One of the most important parts of employee management is monitoring employee productivity. This not only helps you to gauge how well an employee is contributing to the success of a company. It can also serve as a guide for future reference in promoting well-deserved employees.
Keeping track of employee productivity also helps you gain insight into how well employees are compensated versus the amount of work or effort they put into the workplace.
While there are many ways to measure how well your team functions as a unit, measuring employee productivity is a key part of this process. As part of our series on key HR KPIs, we’ll explore workplace productivity measurements and what you can do to boost improve employee productivity.
- What is employee productivity?
- Factors that influence productivity
- Measuring employee productivity
- How to improve productivity in the workplace
- Productive employees: FAQs
Employee productivity is the amount of work done an employee can accomplish in a fixed amount of time. While it seems simple at first glance, it involves a variety of complex factors.
A productive person is efficient in their work. They manage time well and get better results in shorter periods.
You also cannot expect the same productivity levels on all days. Some days employees may be distracted or need more time to accomplish a difficult task. This is why companies need to work on a larger time scale, such as a week, a month, or a quarter.
To effectively measure or even boost workers’ productivity, you need to understand the factors that play a role in determining it. Here are some factors that affect productivity in a workplace.
1. Well-being of the Employee
The International Labour Organisation maintains that wellbeing relates to all aspects of working life. This includes
- The safety and quality of the environment
- How employees feel about the organization
- Workplace climate
- Stress levels on the job
Many studies show a direct correlation between the well-being of an employee and the long-term productivity of employees. This translates to the overall productivity of the organization as a whole.
2. Communication Tools
Good communication and feedback are essential in promoting workplace productivity. Identify how easy it is for employees to get in touch with each other. A McKinsey study highlights the importance of social technologies in improving productivity by 20 to 25%.
The business channels and communication tools should be easily accessible. Project requirements should be clearly conveyed to employees. Eliminating uncertainty boosts the productivity of employees.
In addition, if an employee knows that it is easy to communicate with teammates and managers to convey challenges or progress, it becomes easier to work productively.
3. Management Practices
Management practices play an important role in boosting employee morale and productivity. This includes factors like how involved a leader is, how approachable the team leads are, and so on. A great way to practice good management practices is by giving regular feedback.
This allows for improvement. An opportunity for constructive growth is undoubtedly a productivity booster. Listening to employees, emotionally investing in their tasks, and allowing them to grow keeping in mind strengths and weaknesses is a great way to optimize your management.
The productivity of workers depends, to a great extent, on the tools they have at their disposal. Ensuring that employees have the right tools, and are trained to use them makes work easier. Equipment that requires extra time to work, or employee effort, makes the process more difficult.
Employees need to be aware of how to perform their tasks without facing routine challenges. This calls for training programs.
Employees who receive holistic onboarding and regular training are more in touch with their teammates and on top of their work. This means that they can find better solutions, leading to maximum productivity.
The Global Institute for Research and Education published a study that maintains that training and development have a positive correlation with employee productivity.
Employee productivity measurement is an important part of understanding how effective your workplace is. But how do you track something like productivity?
There are several things you can do to keep an eye on productivity levels in the workplace. All these have a direct correlation to how productive the employee is. In addition, it allows you to have an idea about how your teams or employees are performing concerning their tasks.
1. Keep Track of Their Goals
Regularly track employee goals, and monitor steps being taken to achieve them. This helps you identify if the employee’s goals align with the goals of the company.
Also, make it a point to actively help them achieve their goals. This gives employees something to work towards passionately. Identifying and tracking goals is a great way to measure a worker’s productivity, as it gives you insights into what incentivizes them and what they do best.
It would also help if there was a timely review of goals, and a measure of progress so far.
2. Measure Their Quality of Work
Completion of tasks must always be coupled with standards. Measure the quality of work in every project. Include it in review meetings and other team meetings.
This will ensure that you know the team’s overall productivity and that of employees.
A great way to gauge the quality of work is by conducting regular team and client surveys. This gives you a clear idea as to what both sides want. Any low-quality work can then be identified, and appropriate training can be made available. This will help employees boost their productivity as well.
3. Check the Amount of Work Completed
Divide tasks into smaller pieces. Now, keep track of the amount of work being completed. The smaller chunks mean that the pressure of a large task no longer hangs over the head of employees.
Another advantage is that you can check the progress of these smaller parts daily, allowing you to identify the percentage of work being completed regularly. You can then reach an average work per day percentage. That should give you a fair idea of how productive your organization is.
These are the main ways you can measure the productivity of your employees.
If you are wondering what you can do to improve productivity, here it goes. Employers play a major role in improving the overall morale of any team. Here are some things you can do to boost productivity in your organization.
1. Improve Workplace Condition
Employees spend a lot of time in their offices. Therefore, it is only natural that the environment of the workplace plays a major role in their productivity. In fact, you can help aid their productivity simply by providing more natural light, some plants, and a clean environment.
- Psychology Today stresses the importance of natural light on sleep, vitality, and productivity.
- Introducing plants in the office keeps employees in a productive state of mind.
- Introduce noise-free offices.
- Add an area to unwind and relax without being surrounded by equipment and harsh lighting.
2. Allow Flexible Schedules
Not everyone has the same productivity cycle. Allow flexible schedules rather than pushing a 9 to 5 workday.
This helps employees work according to their productivity levels. It also allows for clear, stress-free thinking by the employee, reducing overall stress levels.
Another great way to introduce flexible working hours is by promoting remote work. Employees can be at least equally productive, if not more when working from home. They no longer have to deal with the hassles of commuting to and from work, rushing through morning routines, and so on. This leaves them with enough time to unwind.
3. Optimize Meetings
Steven Rogelberg, of the University of North Carolina, conducted a study that shows that workers’ responses to meetings also correlate to their job satisfaction and productivity. Bad meetings take a toll on employees and eat into their solo work time.
Meetings cost businesses $37 billion per year. However, there are still 25 million meetings daily in the US alone. Below are a few steps to help you optimize meetings.
- Avoid meetings until it is necessary.
- Send written messages when possible.
- Reduce the number of meetings.
- Smaller meetings with fewer participants are more productive.
- Hold short, crisp meetings that are to the point.
4. Set Clear Deadlines and Expectations
Setting clear expectations and deadlines gives employees a clear timeline to work with. Sharing your expectations with them well in advance means that they have time to make a roadmap of their goals. This also gives them a fair idea of the rate of work that needs to be done to meet this deadline.
5. Encourage Self-Care
Employees will be both loyal to the organization, and more productive when they feel cared for. Encourage self-care among your employees by:
- Offering employee benefits
- Celebrating the small wins
- Scheduling self-care courses that help employees reach their own goals
- Maintaining a system of wellness leaves
Encouraging employees to take care of themselves will undoubtedly reduce stress levels. This means healthier employees, both mentally and physically.
6. Time Management Skills
Time management plays an important role in achieving productivity. Your employees are likely distracted, or lose time due to unimportant tasks. Figure out a schedule that allows employees to get their “deep work time”.
Training your employees in time management skills is a great way to help them identify the best schedules for themselves. This also allows them to plan their workday according to their production cycles.
Working during the peak productivity hours means that high standards will be maintained in tasks. It also boosts the overall productivity of the organization.
7. Avoid Interruptions
Interruptions take people away from their train of thought. Often, it takes twice as much time to reach the same point. Make it a point to avoid interruptions. 98% of employees cannot get through the day without being interrupted a few times. This includes:
- Face-to-face interruptions
- Instant messaging platforms
- Calls and texts
- Office noise
Help employees avoid these interruptions by, well, not interrupting them! Save non-essential communication for a regularly scheduled check-in or drop them a note that they can get to later.
8. Boost Morale
The better morale levels your team has, the better their productivity is bound to be. This essentially gives employees a reason to be productive. It could be something huge, like a feeling of belonging at the office. Some ways you could encourage better morale are:
- Align them with company values
- Incentivize them for work well done
- Appreciate employees for their hard work
- Wellness programs
- Accept and give feedback creating a positive reinforcement loop
- Introduce paid time off instead of bonuses
9. Match Tasks to Skills
To maximize the efficiency of your employees, you need to understand the skillset each employee possesses.
It is not fair to expect every employee to be great at every task. Nor is it fair to assign minor tasks to someone who is solving a major task.
Keep your employees’ skills in mind and sign tasks accordingly. Before assigning, always ask yourself if the person is best suited for the job.
These strategies will ensure that your employees’ productivity is high. It tries to keep your employees incentivized and give them a stress-free environment. This contributes to mental wellbeing and high productivity.
1. What is employee productivity in the workplace?
Employee productivity is a metric that allows you to measure the work done in a fixed period of time. It helps you understand how much work is being done, and how efficient it is.
2. Why is it important to measure employee productivity?
The productivity of employees affects the overall organization. Productive employees make sure projects are completed on time and with high standards.
3. How do you track workplace productivity?
Employees’ productivity can be calculated by Output/Input.