It’s easy for teams to feel left out and invisible even when they get stellar results. This is more likely if their projects are crucial to the collective success, but low visibility into their work processes hinders their recognition.
As team leads or manager, your job also includes ensuring that your team’s work gets noticed, paying off in the form of better morale, solid reputation, and access to the necessary resources.
This also provides a clear view of how team members collaborate, offering proper visibility into the team’s workflow.
Let’s explore what we mean by visibility and how you can create more of it for your teams.
What is work visibility?
Work visibility means providing transparent information that helps stakeholders get a complete view of what’s happening in a team.
Moreover, keeping your team engaged and on schedule requires that you have a bird’s-eye view of ongoing projects and the ability to link individual activities to the bigger departmental or corporate goals.
So, in essence, visibility is about having the tools necessary to analyze resource requirements, allocate tasks, and spot bottlenecks so you can advance initiatives and empower team members.
Lack of visibility can result in communication issues, burnout, and failure to meet deadlines. Without work visibility, your team members will more likely wander off from the ultimate goal in different directions. It will eventually harm the team’s efforts and the organisation at large.
When targets aren’t met, morale and productivity nosedive with it, resulting in wasted time, money, and effort.
To sum up, having high work visibility involves seeing the big picture regarding strategy and the finer points of specific jobs. However, just wanting to keep tabs on how things are doing isn’t enough to make that data readily available. It would be best to deploy the right tools and resources to streamline work and prioritise team visibility.
Team’s work visibility – what does it help you achieve?
Most managers make the mistake of thinking that they’ll start monitoring work visibility only when they have bigger teams and more budget. But the fact is that if you don’t bring visibility to the team’s workflow and blind spots right away, the issues will only grow with the team.
And the problem is further exacerbated when team members don’t know what’s expected of them. How their performance is measured, what tools they have at their disposal to deal with risks, etc. In such a case, minor issues can fast become big problems.
So, there’s no denying that you and your teams can achieve a lot with timely work visibility. It can empower you to:
1. Assign tasks to the right people
It’s easier to make good rostering decisions when you analyze how your employees use their time on pertinent work-related activities. Selecting the most competent individuals is crucial for increasing efficiency. It helps save costs, maximise productivity, and safeguard against the spread of disease.
That’s why it’s crucial to enhance team visibility with the correct tools to schedule every shift and work roster efficiently.
2. Establish transparency
A significant advantage of increasing visibility at work is transparency.
When everyone is referencing the same authoritative data, it’s easier to spot when a project’s status has changed. Team members may immediately reorganize their priorities to account for changes, such as the delay of a critical job.
Open communication also encourages teammates to watch and learn from one another. One study from Harvard Business School found that allowing observers greater visibility into processes increased their motivation, sense of self-worth, and ability to identify with the client. Additionally, it can aid workers in better aligning their efforts with said procedures.
This kind of openness promotes psychological safety or the conviction that one’s participation on the team will not be met with ridicule, rejection, or punishment. That’s a massive factor in whether an employee has a good time at work.
As the NeuroLeadership Institute puts it, transparent processes:
- Create a comfortable work environment that encourages innovation
- Reduce uncertainty and make workers feel more appreciated and valued
- Promote moderation in exclusion and overrepresentation
3. Foster interdependence and accountability
Team members benefit from visibility since it serves as a shared responsibility mechanism. Employees are more likely to give their best effort when they know their project milestones, workload, and due dates will be visible to all. Furthermore, understanding your staff’s whereabouts, activities, and tasks is essential for your organization’s smooth operation.
This will provide a line of responsibility for your task, allowing for complete and accurate tracking of all activities. In the end, doing this guarantees that you can pinpoint the exact location, mode, and cause even if an error or mistake occurs.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to step back and assess the situation. Ultimately, you can take the necessary measures to not only fix the problem but also prevent it from happening again. In addition, this guarantees you will maintain a culture of trust, interdependence, equality, and accountability in your business.
4. Make better managers
Micromanaged employees become not only irritated but also incapable of completing more tasks. Research published in the Harvard Business Review in 2020 found that the COVID-19 pandemic increased productivity among knowledge workers by decreasing the number of meetings they had to attend.
Instead of forcing everyone into a soul-crushing status update meeting, they can obtain a bird’s-eye view of how a project is progressing. When supervisors can see how their teams are moving, they can gauge progress without constantly bothering team members. They will be able to identify if a team member is overburdened or a project lacks the necessary workforce.
Increased transparency facilitates managers’ ability to instill confidence in and give responsibility to their staff, which can significantly impact retention rates and personnel expenditures. A study by BambooHR found that 72% of non-managers think it would be unacceptable or a deal-breaker if their employer didn’t seem to trust or support them.
How to improve visibility of team’s work?
Here are some suggestions for improving the visibility of your team’s work.
1. Allow collaboration and structured communication
Online collaboration tools can review and approve content quickly and effectively. They eliminate the need for creative teams, clients, and account executives to track every team member’s contribution manually. Microsoft Teams is an excellent tool for that.
An email update to the team is a bad attempt at transparency because most people won’t even read it. Instead of storing emails you’ll never read again in an inaccessible archive, use Microsoft Teams to have channel conversations. In this way, all the messages, files, and data are organized, well-displayed and easy to navigate.
You can then use templates to create ready-to-go teams from tools like nBold. Teams created from the templates can contain all the documentation and other content your teams need to collaborate efficiently: file templates, guidelines, task boards, notes, playbooks and others. This will make sure the right people have access to all required data at all times and know what to do each step of the way.
Create Collaboration Templates for Teams with pre-built structure, tools, and content in Microsoft Teams
Download our step-by-step guide on how to create Collaboration Templates for Microsoft Teams
2. Provide common grounds to the team
Always check how your team’s work relates to the bigger picture. Team members rarely understand how their day-to-day efforts contribute to the larger aims of their organisation. So, to get started, you should align the objectives and key results for your team. Assist them in keeping track of their due dates and the effects of their efforts by providing a dashboard and task calendar.
Team members will feel more in control and less prone to delays if they thoroughly understand the project’s what, how, when, where, and why components. Additionally, this makes it easier for the team to collaborate as tasks are transferred between task owners.
A unified process ensures that everyone is motivated to give their all in their work.
3. Monitor project and workflows
Personnel, network capacity, economic means, and technology are all examples of a company’s resources. You can find hidden resources by breaking down larger projects into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Who is connecting with whom and where? How are responsibilities being divided up? Can any of the following tasks in the project be automated? Do all team members access a central repository housing all project assets?
Your people are your most valuable asset, so start by visualizing them. By doing so, you may locate potential barriers and create project plans that equip your team to complete their work on time and within budget.
4. Consolidate digital assets
If all of your digital assets are hidden in a maze of folders on the company’s network, they may be reachable, but nobody can see them. Surprisingly, very few creative groups employ a centralized digital asset management system. And many of the rest are still utilizing antiquated, on-premises solutions that can’t compare to the robustness and adaptability of cloud-based alternatives.
nBold can help bring your team’s efforts to light. With nBold, you can create digital collaboration spaces with all the information needed to create a unit complete quickly and easily with prepopulated digital assets, including files, folders, papers, guidelines, and tasks.
5. Get automated reports
Even teams entirely devoted to the principle of transparency nevertheless require a simple, user-friendly, and fully automated system for reporting and monitoring their progress. Otherwise, honesty will be compromised.
Too often, employees have difficulty making reports and resort to using Excel, which is not an issue for experts. However, for the rest of us, having software that, when appropriately configured, can provide shareable dashboards for reporting to executives on project expenses, progress, status, and profitability, as well as resource utilisation and productivity, is advantageous.
6. Transparency in organizational structure
It is becoming more crucial in today’s decentralized workplaces to know who reports to whom and their role within the business. You can significantly boost your efficiency if you know where to go and who to talk to when problems arise.
It’s essential to keep visibility of who’s on which teams for which projects, especially as personnel changes make it more challenging to remember everyone’s names. Since you can’t observe the person in their natural environment, learning about their background and circumstances is more crucial than ever.
In a decentralized company, your org chart must be personable and a tool for fostering collaboration.
Working on improving team visibility makes managing teams and projects much more straightforward. It will also preserve internal relationships from the inevitable stress of significant assignments and projects.
The ability to plot out projects on a timetable and observe team workloads graphically is crucial for ensuring project success. Dashboards and reports help your team stay on track with their OKRs. And seeing how their work contributes to the bigger picture will keep them inspired.
When transparency is ingrained in a team’s culture, members know the status of ongoing projects and can pitch in as needed.