How to Measure and Enhance Productivity at Workplace?

There has been an enormous amount of text written about productivity at the workplace and various issues around the subject that we still don’t have clear answers to. Business thought leaders such as Peter Drucker has emphasized on how if you can’t measure productivity, you cannot manage productivity and eventually fail to improve the same.

The most difficult challenge that organizations face is when they are measuring the current levels of productivity at the individual and team level by using the simple formula of calculating employee output against the input. This traditional formula when applied plainly, may not result in an accurate picture of ground reality. 

The Hurdles Around Productivity Measurement

In a manufacturing unit, several employees are working on each unit with many waiting for others to finish their job before they can start their part of the job. There is no appropriate reason for holding anyone accountable in this situation for unproductive hours.

Similarly, in service industries, there are no physical products that an employee can point to as output for the day. The measurement of employee output is more complicated and different terms such as the number of service requests resolved or maybe the number of service calls answered are considered as the output unit. 

On the other hand, when you are dealing with knowledge workers, the boundaries of the scope of the job are always spilling into unpredictable territories. And it’s hard to catch this intangible work into a number. 

How to Accurately Measure Productivity in The Workplace

As the unit varies from one industry to another, one size fits all approach can easily prove detrimental. But you can still measure more accurate productivity levels if you can apply some inclusive methods as explained below.

Clarity of Goals and Expectations

One of the most important things is having clarity over expectations from your employees. The goals given to employees have to be precise in terms of both time and effort. 

According to a recent survey close to half of the employees remain disengaged and unclear about their goals. And teams with a higher engagement rate is relatively more successful in achieving targets. 

Hence, it’s critical that you set smart goals for each individual and hold the momentum throughout the goal cycle. This will make the process of monitoring the progress against the expected performance relatively easy and mutually agreed methods of measuring productivity can be achieved.

Remove Taboos Around Time Tracking

Everyone agrees that disciplined time tracking is essential to make an informed analysis of employee performance. But too stringent time tracking is always looked upon with suspicion amongst employees.

Hence it is important to set the right tone at the beginning itself by a proactive effort in helping understand employees the importance of tracking time fairly and accurately. 

Imbibing positive culture around time tracking can lead to a healthy conversation around what is causing the derailing of the project and how work-efficiency can be improved based on real data. 

Encouraging Open Discussions on Productivity

The soldiers with their boots on the ground have the best understanding of real situations. Hence, the best people to ask how to measure and improve productivity are no one but your employees.

Encourage regular candid conversations around how we can improve efficiency. There should be a consistent effort in finding out what can be eliminated or adjusted from existing processes to pave way for more efficient execution of plans and measuring productivity.

Open discussions around productivity with employees can lead to positive results along with more enthusiastic participation in the overall productivity management process. 

3 Ways Collaborative Work Management Tool Can Enhance Team Productivity

Work Management tools have been around for some time now and many have stood the test of time with constant innovation in the area of productivity by providing refined tools to the teams.

Having a suitable work management application is not enough unless employees abide by the rules of engagement with these tools. Otherwise, it might lead to an incorrect representation concerning productivity metrics. This will result in a defective starting point and the end numbers will not remain reliable to assess the actual improvement in productivity.

Hence, figuring out correct methods as per your team requirement and getting the tool that can aid the execution plan around productivity could be a great start. Here is how technology can help.

1. Reduce The Effort in Tracking Time

Juggling with multiple tools to manage work and spent extra time in filling timesheet is a regular complaint from employees. An appropriate work management tool can get rid of this problem by automating the time tracking aspect by integrating time tracking functionality at the location where the work is happening or being recorded. 

This can free up some precious time that can be spent on more productive assignments.

2. Get Bird Eye View of Ongoing Work Assignments

When you are handling multiple projects and assignments, it’s hard to have the clarity around big picture along with the clear idea of micro-level factors. 

Specialized collaborative work management tools such as WorkMarshal can help you get real-time reports with accurate data to make informed decisions around your bottlenecks and strained processes. 

3. Optimize and Streamline Processes and Workflows

Many tasks we perform are repetitive and demand several hours of manual work. According to a survey, approximately 3 hours are spent per day on such tasks. These can be easily automated through the right tools at hand with proper integrations. 

If we can resolve to streamline the processes through regular open sessions with all stakeholders, a serious amount of time can be either saved or used more productively. Optimizing processes after researched diagnosis can aid tremendously in raising the productivity output. 

Measuring accurate productivity and achieving higher levels of output is the goal you can achieve when you have all the appropriate metrics in place for measuring productivity and best practices are implemented for tracking time.

About: Deepak Shirdhankar

Product Manager, WorkMarshal

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