Improving Team Productivity


    Productivity is one of the most bandied about terms in today’s Organization. There are various ways of measuring productivity and these measurements vary by Industry. It is relatively easier to measure productivity in a manufacturing organization than in a Service Organization. In a manufacturing set-up, productivity can be measured by the number of units produced by a worker in a certain time frame. In a service industry set-up it is difficult to directly quantify the productivity of a worker. Should it be based on the number of projects handled, type of client feedback, billing rates, etc?

    Most of the service industry today works on a team-based structure, and a team should generally be judged on the kind of client feedback received for the quality of output delivered. There are various facets involved if a team is judged on the Client feedback received. Generally, if the client feedback is positive, the team is likely to get more projects from the client, which in turn would improve the Organization’s revenue. A good client feedback also means a higher number of referrals and hence lower spends on brand building, which in turn leads to higher Organizational revenue. There are other intangible benefits also involved. If your client feedback is positive, it creates a good brand name, which attracts good people to work for your Organization, which in turn results in higher quality output and which in turn leads to better client feedback.

    If we agree that client feedback is an important measure of productivity for a team in a service based organization, how do we improve the productivity of a team? A few of the important steps to take are:

    1. Make the team members feel valued and respect their contribution to the project

    2. Make each team member feel that he or she is as important for the project as anybody else

    3. Provide guidance but allow free flow of ideas among all members of the team

    4. Give every member of the team responsibility, set expectations and empower them to take decisions

    5. It is important that team leaders accept and show faith in the ability of the team members

    The above steps are not a panacea to all the productivity-related challenges that are faced by today’s team-based service Organization, but they can definitely go a long way in mitigating a few of those challenges.

    All said and done, it is important for me to now go back to my project. Ultimately, it is my boss (or is it the client?) who signs my paycheck!

    — Rishikesh