It’s common for people to use “effectiveness” and “efficiency” interchangeably. But as modern-management pioneer Peter Drucker put it, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Although the terms are distinct, they are certainly linked. Doing things right means teams can accomplish more of the right things in less time and while using fewer resources. It also means that in the process of being efficient, that quality of work delivered isn’t compromised.
Of course, you want your team to repeatedly accomplish every goal you’ve set for it. But reaching them efficiently means being ready for the next challenge sooner rather than later. That means more goals reached in less time. Here are three tips you can use to get your team on the efficiency track.
A-Synchronize Your Watches
Global teams, remote work, complex information, and a need for recordkeeping are realities in today’s workplaces. It’s tough to gather everyone at the same time and place to convey vital information and maintain it for future reference. But communication, after all, is critical to productivity and achievement.
There will be plenty of times when synchronous meetings are required. However, to increase efficiency, why not take the asynchronous route when you can? Cutting-edge software is making it increasingly easier to do.
Use a screen recorder to capture what’s on your computer screen while simultaneously recording a video of your narrative. Not only can you walk team members through a topic, but you can employ video, GIFs, screenshots, annotations, and more to illustrate it. And you can integrate it all from a single platform.
Once you’re finished, just copy and paste the presentation’s URL and send it to team members. They can click, watch, and learn when it’s convenient for them. It doesn’t matter what time zone they’re in or what work they’re focused on at the time.
Eliminating distractions is a sure-fire way to increase your team’s efficiency. Plus, team members can view and review the link as often as they need to digest the information. Asynchronous communication is a great workaround for making information available when they are.
Divide and Conquer
The team dynamic seems to dictate that members do everything together. But in fact, teams can increase efficiency if they take a divide-and-conquer approach. What applies on the playing field also applies in the workplace.
A soccer or football team works toward the same end, that is, to score more than the other team. But if every player tries to move the same ball at the same time, it creates a cluster. Instead, team members are chosen to play certain positions based on their skills and strengths. Everybody needs to play their position to help the team score.
Your team members at work are no different. Each brings different skills and experience to the team yet each works toward a common goal. Team members’ diversity works if they share common traits, such as being motivated, engaged, and communicative.
If you force togetherness by making every member of the team show up for every single meeting, productivity will stagnate. Instead, break down the steps that need to occur to reach the goal. Then, delegate certain responsibilities to members best equipped to tackle them and make them accountable for their part.
Allow team members to play to their unique strengths. They’ll take a lot less time and consume far fewer resources to reach the overarching goal. You just need to let each of them run with the ball and trust them to head for the goal.
Set the Agenda (and Stick to It)
Team meetings are inevitable. Asynchronous communication is highly efficient in many cases. But when you need to brainstorm, bounce ideas around, or solve problems, everyone needs to sit at the same table, says Indeed.
Regardless of how necessary a gathering may be, it will be a major time waster if poorly executed. Efficient meetings, on the other hand, reduce the amount of time in the meeting. And that gives team members more time to get other tasks done.
Set a goal for the meeting and keep it narrow. Attempting to accomplish too much in one sitting is a non-starter. Hold the length to 15 minutes or 30 tops. That’s all the time you’ll have before losing everyone’s attention.
Distribute a detailed agenda to team members well ahead of time so they’re focused when they step into the room. Then, stick to it like glue. Nip tangents in the proverbial bud, and schedule separate meetings to deal with any that need addressing. Otherwise, you’ll lose the very efficiency you set out to achieve.
When teams gather, it’s easy for them to get off topic. It’s the meeting convener’s job to keep members from straying from the issue at hand. Efficient meetings garner effective results.
Do Things Right
You may think your team is performing well because members are achieving the goals set for them. No doubt, that’s something to be proud of. However, to do the right things faster, using a minimum number of resources, they need to work efficiently.
Efficiency and effectiveness are certainly distinct from one another. Just remember that a lot of efficiency leads to a whole lot more effectiveness.