2020 represented a turning point for most businesses, and the profound implications of Covid-19 lasted longer than many thought possible. Measuring the productivity of your company or department this year allows you to make operational changes, adding employees and equipment to meet deadlines specifically. Understanding the productivity level of your workforce allows you to gauge overall efficiency, and there are a variety of manners to measure productivity in order to achieve a higher growth rate.

However, for large enterprises, applying productivity measurement techniques is not that straightforward. Therefore, it’s wise to understand the basics of how to track the productivity of your employees.

The traditional method of measuring productivity comes down to the equation: Productivity = Units of Output / Units of Input, meaning that if your employees’ output score was higher than the input score, they were productive. But this method won’t work for all enterprises as it varies based on industries, roles, and tasks. Nonetheless, we’ve selected the most consistent approaches you could use as a guide to help you measure employee productivity and improve at the same time.

Set a Starting Point

Establish a baseline to determine the expected outcome for each role or position and to accurately track individual and team productivity. In Customer Services, for example, find out the number of queries your team resolves in a day, and divide it through the number of employees to identify the baseline. The baseline helps your business to set a consistent average of deliverables, a reference to measure employee productivity, but most importantly, it holds your employees accountable.

Define and Measure Tasks

There are different job roles and positions, and measuring all of them with the same productivity measurement metrics is impossible. Define the metrics based on the functions of the job and measure the tasks, not the hours as the complexity of tasks vary. If an app developer, for example, spends more hours on research, you cannot evaluate their performance based on lines of code they’ve written. Rather define measurements like:

  • How many orders are dispatched?
  • How quickly are customers served?
  • How many invoices are sent out?

Establish Targets and Benchmarks

Depending on the different industries, certain jobs have predefined targets, and some don’t. Set targets and benchmarks for each employee before you measure productivity to get the correct data points. In the case of a Call Centre, an agent can’t control the number of calls received, so measuring on all calls received is a significant mistake.

Account for the Human Factor

The core problem to productivity – individuals’ wellbeing. Focus on individual employee satisfaction and build strong teams to ensure high levels of productivity. Productivity could improve by 20% to 25% when employees are connected. If your employees don’t want to work, productivity measurement and optimisation becomes unwanted.

Studies show that positive teams show compassion and focus on meaningful work, treat others with respect and are more productive. Performance traits include high employee engagement and happiness. Additionally, in the scenario of knowledge economy, the outcomes are a series of creative decisions and also the employee’s knowledge and expertise.

Quality or Quantity?

Quality is more important than quantity. Let’s compare a baker and a teacher. The baker is productive when more loaves of bread are baked to meet customer demand, but a teacher’s objective is not to rush through lessons. If the students don’t understand the lesson, the job is done incorrectly. Timely completion of tasks with high standards must be considered. Observe situations like:

  • A developer writes only a few lines of code, but it’s 3 times as good as the others.
  • An employee completes half as many tasks as another, but with 100% accuracy.

Monitor Individual Productivity

Monitor individuals continually. This way, you’ll be able to identify your most productive employees, employees who need a productivity boost, and draining practices. Consider presenteeism and absenteeism too. Presenteeism is being physically at work but not fully functioning, whereas absenteeism is an employee’s habitual or intentional absence from work. Both can harm productivity, but the focus should be shifted to presenteeism as employees are disengaged and more likely to make mistakes.

Measurement Tools

Help your team to communicate and collaborate more easily with the right measurement tool. The right tool includes tracking and monitoring features but also additional features like timesheets, detailed project reports, web and app usage reports, and inactivity timers. Investigate different tools for communication, file sharing and project management.

Evaluate circumstances like the current pandemic, where employee productivity measurement of remote employees is highly tedious without proper tools. A Digital Adoption Platform is the best and the most cost-effective investment that you can consider.

Read more about our Workplace Challenge Programme that aims to actively encourage and support negotiated workplace change to improve productivity and job creation.