to the right people. A manager must be aware of who can take the lead on crucial aspects and delegate tasks accordingly. Touching base regularly with the team is a must.

How to hold people accountable even when the manager is not available to supervise them

It could happen that a manager might need to drop off the grid due to personal reasons or get diverted into other demanding activities.

The team may have to proceed on autopilot tin such a scenario.

If possible, the manager can delegate responsibility to one or two key personnel who can oversee things and report to them over a limited time frame.

Targets and measurable weekly milestones must be pre-set and monitored rigorously. As with communication, the consequences of slipping must be made clear to everyone involved, adding a layer of accountability. There should, however, be no lack of encouragement, and initiative must be appropriately rewarded.

All these pointers together can build a culture of accountability and authenticity in communication.

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