We can all take a leaf out of Google’s book when it comes to building happy teams. Having recently read the book How Google Works, I realized it comes down to two things: employing the very best people and giving them the very best tools to work with. Get those two elements right, and you’ll have a happy team which, by coincidence, will knock your socks off in terms of productivity.
Happiness comfortably beats impressive job titles and increased wages. Deep down, most of us know that it is all too easy to reach a stage where the stress associated with work trumps any additional earning potential. In short, there is a point at which you can earn too much money. We’d all rather be happier than rich, wouldn’t we?
If that last sentence hasn’t forced you to reach for the “close” button, you’ve stayed for the right reason – congratulations! Now for your reward: I’ve got 5 tech tools which will help you lead your team on to a future of happiness and ultra productivity.
Project and task management
Most successful teams are able to deal with multiple projects and their constituent tasks. And by “deal with,” I mean really deal with them – i.e. not spend most of their working lives crying into mounds of spreadsheets, printed emails and Post It notes.
Technology can be your friend here. Conversely, it can also be your enemy, for there are rather too many project management apps out there which you’ll spend more time configuring than actually finishing the work you’re trying to project manage. To avoid this trap, take a look at Trello, which strips project management down to its core and, crucially, makes it an enjoyable, addictive process. You’ll be able to invite your team in and watch as they share files, chat about individual tasks and get stuff done!
Email. Phone. SMS. Messenger. Twitter. Facebook. There are so many ways in which we can communicate these days. Too many, in fact. How often have you been blinded by multiple unread message notifications and tiny red circles with huge numbers in them? Your team may be experiencing the same anguish. Get rid of it. No, really – it’s incredibly simple. By implementing a communication platform such as Slack, you’ll rid your team of wasted communication and give them a single platform within which to collaborate. Say goodbye to email!
“I’m sure I left it in the ‘P’ drive, John!” How many times have you and your team scoured your local network for that all important contract only to find it has completely disappeared? If that sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to hear that local networks are fast becoming a thing of the past. Which is nice, because they only ever seemed to cause arguments. Enter Dropbox, which allows your team to store everything in the cloud and access their files from pretty much any device they have to hand. That’ll make them happy!
This might seem like an odd choice for a happiness-making tool, but it’s one of the best. What’s worse than a lost file? You guessed it – a lost backup. Services like BackBlaze are low-cost and ensure all of your team’s important content is safe and instantly accessible should the original copy disappear. Plus, you’ll no longer have to burden someone with the task of taking the backup tapes home every evening.
At the heart of any successful and happy team is effective collaboration. Working together to achieve a single goal is a great feeling and one of the best team building exercises you can invest in. Happily, investing in it won’t break the bank, because with free tools around such as Google Docs, your team can easily collaborate on documents and spreadsheets, again from any device of their choosing, no matter where they are.