Teams Don’t Work Well Because Individuals Don’t Work Well

 In Team Productivity

Have you ever wondered how to get your team working better? There are lots of tactics you can implement to improve team productivity, but at the heart of is a much more fundamental problem. The problem is that even as individuals, we don’t do a good job of managing ourselves. So how can we expect a whole group of individuals to work well as a team?

Deep down, all of us know how flawed we are when it comes to being productive. In fact, most of us are dreading the day our peers find out how incredibly inefficient and wasteful we are with our time. It’s almost a miracle we get anything done!

Distractions Are Everywhere

Of course, distractions are a major problem (she says as she realises she just clicked away to check Facebook!). We’re inundated with pings from apps that are expertly designed to keep us addicted to the constant checking (just in case!).

But even if we can set up systems to cut ourselves off from the technology problem, we still have plenty of distractions to deal with. If you’re building a business or managing a team, chances are you’ve got thousands of thoughts running through your head – even without the influence of technology. Ideas, problems, random thoughts – they all fight to keep us from doing our focused work.

Prioritising Is Really Hard

We also don’t really know how to prioritise our work. Sure, that thing the boss or customer is waiting for today somehow gets our attention, but how do we decide between the other things?

Do we take the time to talk with a customer, analyse that report that might have some important insights, sit down for a meeting with our team, take a training course to improve our knowledge of a certain area, improve the way our product is created? It’s really not clear what we should do at any given moment.

Teams Make Productivity Even Harder

So working on our own, we’re barely functioning, but add in meetings, different personalities, a dosage of bureaucracy and office politics and you can imagine, it gets worse. So much time is spent working out what everyone else is doing, whether they’re working as hard as us, and whether they’re doing the right things, that we barely have time for our own procrastination!

The Saving Grace Is Accountability

So why do we still organise ourselves into teams if they cause so much drama? The reason is that teams give us a superpower that’s difficult to create on our own – accountability.

For most of us, we’re far more likely to do something if we know someone, is depending on us to do that thing. Especially if it’s someone we like and respect. We can wish we were different, but unfortunately, we’re not. So instead, we can work with this characteristic and use it to get a whole lot more done.

Harness the Power of Accountability to Improve Team Productivity

Accountability is why WIP (work in progress) meetings and 1:1 updates are used so often in most business teams. The meetings themselves waste time, but the impact of the accountability they create makes them worthwhile.

But what if there was a better way? A way to feel connected and accountable to a team without mind-numbing, time-wasting meetings. We think a new type of team productivity tool will help immensely.

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