Today’s workers are struggling with productivity. In 2023, overall worker productivity increased at a rate of only 1.1%, which is the slowest growth since 1981. This is largely due to decreased workforce participation.
Leaders need to ensure they’re optimizing their workforce. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to force productivity through micromanagement. This method isn’t effective.
If you’re trying to achieve organizational success, prioritizing team productivity is more effective than hyper-focusing on underperforming individuals.
Here’s an overview of the importance of team productivity and seven ways you can quickly and effectively improve it.
The Importance of Team Productivity
Most people don’t work in isolation—they’re typically part of a larger team. While offering encouragement to individual employees is important, when employees aren’t productive, it’s often a symptom of a bigger problem.
These problems can include:
- Lack of connection with their team
- Struggles with collaboration and communication
- High levels of stress and burnout
- Low morale and motivation
- Lack of inclusion and belonging
Creating a positive work environment that emphasizes well-being, connection, trust, and commitment can not only improve individual productivity, but team productivity as well.
7 Ways To Improve Team Productivity
1. Prioritize Team Well-being
There’s a strong correlation between well-being and productivity. Gallup estimates that teams that aren’t thriving have:
- 61% increased chances of burnout
- 66% more likely to worry regularly
- 48% more likelihood of daily stress
Despite these metrics, only a quarter of employees agree that their organization cares about their well-being. Furthermore, approximately 40% of employees have stated that their job has negatively impacted their mental health.
An excellent first step is facilitating an experience aimed at enhancing well-being, such as our virtual terrarium workshop. In addition to creating a terrarium, your team will be led in a conversation with a well-being expert to discuss self-care and personal growth.
2. Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity has been demonstrated to improve job performance. When employees take breaks throughout the day to exercise, they experience benefits such as:
- Improved sleep
- Higher levels of vigor the next day
- Better focus the next day
A recent study demonstrated that micro workouts—multiple small short exercises throughout the day—can help to prevent 12.8% of long-term sickness absences.
Our live virtual experience, Brains, Bones, and Body Booster for Better Performance, equips your team to engage in routine resistance training throughout the workday. Led by fitness expert and celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, this experience provides the tools and insights to effectively engage in physical activity and improve team performance.
3. Facilitate Intentional Breaks
Despite the importance of taking breaks throughout the day, many employees avoid breaks and also work overtime.
According to HBR, a great way for teams to take a break is by connecting with one another—particularly if they’re distributed. A Teamraderie experience can help facilitate this connection.
For example, our Tartine Bakery and French Press Coffee & Tea Experience is a great way to help your team bond over a shared tasting experience, increasing feelings of inclusion and belonging.
4. Create a Flexible Work Environment
Today’s employees want flexibility. A large number work from home at least part-time, and many have autonomy over their work hours. According to Gartner, when employees are given flexibility, the number of high-performing workers increases by approximately 40%.
Gartner recommends three ways to increase flexibility in a way that maximizes productivity:
- Give employees the option to select when and where they complete their work
- Analyze each role’s activities and identify which ones can be flexible
- Encourage managers and team members to share best practices for flexibility with each other
In order to maximize productivity in a flexible environment, it’s important for leaders to help their team work smarter rather than harder. In our experience, Amplify Productivity: Harness your Team’s Energy, Tina Paterson, founder and CEO of Outcomes Over Hours, leads your team in a conversation to accomplish tangible results while working from anywhere.
5. Leverage Generative AI
An HBR article reports that generative AI could increase global productivity by 7% between 2023 and 2033. Companies that don’t take advantage of this advancement in technology are likely to get left behind.
Likewise, however, organizations shouldn’t overuse generative AI or rely too heavily on it.
While some companies are reducing their workforce and replacing them with AI, others are leveraging AI to create value for employees and the organization alike.
Wondering how your company can utilize AI to create value? In our generative AI experience, leadership and AI professor Paul Leonardi walks your team through the STEP framework he developed to help companies leverage AI effectively.
6. Show Recognition and Appreciation
One way to bolster productivity is through appreciation. Employees that feel recognized and appreciated tend to have less absenteeism, more engagement, and stay longer at their company.
This translates to increased productivity. Appreciation (a genuine thank you) improves the chances of employees putting in extra effort by approximately 69%.
Despite this, only 23% of employees say they’re recognized for the amount of work they complete.
If your employees are among the 77% who don’t feel recognized, showing them that you appreciate them could be a great way to quickly improve your team’s productivity. Our digital card game to show appreciation is an excellent starting point.
In this experience, your team will assign cards with various traits and characteristics to team members, and everyone will have the chance to both recognize and be recognized by colleagues.
7. Invest in Employee Experience
One of the most important factors of company success is employee experience. If your employees don’t enjoy working at your company, they aren’t likely to be productive.
Employee experience includes things like:
- Employee satisfaction
- Job fit
- Good relationships with coworkers
- Career advancement opportunities
- Purposeful work
- And more
Employee experience can also be thought of as human experience. In essence, the idea that employees aren’t cogs in a machine, but are individuals with valid thoughts and feelings. This is a key component of psychological safety.
According to Gallup, twice as many employees leave because of engagement and culture rather than wages and benefits. This means that a great first step to improving your employee experience is by helping your team connect with each other. Taking the time to unify your employees will go a long way in improving their overall experience.
Improving Productivity With Teamraderie
If you’re hoping to improve your team’s productivity, consider trying out Teamraderie’s pilot program.
This is a great way to increase your team’s performance quickly. Over 90% of Teamraderie pilot customers experienced at least 18% boost in productivity & performance, and most had a 30% increase in productivity in just 90 days.
A simple Teamraderie pilot program involves:
- Baseline: Use an employee experience survey to determine where your team stands on key issues you want to improve
- Effective action: Each team and their managers will complete two Teamraderie experiences
- Productivity & performance: The teams will complete a survey to gauge team dynamics data impacting productivity
- Measurement: An EX survey will be used to measure EX scores relative to non-enrolled teams.
Whether your company has 10k or 100k employees, Teamraderie helps you through the entire process from start to finish.
Want to rapidly improve your team’s productivity? Consider trying the Teamraderie Pilot Program and experience tangible results in as little as three months. If you’re searching for an individual experience, check out our selection of over 60 outcomes-based experiences.