Superior managers breed superior company productivity – and vice versa. Repeated studies bear out this fact. A Stanford University study looked at 4,000 companies around the world and concluded that, “improved management practice is one of the most effective ways for a firm to outperform its peer.”
Yet, many organizations struggle with the fundamental question of how to increase productivity among management. They endure personality conflicts among managers, poor communication and ineffective decision-making. Poor management increases employee turnover, which leads to lower productivity and poor outcomes.
Many companies look to a management team model to improve outcomes. Why form a management team? Teams are put in place mainly to make decisions that help guide the organization’s operations. Members of the team are company leaders who frequently work together outside of the team. It might be made up of top executives, or it could be a line or staff management team. Building a good management team is not impossible - these seven tools can help:
1. Find the right people.
It might seem obvious, but a productive management team starts with productive individuals who can manage. Recruit qualified people – make sure they have the right skills and are a good fit with yourcompany culture.
2. Create a collaborative climate.
Management teams need to become comfortable with each other in order to develop a true collaborative spirit. This takes time, trust and respect. Trust requires teammates to be honest and to not engage in behind-the-scenes games. Respect develops as team members recognize and acknowledge the abilities and accomplishments of their team peers. To build trust, respect and unity, schedule some fun off-site social events that allow teams to interact in a friendly setting.
3. Make communication a priority.
Poor communication is linked to many organizational problems, including low morale and high turnover. If you’re wondering how to increase productivity in any area of your company, look to the communication processes and skills of your management staff. Make sure your team fosters open discussion about decisions and management priorities.
4. Follow positive management principles.
The American Management Association has found that management teams with a positive approach and positive behavior reinforcement will see positive results. It’s all too easy to be the manager or executive who points out the flaws in others. That’s a fast highway to slow productivity. Keep discussions pointed in a positive direction – ask for solutions; encourage innovation and brainstorming; don’t play favorites; recognize each team members’ management style and work with it in a positive fashion; say thank you for a job well done.
5. Set clear strategic goals.
Get the management team on the right track by making sure there’s a clear understanding of what their goals and purposes are and what they should aim to accomplish. These should mirror and reinforce the company’s overall strategic priorities.
6. Gather and process key information.
Good teams need to be good intelligence-gatherers, using information sources both inside and outside the company. And, they need to be able to take the information developed and use it effectively to support the overall strategic direction of the company.
7. Implement well.
Great decisions that are badly implemented are useless to the company. A good team puts in place metrics and follows up on important decisions that come out of the group.
A good team is made up of the right people, doing the right job for the right reasons. What tips would you offer for someone wondering how to increase productivity in their management team?