To build a great team, every member should be working on the same goal. How is this achieved? Before anything else, understand that teams are formed mainly to handle tasks created to help the company grow and profit. This means that each individual member of the team should know how to become efficient and effective when it comes to doing the tasks assigned to them. This is where task management takes on an important role in helping the team become productive.
Many factors contribute to keeping a team working on the same goal. These are good communication, support and guidance, collaboration, mutual respect, and of course, the ability to complete assigned tasks successfully, on their own and as a group.
Importance of Task Management for Teams
It is no secret that teams are formed because businesses and organizations understand that when more heads work together, more can be achieved. As the adage goes, “two heads are better than one.”
One of the main challenges of teams is handling tasks. Every single day there are always assignments to work on and deadlines to meet. It is hard enough getting things done on your own; it gets even more challenging when you have to deal with others to get your team’s tasks accomplished.
To make sure that tasks are handled smoothly, we need to make use of task management. These comprise of processes that systematizes our day to day work, helping us make the most of the hours we put in, and as a team, become more productive.
Three Steps to Utilize Task Management for Teams
The first thing you need to do is to plan and schedule the tasks that need to be done. Discuss among each other which activities to prioritize and which ones to set aside. Once these are established, decide on whom to assign for each task. Everyone should agree on the timelines, and must make sure the deadlines are attainable.
Thereafter, if you are the team leader, you should see to it that each given assignment gets done. This can be made possible by consistently providing status updates and reminders through emails, phone calls, or huddles.
Lastly, to measure the team’s performance, it is necessary to make and send out reports. Use quantitative data to gauge performance as well as to monitor progress. If there are sufficient reports, it is easy to find out if there are problems that exist, and when these are pointed out, the team can then work towards finding solutions.
Dealing with Non-Productive Team Members
In any team or group, there is always the “black sheep.” This person may also be referred to as the weakest link. Though this may only be one person in a group of five to ten people, you should understand that your performance can be gravely affected by your team’s worst performer. For this reason alone, you should take the necessary steps to address the problem.
Before you confront this person, you need to ask yourself if you have provided clear instructions and set proper expectations with them. It is possible that they misunderstood or are unsure of what to do, which triggered them to procrastinate and become unproductive.
If you have concluded that you have provided all the necessary information and tools they need, then, continue to the next step which is to talk to this person. Talk about their job performance and let them verbalize what they think about it. This is a good opening for you to point out what your team goals are, and to remind this person of what needs to be done to meet these.
Be open to suggestions and make sure to take the time to listen. Once you have heard their complaints and issues, you can take this opportunity to motivate this person and provide positive reinforcement.
Before your conversation ends, be sure to document it; list down the concerns that were pointed out and the agreed course of action. Also be sure to inform this person of possible sanctions that will be given, should there be no improvement evident over a period of time. After this, monitor your team member and if you have noticed that they are still not showing any signs of improvement, then it is time to issue a written warning or other sanctions set by your company.