Did you know that the average worker wastes more than two hours every working day on activities that aren’t related to their job?1
That’s a lot of workplace productivity that businesses all over the world are missing out on.
You’re probably wondering how your business stacks up against that figure. If you don’t have a clear idea, then perhaps it’s time for you to accurately quantify just how productive your business is. After all, high productivity delivers benefits that spread far beyond your bottom line. Productive workers generally feel happier at work, more engaged with their jobs, more valued by their management and are more likely to stay in their jobs for longer.
In the modern environment, workplace productivity isn’t about how hard someone works – it’s about how valuable they are to your business. So with value in mind, here are six great tips for employee productivity measurement:
1. Keep your eyes on the prize
What productivity looks like will vary hugely depending on job role. And there’s no single catch-all metric that will provide an accurate measurement for your whole workforce.
For example, you might have a sales executive who is being measured on how many calls he makes in a day. But if it’s his deal volume that really matters, keeping track of how long he spends on the phone is irrelevant. So before you start assessing workplace productivity, it’s critical to define the right parameters for each team or employee, depending on what they’re employed to do.
2. Try some target practice
Setting tough but achievable goals for employees over a defined period can help you benchmark their productivity levels. And it’s a win-win situation for you whether they hit their targets or not.
If they fall short, you can then investigate how and why. It could be that they’re falling short in the productivity stakes, or it could be that they’re already working at their limit. But if they make the target, then you know they had extra headroom and that you’re now getting more productivity out of them.
3. Time to play the game
A TalentLMS study2 has found that nearly 90% of employees feel gamification makes them happier and more productive at work.
That’s because bringing a gaming element into the workplace can make the daily grind feel more light-hearted.
Gamification software allows workers to score points and win prizes or incentives for completing certain tasks. By ensuring you put the right scoring in place for the right tasks and the right employees, you can get a true picture of their day-to-day productivity. The more motivated they are to take part, the more information they’ll put into the gamification software, making the data being generated about their workplace productivity more accurate and relevant to you.
4. It’s good to talk
This might sound a little simplistic, but if you wanted to know how productive your employees are… have you tried talking to them?
Regular appraisals or even informal chats can help you check the pulse of your workforce and whether common complaints keep coming up.
HubSpot research has found 40% of employees consider impromptu meetings, caused by co-workers coming to their workspace, are a major distraction.
If that’s an issue in your business, then better coordination of meeting rooms and breakout zones could make collaboration more structured and could cut down on distracting chats.
5. Presence isn’t always productivity
A productive employee’s value to your business is limited if they’re regularly absent through illness or other reasons. But things aren’t necessarily greener on the other side. Someone who makes the effort to come to work no matter what can end up doing more harm than good to business productivity as a whole.
If someone insists on coming in and soldiering on through a nasty flu, for example, and then spreads that flu through the office, the damage could be significant. Certainly, it would outweigh the loss to productivity of keeping the original ill person at home with a blanket and a hot water bottle. This is where your HR systems come into play by monitoring presenteeism as well as absenteeism.
6. Fight the temptations of the Internet
Connect research has found that 65% of employees admit to using the Internet during the working day for non-work purposes.3
From reading the news to shopping, and everything else in between, it’s a major drain on workplace productivity. You could install blocking software on your business computers. But in the modern workplace, that won’t go far enough: employees will just use their own mobile devices to bypass the restrictions. What’s required is an IT monitoring system that encompasses every device that connects to your WiFi network.
This can help you identify who wastes the most time and when, and could even point to patterns where groups or teams are all getting distracted in the same way. You can then block certain websites at network level, or use closer monitoring for repeat offenders.
You may also find that worker motivation is being negatively impacted if you have a huge, confusing array of different tools and software that they need to deal with every day.
Simplifying your IT real estate into a smaller group of tools that are multi-functional and that integrate better with each other can stop your workforce feeling like they always have a mountain to climb.