Productivity is the lifeblood of every business. It doesn’t matter the industry you operate in or the kind of product or service you offer; if your workers aren’t productive enough, your business will suffer. Customers would be dissatisfied and leave you for your competitors who serve them better. Prolonged non-productivity in business will lead to a waste of human and capital resources. And no business owner or manager wants that to happen.
Since productivity is significantly essential, how do managers measure their employees’ performance to check that they get sound output?
Thanks to technology and timeless business intelligence, there are many ways you can do it. And in this post, we shall outline the top 10 most effective ways you can measure productivity. However, before we get into that, there’s something more important:
Define what productivity means for your business
Every business is different. Even businesses operating in the same industry and serving similar customers are different in some vital aspects, so it would be ineffective to think of a one size fits all approach to tracking productivity. Also, your business most likely has different segments with different employees doing different things. The productivity metric for one aspect of your business would be different from the other aspects’ metrics. For example, in a restaurant, the waiters are as important as the sales reps, but you can’t possibly use the same parameter to measure their performance.
If you’re a business owner or general manager, pause and think about your business. What service or products do you offer? How many segments are you watching over, and what type of performance would you tag as productive? Is there a bottom line to be met? A production quota? A sales quota?
If you’ve been able to settle all that, let’s move on to the ten practical ways to measure employee productivity.
1. Set clear expectations (and deadlines if need be)
It’s sad to know how many project managers fail to do this. Your employees would be happier when you tell them what you expect of them, especially in the age of remote work. Even if your company isn’t distant, you can’t solely rely on your workers working 9-5. Many people stay on the job for 8 hours but are only productive half of the time, so the remaining hours get wasted, and you get to pay for it. But when you set clear expectations, your workers know how to perform accordingly. You could equally set deadlines if your project is time-bound.
2. Create an effective feedback culture
You don’t have to wait for an annual report. Don’t even do it. If you call the shots in your organization or department, you want to regularly create a system where you receive and give feedback. You can choose any frequency you wish to, but don’t make it less or too frequent. Having a monthly or quarterly feedback system where employees fill you in on their progress and receive your feedback works just fine.
3. Regular feedback from project managers
Feedback from the seniors is different from the feedback you receive yourself. You’re too busy to provide guidance and handle everything in every department, but that’s your project manager’s job. The PM should interact with your employees on a daily or weekly basis, depending upon the size of your organization.
4. 360° feedback
This tracking model was vital in the industrial age. It’s still instrumental, but you can’t apply it to all business models. See if it works for you. The method involves getting feedback about an employee from customers and other employees. Ideally, you have to ensure that your getting feedback is pure and not driven by personal prejudices.
5. Use a time tracking software
6. Monitor employee digital activities
Now you would agree that there are too many things in the digital age. Employees might deviate on the job even when the time tracker is ticking. But by using tools like remotedesk, you would be able to monitor your employee digital activities and determine if they spent some work hours watching Netflix or dedicated all of it to the job.
7. Take advantage of project management software
Project management tools are great for small to midsize businesses because they keep everyone on the same page. There are many such tools out there. Ideally, you should choose one that enables employees to view their tasks and document when they get done. You should also pass information via the software you choose; otherwise, you may have to be using email or subsidiary tools for communication.
8. Measure quality, not quantity
If your company manufactures machine parts, for example, you could try to measure a factory worker’s productivity by the number of parts (s)he produces per day. That could work, but gauging by the numbers isn’t always a practical approach because if the worker meets your daily quota by providing substandard products, then you’re still at a loss. It’s best to put quality over quantity if you can’t have both.
9. Measuring productivity in a service department
It’s more difficult to measure service than it is to measure product output. Some businesses measure service based on the number of customers served per hour; others measure the speed in providing services while some other companies measure based on certain tasks within the service department. The metric you use boils down to your business’s nature, but generally, you need to estimate the work volume your employees can take per day, then allocate effectively and measure based on that.
10. Use profit to determine productivity
Small-sized businesses are increasingly choosing this method because it helps them track progress while ensuring that employees are free to be as creative as they want. Constantly monitoring employee activity can sometimes box people into a particular way of doing things. Still, when you remove the tracking and monitoring, people feel free to flex their creative muscles. Again, it all depends on your business. How well you trust your employees, who perform well with or without supervision. However, this parameter doesn’t apply to the new joiners in an organization.
Do this one thing to improve employee productivity!
Most employees don’t get emotionally engaged with their company; hence they’re only doing the bare minimum while searching for a new job. A 2017 study shows that 81% of workers are considering leaving their jobs. Gallup also reports that a staggering 85% of employees admit that they are not engaged in the workplace. When you have this kind of figure, you wouldn’t wonder why employers complain about employee productivity. But you can change the narrative for your business by engaging your employees on an emotional level.
How RemoteDesk Boosts Employee Productivity!
RemoteDesk’s multi-layered time tracking feature utilizes AI and machine learning to detect and record instances of productive and unproductive hours. It brings accountability within the organization by evaluating billable and non-billable hours. Its non-invasive employee tracking approach makes it stand out in the business market. And therefore, it has become the most trusted application to boost employee productivity.