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Factors Responsible For The Low Productivity Of A Team

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Question:

Analyse and identify the factors responsible for the low productivity of a team of a company.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

A team’s efficiency is very important in determining the productivity of the company. However, there are several factors which can affect the production of a team. The management needs to identify the problems and address them as quickly as possible to increase the efficiency and production rate of the team for the benefit of the company which can highly suffer if the low productivity continues over a longer period of time. In this assignment, the purpose is to identify the problems affecting the low production of a company and finding possible solutions which can address the issue and solve the problem for the future. Proper communication, team morale, work efficiency rate, company goals and vision are some of the factors that are to be considered in the analysis and it is to be determined how these play major roles in affecting team productivity. Moreover, how the plans are to be carried out in the future are also to be discussed in the topic. Lastly, a conclusion is to be drawn which can summarise the overall problem and the possible solutions to the issues.

Discussion:

Identifying team purpose:

It is very important for the team to be aware of the purpose of their work. They also need to be aware of the specific job roles, and their responsibilities to enhance the team productivity. For this purpose the team members need to be aware of the constitution of the company which has a specific vision behind its formation (McLaurin 2013). Moreover, it makes the employees aware of the job security which can motivate them to increase their work efficiency for the benefit of the company. Moreover, at times it is seen that the team members are not specifically aware of their job roles which lead them to do different kinds of jobs that are not required for them to do. Documents specifying job roles and responsibilities of the team members can make them do their specific jobs which can enhance division of labour and in the process increase team productivity.

 

Identifying the problem:

Identifying the problems causing low productivity is very important in order to address them. Managers are often confused to identify as to what is affecting the team’s performance. However, there are different ways in which the manger can identify the issues affecting the team’s performance.

Firstly, the manager can directly ask the team members if there is any problem that they are facing which is resulting in low productivity. Focusing on the problems faced by the team members can easily help the manager identify the issues that are responsible for the team’s low productivity.

Secondly, the manager should focus upon finding any issues that are interfering with the tasks of the employees. Issues such as new technology or a new system of production might disorient the team members, who were more comfortable with the old methods, and cause low team productivity (Donovan, Güss and Naslund 2015). This can be a result of improper training, or not utilization of available resources to aware the team members.

Thirdly, one of the main factors that the manager should identify is whether there is a communication gap between the team and the manager which is hindering the team from getting the actual message of what is required from them and thus reduces the productivity of the team.

Factors responsible for low productivity:

  • Delegation and work allocation: One of the prime factors causing low productivity is the manager’s inability to properly delegate tasks to the team according to specific job roles. This results in the overload of work on certain persons while the rest of the team becomes disengaged with lack of work. Uncertainty and lack of proper work allocation thus drops the rate of productivity in a team.

Moreover, the manager sometimes do not want to let go off a work from their own hands and does not allocate the work to the team. A team leader burdened with more work doesn’t show his efficiency in managing the team and the delegation and work allocation which lowers his esteem in the team and ultimately leads to the fall in productivity of the team.

  • Group dynamics: The group’s dynamics or the process of communication among the group plays a very important part in determining the potential of productivity of a team. In case of low productivity poor dynamics can be considered to one of the major cause. Proper communication with team and allowing the team members to voice their opinions on different team issues help the team to get involved and develops a bond between the members who can co-operate to boost up team performance (Lehmann-Willenbrock, Allen and Kauffeld 2013).
  • Leadership styles: Managing a low productivity issue requires a proper investigation into the leadership. Proper leadership and management skills are required to enhance the team productivity. A transparent leadership is essential for the proper functioning of the team. Inefficient supervision or lack of job responsibility among managers makes the team disoriented about their targets which results in the fall of the team productivity (D’Innocenzo, Mathieu and Kukenberger 2016).
 


Moreover, adequate time should be provided for the tasks to be completed in order to increase the quality and quantity of the finished products. Improper time management leads to the fall of team productivity. Another factor which damages a team’s atmosphere is favouritism. The team manager should always be neutral and never pick favourites among the team. Favouritism creates a negative atmosphere in the team which discourages team members from actively participating in team activities, as a result of which team productivity falls. A manager should always be pro-active and confident about his decisions so as build the confidence in the team and increase their work rate and productivity.

  • Motivation: Lack of motivation from the manager plays an important role in the low productivity of a team. Lack of proper vision, and organizational development causes lack of work encouragement which results in lower production from the team (Hu and Liden 2015). Moreover, not recognising the achievements of performers also discourages the team from performing well. Proper monitoring of achievements and evaluating the success rates of the different employees and recognising the achievers with rewards can motivate the other team members to increase their work rates and perform well. This creates a collective improvement in the work force which increases productivity of the team.
 

Monitoring team productivity:

Implementing changes is necessary for increasing team productivity however, it has to be constantly monitored so that the productivity does not fall in future. Communicating with the team members on a daily basis and discussing the progress of works and future developments can motivate the team and keep the productivity high.

Moreover, development of different measurement scales to monitor the work rate (Dingsoyr and Lindsjorn 2013) of the team members such as the relation of the requirements to the achievements and completed reports can be a good way to constantly evaluate the team’s performance. Awareness among the team members about the routine evaluation can always motivate the team to put in their best effort. These technical processes thus increases the team’s production and enhance the company’s development.

 Importance of changing the existing procedures:

The procedures in existence are decreasing the productivity of the team. However, the identification and analysis of the scenario has pointed out several aspects which can be avoided and new measures are to be implemented for the change to take place.

Monitoring the problems and constant evaluation of the team is the key to achieve the development that is required. However, in the process the change in leadership attitude and a multi-dimensional approach towards the problem can motivate the team to perform better in the process. The several discussed above are needed to be implemented on the priority basis so that the vision of the company and the bigger picture of the contribution of the team members are highlighted and this can help the team to realise their importance and motivate them to perform better so as to increase the productivity and bring in change.

 

Implementing the change:

The higher management authorities need to consider the above discussed analysis and monitor the reports in order to understand the deeper aspects of the problems of the team production. This can help them understand the gravity of the issue and help the team leader in introducing the change that is desired for the company. Devising out the measurement scales and implementing them can help the higher authorities get a feedback from the team which can further help them to implement innovative ways to understand the cause of team productivity and raise the level of the work which can increase the productivity.

Conclusion:

The above discussion has highlighted some of the very important factors that are responsible for the low productivity of a team in a company. Hence a conclusion can be drawn from the discussion that proper monitoring, communication and leadership is the key to a good team productivity. Constant evaluation of the team and motivating the team members to participate more actively in the team activities can help the team to achieve good results in productivity. Moreover, the evaluation methods and recognition of multi-dimensional talents of the team members can be utilized to increase the team’s productivity.

 

References:

D’Innocenzo, L., Mathieu, J.E. and Kukenberger, M.R., 2016. A meta-analysis of different forms of shared leadership–team performance relations. Journal of Management, 42(7), pp.1964-1991.

Dingsoyr, T. and Lindsjorn, Y., 2013, June. Team performance in agile development teams: Findings from 18 focus groups. In International Conference on Agile Software Development (pp. 46-60). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Donovan, S.J., Güss, C.D. and Naslund, D., 2015. Improving dynamic decision making through training and self-reflection. Judgment and Decision Making, 10(4), p.284.

Hu, J. and Liden, R.C., 2015. Making a difference in the teamwork: Linking team prosocial motivation to team processes and effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), pp.1102-1127.

Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. and Kauffeld, S., 2013. A sequential analysis of procedural meeting communication: How teams facilitate their meetings. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 41(4), pp.365-388.

McLaurin, J.R., 2013. The role of situation in the leadership process: A review and application. Electronic Business, 12(2)

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