If you give a man a hammer, he’ll have a hard time cutting down a tree. If you give him a saw, it will go better. If you give him a chainsaw, the job will be done even quicker. If you give him a machine that can uproot a tree, cut it up, and move onto the next one in seconds, you’ll see extreme agility indeed!
Here’s the point: if you want employees to be productive, you’ve got to give them the right tools for the job. They need to have fast computers, cutting edge technology, optimized protocols, and the ability to make decisions in the moment. The following are ten tips to help you make your team more agile.
1. Increased Mobility
Institute a BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, solution. This will cut down on your operational costs, and will likely increase productivity among your employees. A team who doesn’t have to check in with the main office every day before going out “in the field” can save time.
2. Cloud-Based Applications
Another team-building solution would be employment of cloud-based applications like Clockspot. According to their website, the app is: “Perfect for small businesses, franchises, and mobile teams.” When your team can truly operate in a mobile capacity, this cuts down transit time and increases their operational agility.
There are additional cloud-based applications which can be used in conjunction with things like BYOD and Clockspot. Consider DaaS, or Desktop as a Service. This allows any terminal with approved access and an internet connection to connect with the same network as the home office. Disparate branches are consolidated, and all updates are stored in the system—it’s all-around efficient.
3. Personalized Website Design
Design your business’s web presence around personalized experience; according to Perth Web Design, this can be defined as: “sophisticated data collection and analysis tools [that] have given rise to personalized marketing—the ability for companies to deliver individualized messages based on previous interactions.” When you’ve got customers who are used to personalized interaction, upselling becomes less difficult, and can lead to an easy sale.
4. Website Development Tools
When it comes to website development, you’re going to want a way to monitor and upgrade the site as necessary. A given website doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It changes as your business does, and it must expand as well because increased traffic will result from a properly run operation. Your teams will be more agile if the site they’re directing potential clients to works as it should.
5. Incorporating Pharmaceutical Solutions
Nootropic use can be instrumental in instituting both physical and mental agility, but you want to be careful with this. Do your homework and provide your team with nootropics that are vetted by personal physicians. You may make this part of your onboarding process. Additionally, regularly providing coffee and tea can keep teams agile.
If you’re not familiar with Nootropics, they’re basically “smart drugs,” or “cognitive enhancers,” if you want to be fancy. They’re supplements that are either artificial or natural which are designed to make the mind work better. For things like creativity and memory, or motivation, Nootropics can be key—but those taking them should be in good health beforehand.
Corporations in Japan often have morning exercises for employees. It may seem like a strange custom, but it makes sense. It facilitates healthier workers, and those workers have increased energy. When the body is in good physical condition, it has a mentally clearing effect.
Now with a distributed team, this may be difficult to implement; but you could make an exercise regimen among distributed teams part of company policy. Healthier employees will be smarter, happier, and more efficient. If you don’t have the legal authority to institute a fitness program, then reward those who take care of their health.
7. Encourage Friendly Rivalry Between Teams
Say you’re a company that provides incoming call services for a variety of clients. Certain metrics define the success of individual departments. Perhaps you’ve got a cellphone account handled by fifty employees on four teams. Give each team a name, post the weekly or monthly numbers for each team, and provide prizes for winners. This encourages friendly rivalry, and it has a very high likelihood of increasing productivity.
Additionally, this contributes to a fun corporate culture. Good corporate culture keeps employees around longer, meaning your investment in them as a company asset is able to mature and increase in profitability.
8. Establish An Amenable Corporate Culture
There is no “I” in “team,” but there is an “I” in “individual.” Individuals make up teams. You need to recognize this truth. You can’t treat everybody like interchangeable pegs. You need to reward team members who do well, and help to encourage those who don’t.
It’s a lot like a family. A family is a kind of team, and though it functions as a unit, each member has different functions. Father and mother have leadership roles, while children function in a support capacity. But you can’t treat big sister like little brother; they’ve got different needs and talents. Those must be addressed and encouraged.
9. Ladder Climbing
Team members need to know they won’t be stuck in the bottom position permanently. You need to determine a clear career path for your employees. Team leads should become project leads. Project leads should become department heads, etc. Granted, you need to promote people based on skill; not everyone gets a leg up.
However, you can’t have teams functioning in a static environment, or they’ll hit a peak of effectiveness quickly, and then just as quickly taper off, forcing you to create a new team. This gets costly over time.
10. Decision Making
There should be policies in place, but you need to leave wiggle room for critical thinking. It doesn’t matter how comprehensive or well-researched corporate policy is, there will always be instances where it doesn’t apply. You need to enable team members to make choices which aren’t within the bounds of normal operations. This will secure otherwise untouchable clients.
Continuously Improve Agile Teams
Teams that can make decisions, have upward mobility, are involved in an agreeable corporate culture, are in competition with other teams, are physically and mentally healthy, have the tools for the job, and true mobility will be more efficient.
Read more: Inc42