Step 1 to Improve Team Productivity


Team Building - Trust image

Congratulations on starting your new job. You have inherited a team of direct reports and one of your top priorities is to improve performance. Where to begin?

Before a business executive or leader starts issuing orders to the new team, it is important to learn the lay of the land, both externally and internally.  This includes learning about company products, history, competitive standing in the market, customer base and so on. You will need to evaluate your team and the fit of each individual for his or her role. Before you can improve on productivity and performance, though, there are some important steps to take.

This week, I will talk about the first (and most important) key to improving team productivity.  In the coming weeks, I will look at keys two through five, so please stay tuned!

Begin with trust

Start with the hardest part first, which is building trust. Unless you create a safe environment and build relationships based on integrity and trust, any changes made will be unsustainable. Trust is possible when you are transparent, consistent in your mood and communication style, and fair to all team members.

If you have ever worked in an environment where yelling at employees was the norm, or fear and intimidation was considered a management style, you can appreciate the significance of building trust.

Have you ever had a boss or team member whose mood and communication style were unpredictable from one day to the next? Think about the energy that drains from productivity, not to mention your quality of life.

Teams that operate without trust suffer from a lack of creativity

and poor employee engagement.


Teams that operate without trust suffer from a lack of creativity and poor employee engagement. The result is poor work product and the exodus of the most talented team members.
Resolve to set up a healthy environment and to head off any of these negative behaviors wherever possible.

Make it a priority to set an example with honesty, integrity, clear communication and respect for each team member. The time you invest in building trust and mapping clear expectations will help you reliably deliver the type of measurable improvements that management seeks.

In the coming weeks, we will cover each of these keys to improving team productivity:

  • Decide what to measure
  • Establish norms
  • Provide timely feedback
  • Review and revise