Why do I need to measure productivity?
There are some – generally smaller – companies that have excellent relationships with their staff; so much so that they’ve never felt the need to measure their productivity. While this amicable and good-natured approach can be beneficial for staff morale, it’s not always a viable technique when it comes to improving efficiency.
Recognizing the different areas where your employees are more or less efficient is vital if you want to grow your business. If you know where they’re notably productive, and in what areas there are problems, you can start thinking about what changes can be implemented in order to improve the situation.
What are the best ways to measure productivity in the workplace?
Depending on your company’s products and/or service, there are different methods of productivity measurement that you could adopt.
Ask your staff to complete a timesheet showing what they’ve been working on, and how long it has taken them.
This method can have multiple benefits. Information in a timesheet can help you identify an employee’s strengths and weaknesses – what kind of work do they get done quickly, and what takes them longer to complete. They can also have a motivational effect on your employees, as they become accountable for how their day is spent.
Measuring phone calls
There are telephony systems which can record data such as how many calls come in, how many get answered, and how long the calls last.
If your business depends on phone call sales or good customer service via the phone, using a telephony metric is likely to help your understanding of employee efficiency. When using this method, however, it’s important to keep in mind human behavior. Remember, a call might be missed if a member of staff has gone to the toilet, or it might be significantly long if the customer has a lot of questions.
Whether made via face-to-face, on the phone, or online, measuring sales in number or value is another important productivity metric – although, only relevant to the sales and marketing teams.
The goal of most companies is to sell their product or service. In addition to conducting regular reports on how sales are doing, evaluating the sales per employee can be useful. Often if a member of staff is not making as many sales as another, they might simply need more training about your product. If they know and believe in what you’re offering, it will be much easier for them to sell it.
How can we improve the productivity of our workforce?
Measuring your employees’ productivity will enable you to identify areas that can be improved. Some ideas on how to do this include;
- Regular communication. If employees know how their work impacts on the overall goals of the business, they’re more likely to want to achieve more.
- Praise a job well done. When an employee does something particularly well or goes above and beyond, recognize it. There is nothing more de-motivating than hard work going unnoticed.
- Offer more training. Whether sales numbers are dropping or data input targets aren’t being hit, the reason could be something as simple as your staff needing more training.
- Make sure staff are comfortable. Research has shown that being uncomfortable at work has a significant impact on productivity. Avoid this problem by investing in comfortable chairs, keeping the office well-lit, well-ventilated, and at an ideal temperature (around 21°C).
- Consider health and wellbeing. As well as offering your staff a comfortable break room, encourage them to be happy and healthy by making nutritious snacks available.
- Offer incentives. One of the most effective ways to encourage productivity can be an incentive for achieving targets. As well as monetary, this could include trips, spa vouchers, or gym memberships.
How to know what to do about workplace productivity
A great piece of advice about improving workplace productivity is to simply ask your staff what they need to do their job well. Go straight to the source to find out if they would like more training, if they feel valued at work, and if they are comfortable. With this knowledge you can identify your next steps and work toward optimizing your productivity rates.