Looking for a way to improve employee productivity and efficiency in your business? Implement team task management into your workflow.
In this article, the workforce-management experts at Sling discuss the theory and best practices behind this powerful tool for business success.
What Is Team Task Management?
At first glance, team task management may seem like little more than a list of jobs that need to be finished. While that is a big part of the process, it’s so much more than just checking off items on a to-do list.
Team task management, then, is the process of directing, organizing, and conducting both smaller tasks and larger projects through to their conclusion.
This often involves:
- Planning due dates
- Enforcing deadlines
- Integrating task dependencies
- Creating priorities
- Managing time on task
- And so much more…
In some ways, team task management looks a lot like project management, but the two are actually very different.
Project management focuses on the phases a large-scale undertaking goes through and the team effort behind it.
A restaurant, for example, may set a goal to improve customer perception of their business. Owners and managers would then deploy project management to keep track of the various phases inherent in reaching said goal.
Team task management, on the other hand, focuses on individual jobs that must be done to keep the project or the business running smoothly. In the example mentioned above, improving customer perception may involve cleaning the waiting room more often than before.
Management would roll out team task management as a way to make sure the cleaning gets done on schedule and according to the standards set by the business.
The Theory Behind Team Task Management
Most managers base their team task management on the SMART theory. And for good reason: it works. SMART is an acronym that describes five core components (or guidelines) of task management.
Those core components are:
- Specific (S)
- Measurable (M)
- Attainable (A)
- Relevant (R)
- Timely (T)
As SMART recommends, the most productive employee work and tasks are specific and measurable right from the get-go (e.g., clean the waiting area according to new standards every 30 minutes).
Those same tasks are also attainable, relevant, and possible to accomplish during work hours.
So, while cleaning the waiting area every 30 minutes is certainly attainable and possible to accomplish, if your restaurant is only offering drive-thru service and online ordering with curbside pickup, the relevancy of this task is completely gone.
According to the SMART theory, your business would benefit from doing away with that task for the time being.
Benefits Of Team Task Management
Implementing a team task management program in your business will lead to dramatic increases in employee productivity.
Instead of waiting to be told what to do or trying to figure out which jobs take priority, your team can refer to their task list to find out where to concentrate their efforts next.
This also benefits your productivity because you don’t have to stop what you’re doing every time someone completes a task to put them on to a new job.
You can set aside a few minutes at the beginning of the new day (or the end of the previous day) to assign tasks lists to each employee that will keep them on task throughout their shift.
Not only does team task management increase productivity — the amount of work done over a period of time — but it also improves the efficiency your employees exhibit at certain tasks.
At its most basic, efficiency is the amount of effort and resources your team puts into the jobs you give them.
With the right team task management program, they’ll get better at executing their assignments and will be able to get more work done in one shift.
Team task management is also a great way to provide accountability to individual employees.
In more traditional, verbal assignment systems, it’s very easy for your employee to get sidetracked and forget what task you gave them. Similarly, you may forget to tell the employee what they need to do so the task never gets done.
With the automation and storage common to digital team task management platforms, nothing will be lost or forgotten and you can cultivate accountability in yourself and your team.
When it comes to team task management, establishing responsibility for tasks — and maintaining that responsibility when new employees arrive — so that overlap and redundancy don’t become a problem can be difficult.
With modern digital systems (such as the Sling app), clarity and transparency are a major part of the process.
Each employee can see who is responsible for what so that no one steps on another person’s toes and causes conflict in the business.
How To Improve Team Task Management
1) Set Performance Expectations
Setting performance expectations and listing them in the job assignment itself is an efficient way to improve your overall team task management.
For recurring responsibilities, it is also useful to describe the job and the standards you expect in your employee handbook for all to see.
2) Provide Feedback
Feedback is at the heart of all improvement, so be sure to provide plenty of guidance to your team until they perform at your standards.
Want to learn more about employee feedback? Take a few minutes to read this article from the Sling blog: Employee Feedback: Why It’s Important And How To Give It.
3) Build A Healthy Company Culture
Building a healthy company culture is critical because said culture is the “everyday life” of your team and your business as a whole.
If your employees don’t feel comfortable within your company culture, they are far less likely to conduct their responsibilities in a timely and professional manner.
Take the time to improve your company culture by:
- Emphasizing ethics
- Refining your vision and mission statements
- Establishing an organizational strategy
- Defining culture in your employee handbook
With a healthy company culture in place, your team task management will skyrocket.
4) Make Consequences And Rewards Clear
Without consequences and rewards, very little would get done in your business. To improve the overall process of management, take the time to make clear the repercussions of a job done poorly and the benefits of a job done well.
Consider discussing these consequences and rewards in your employee handbook so that all team members have access to this information night and day.
The Best Way To Improve Team Task Management
The best way to improve team task management is with software specifically designed to provide structure and direction to the workday.
Sling is that software.
Imagine ending your workdays with a sense of satisfaction and less on your to-do list than you started with. You can (and so can your team) not by putting more time into work, but by making more of your time at work.
With the team task management feature on Sling, you can guide your entire staff in the right direction in a timely and cost-effective way, helping them stay more productive and supporting them in their daily work, while simultaneously leading your business towards better growth.
Sling even helps you improve your own efficiency by allowing you to create, save, and reuse task templates for recurring work so you don’t have to start describing repeated tasks from scratch.
Then, you can break down work into specific actions and create checklists so employees can easily meet expectations.
And that’s only the tip of the Sling iceberg.
With Sling, you also get:
- Powerful scheduling tools
- Cloud-based schedule distribution and communication
- A wide range of reports to help you make adjustments for the future
- Paid-time-off control to help you keep expenses low
- Built-in time clock
- Messaging and communication features
- Your very own newsfeed
Take team task management to the next level by downloading the app for free today.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.