Have you ever heard this statement: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”? Although this aphorism’s authorship is still controversial, most people believe it belongs to the famous management consultant Peter Drucker. This statement applies to all life spheres, including HR management.
If you want to figure out how to increase your team’s productivity, you first need to find a starting point. This starting point will allow you to understand the growth points and help your team members work more productively. But how can you measure employees’ productivity? And what information can you extract from the received data?
If you’re looking for a simple formula for calculating productivity, there is the one used in many industries.
———————— = productivity
For example, if the company’s income is $25,000 per 100 hours of work, your team earns $250 per hour. If frontend developers create ten websites within 20 hours, their productivity is half a website per hour.
However, estimating productivity is not so simple. First of all, this formula does not provide any valuable data. It simply shows how much work your team is doing within a particular time. Secondly, this formula does not always apply to knowledge workers. Since their work results are often indefinite, it isn’t easy to represent their value with a single indicator.
It does not mean that you will not be able to assess your team members’ productivity. To do so, it is crucial to understand how they spend their working hours and what results they show. Let’s look through several methods to see a vivid picture of your team’s productivity and find out how to increase it.
How To Assess Employees Productivity?
Set clear goals for every employee.
One of the best ways to assess an employee’s performance is to check how well they complete their business tasks. Unfortunately, employees make a mistake at the first step of the project – they set unclear tasks for the team. Only half of your employees know what exactly you expect from them. To avoid it, ensure that you set clear goals for your employees. These goals will become a source of motivation for them and help you monitor your employees and check if their progress meets your expectations.
Track employees’ productive and idle time.
Time tracking can be an easy and convenient way to assess your team’s productivity accurately. Modern employee monitoring software will help you identify hard-workers and slackers and take appropriate measures. Advanced time-tracking apps like CleverControl can record all activities (the computer screen, visited websites, keystrokes, etc.) and represent the productivity of every team member with visual graphs and charts.
The purpose of time tracking is not to monitor every minute of your employees’ working day but to help them understand what they spend their time on and how they can become more efficient. We cannot remember what we did during the day and what distracted us, so time records can be valuable information to help us work more efficiently.
Talk to your team members about their productivity.
What is the best way to measure an employee’s productivity? Ask them about it. Since your people do the bulk of the work, they should know what can be done to improve efficiency. Are there any tasks that your employees consider a waste of time? Are there tasks that take more time than they could? Asking your team members these questions is essential since most employees think they often have to deal with unrealistic deadlines and excessive workloads.
If you are still not using KPI in the business processes – get started now. To do this, you will need to:
- find out every employee’s leading indicators;
- assess their importance;
- designate the normal rate for goal achievements;
- assign a monetary reward.
6 Tips to Improve Employees’ Productivity
Tip 1. Get rid of any office distractions.
When an employee just started to work, a sudden phone call or an email can easily distract their attention. To perform complex work, one needs to focus on a single task and spend a lot of time. Recent studies show that the human brain can’t reach maximum performance immediately. When you start writing a report, for example, your brain works half-heartedly for the first few minutes. Further, productivity increases and is at a maximum level for 40-45 minutes. If you get distracted, the brain will have to concentrate again, and the time to complete the task will increase.
How can you eliminate such distractions? For instance, your employees should make phone calls to their colleagues only to solve critical and urgent tasks. Every employee should know that they may distract a colleague by calling them. Thus, the rule: phone calls to colleagues are forbidden. Only essential and urgent matters can be a reason for a call. Speaking of email distractions, your employees may check incoming messages only twice a day: give them half an hour in the morning and the afternoon to reply to the clients’ emails. You can also reduce distraction by disabling email alerts.
Tip 2. Show your employees visual statistics.
Let your team members see their own results. It doesn’t matter how you represent employess’ stats – with homemade boards or an electronic rating. The main point is to show them their progress compared to their employees’ results. In this way, you’ll create an atmosphere of healthy competition, which is also helpful when it comes to improving employees’ performance.
Tip 3. Ensure your employees rest regularly.
Lack of sleep is one of the main reasons for poor productivity. A person who doesn’t get much sleep is likely to work inefficiently. It is difficult for such an employee to concentrate, avoid mistakes, and complete work in time. With a chronic lack of sleep, team members are more likely to get sick and resign. Undoubtedly, you cannot make your employees sleep for at least seven hours a day, but the manager can still change it for the better.
Ensure that the work schedule meets your employees’ needs. For instance, the work schedule from 10 am to 7 pm is a priority in big cities since it allows employees to sleep well and helps them use public transport more comfortably. After 9 am and 7 pm, there is much less traffic. Other than that, some companies allow their employees to work remotely once a week. It is also an excellent way to improve employees’ productivity.
Tip 4. Ensure your employees work in comfortable conditions.
A comfortable chair, good lighting, room temperature, and even plants will help your employees feel more comfortable in their workplace. It’s impossible to work productively when the air conditioner is blowing in the back, or the computer is working slowly.
Tip 5. Provide your employees with courses and training.
Let your employees learn at your expense. Motivated employees will gladly accept an offer to gain new skills and experience, especially when they are not required to pay for it. Moreover, free training is good motivation for your team. In this case, you not only get competent employees who are ready to work better, but you also give them the tools on how to do it exactly.
Tip 6. Motivate your employees.
Any employee wants you to emphasize that the task they’ve solved is essential for the organization’s interests. It’s also crucial for beginners who are not sure if they make accurate decisions. Additionally, bonus payments are an important motivating factor. If a company is small, the managers must think of other ways to motivate their team. The amount of remuneration shouldn’t depend on the hours spent at work but on the completed tasks. Based on the company’s field of activity, its leader should develop and apply a system of material incentives.
A company’s key mechanism is its employees. If your employees aren’t efficient, the company won’t grow and get more productive. Thus, every CEO needs to measure employees’ productivity and continuously increase it. Use the tips mentioned above and watch your company grow.