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Serving as a manager or business leader requires you to effectively manage your team and ensure that each member is using his or her time as efficiently as possible. This is often much easier said than done, as it is nearly impossible to monitor every single person’s efforts without losing traction on your own.

So, what is the best way to streamline your team’s efforts? How can one go about doing this without seemingly abusing their authority? The following strategies are proven ways to help your employees improve their levels of efficiency and productivity.

Establish Realistic Goals

Knowing exactly what you want your team members to accomplish is the first step in focusing their efforts. Set attainable goals for every individual member along with a tracking method for each, taking into consideration your team’s size and array of talents. For example, assigning one employee a larger project can be daunting regardless of the given deadline. As an alternative, break these bigger projects down into singular tasks for every team member to work on. This not only creates a collaborative environment, but motivates your employees toward accomplishing a shared goal

Specify Roles

When dispersing larger projects into smaller tasks, be sure to communicate with your team members individually to clarify what their specific roles are, and what you expect of them. Prioritizing two or three specific aspects of their role can help them better focus their efforts as well. In terms of expectations, give your employees timelines in which you would like to have their tasks completed, keeping in mind their personal working styles and talents. Clearly explaining the end goal will paint a better picture in their minds of what it is both you and your employees want to achieve.

Lastly, allow your employees the freedom to work on their own. While it is certainly important to offer guidance, micromanaging and delegating too much will breed tension, and possible resentment.

Be Open to Feedback

Trust is essential in the workplace. Perhaps the best way to build trust among your team is encouraging open feedback and truthfulness. This is doing a service to both you and your employees. You are given a window into how your team may see you, in addition to creating an open environment. Acknowledge the challenges your employees face on a daily basis and ask if you are able to provide any assistance. This can include offering additional resources, reassessing strategies or even the end goal, and lowering the workload if necessary. Encourage your employees to come to you with questions or concerns without hesitation.