Measuring Employee Productivity

Measuring Employee Productivity

One measure of a healthy business has always been the productivity of your workforce. Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift from on-premises work to more remote work, the question of productivity has become an even bigger question for some businesses. You want your team to reflect positively on your business and to reach their full potential in your industry. There are many factors to consider when looking at your employees’ performance.  With each type of business, the ruler may change.  So, how does one actually measure this?   

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The development of outcomes or key performance indicators (KPIs) is an excellent starting point.

You and your employees need to have goals set for the roles to know how to measure them. The process is generally executed in one of two ways.  One way involves the senior leaders designating the KPIs in writing, reviewing them with their employees, and revisiting them at regularly scheduled intervals.  Another way is it sit down with the employees and develop the KPIs collaboratively as a team, establishing consensus for the goal itself and timelines for review and revisiting.  This creates a high level of buy-in, and could, therefore, have a positive impact on execution and completion.  Either way, knowing the target is an important factor for measuring whether or not they hit their targets! 

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In some businesses, the output is a key method for measuring productivity.

For example, you identify a target for the number of products sold in a particular period of time.  If you are measuring the actual production of something, you might look for the number of items produced in a period that meet a designated set of standards for quality.  If you are selling a service, you might look at the number of different service packages sold over time, the number of customers served during a period, the number of service tasks executing over time, the number of service calls made, or a combination of those items.  Output is one good quantitative measure.  

Additionally, you could analyze timesheets to determine if the distribution of tasks is appropriate over the course of a work week or other timeframe. 

This would help determine if the staff member is working on the appropriate tasks for appropriate periods.  One drawback with this method alone is relying on and trusting that what is entered are accurate time entries and accurate representations of how time is being used.   

You could measure aspects of employability that would impact employee productivity. 

How punctual are they and how is attendance?  Of course, it is always necessary to account for mitigating factors that might affect these areas.  You can utilize surveys to determine collaboration and how well they work with their coworkers on tasks assigned to the teams.  

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Another metric that could be used looks at the customer experience. 

In a service or sales industry, for example, the kind of customer satisfaction scores they receive on the service they provided, their responsiveness to the clients, and the quality of the work performed.  You could also gain insights into productivity by asking for employee feedback on their engagement with tasks, work environments, collaborative projects, etc., measuring employee satisfaction as well as customers’.  Managers and organizations, as a whole, can examine turnover rates and workforce longevity, as well as surveys of how subordinates rate their direct reports on several indicators.  

With remote working, it is a bit harder to manage and measure, sight unseen.  Some measures mentioned above would still apply and be good ways to attend to employee productivity. Some companies want to explore how remote workers are interacting with their technology to determine if they are productive or not.  There are some tech tools available on the market for measuring keystrokes, logins, and other ways to see if your people are touching their computers.  Programs like ActivTrak give you visibility of what platforms are being utilized over the course of a workday or workweek so you can determine if time utilization is appropriate and meets expectations.  

Ultimately, you want productive staff who are happy and engaged with the work that they do. 

You want to ensure that the quality and quantity of work are aligned with your company’s culture, policies, and, more importantly, your mission and beliefs.  

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