According to a survey by Owl Labs, after the Covid-19 pandemic, 92% of those polled would love to work from home at least one day per week, and 80% expect to do so at least three days per week. The topic of employee productivity is getting more and more attention as we better understand workplace psychology and have access to more tools and technology, especially in the hybrid working era.
As a manager, you must keep tabs on your team members and provide them with the resources and best practices required to perform at the highest level.
Using this guide, you can learn how to measure employees’ productivity and increase workplace productivity.
What is Employee Productivity?
Employee productivity is characterized as an evaluation of the value produced by a single employee for a given period as compared to the outputs generated from the employee’s activity over the same period of time.
This simple formula in terms of employee productivity is usually interpreted as follows:
Productivity = Output quantity and quality / Input quantity and quality.
Some people describe employee productivity as how effectively a person uses resources to accomplish a task.
This perspective considers more elements when calculating an organization’s total productivity. For instance, teachers, administrators, non-teaching staff, and other school professionals strive to provide students with meaningful education measured by test scores and extracurricular activities. Employees will also work to maximize investments and revenues to keep the school operating at a sustainable pace. And any endeavor that advances one of these objectives can be regarded as productive. This method emphasizes the goals a person is pursuing and less on the “hard” production results.
Organizations should therefore determine the appropriate methods for measuring production. It will be challenging to determine how employee resilience and poor psychological wellness affect organizational performance if productivity is not adequately assessed, increasing the danger of adverse economic effects at the corporate level.
How do you measure employee productivity?
Organizations are beginning to realize it is no longer sufficient to measure labor productivity in a traditional manner. These measurements do not match the nature of many professions in the modern workforce because they only offer a constrained perspective on workers’ productivity. It is advised that the most thorough assessments of productivity would concentrate on employee efficiency and effectiveness. That is, how well they can satisfy objectives and convert inputs into outputs.
So how do we measure the productivity of employees? Let’s take a look at the three most effective ways you should keep in mind when calculating workers’ productivity:
Measure quality of work
Quality always wins over quantity, especially when taking into account employee productivity. Meeting deadlines is crucial and affects a person’s performance; sending more emails and calling more customers sounds like productivity, but meeting deadlines becomes less relevant if the final product is subpar and requires rework or, if the subpar result is not improved, can result in product/service degradation or negative impact on the customer. Customer impact is frequently one of the crucial variables you should consider when measuring the quality of work.
The industry you work in and the specific responsibilities and tasks of the employee have a significant impact on what and how you measure. It’s a good idea to determine quality benchmarks relevant to your industry (such as manufacturing, education, technology, public sector, etc.) and the employee’s position (marketing, HR, coder, admin, design, etc.).
Measure Employee efficiency
An effective worker delivers high productivity while consuming the least time or expense. High productivity requires wise time management within the normal work hours required by their organization. Employees shouldn’t choose to regularly work overtime to outperform productivity standards or, on the contrary, waste the majority of their time engaging in non-productive pursuits.
According to a UK study, in an 8-hour workday, the average employee is only productive for about three hours. Social networking and browsing news websites are among the activities that are said to have the most significant adverse effects on employee productivity each day at work.
Try holding team assessments to evaluate people’s productivity, especially the productivity against the time they put in. Team evaluations can thoroughly assess a team’s capacity to achieve goals and pinpoint problems.
Measure Goals and targets
Managers frequently give their staff daily, weekly, or monthly targets and goals to fulfill; they are usually in keeping with the specifications outlined in the job description. To perform well, it is expected that the employee would reach or surpass their goals. To properly encourage people to achieve their goals, their goals or targets must be realistic and attainable.
Personal goals should also be considered , as the objectives of the employees can align or conflict with their organizational objectives and understanding this is important. Frequent review of objectives with employees is crucial to knowing whether or not they are achieving their specific work goals and can reveal a lot about their performance. This is a whole field of study for management with numerous approaches and tools. This blog is not intended to explore and advise the methodologies of performance management but to simply indicate that if goals and objectives are not set and regularly reviewed and updated, the ability to determine employee productivity is not only much more difficult but unlikely to lead to effective outcomes.
How to maximize employee productivity?
Improve workplace conditions
All businesses should consider this as one of their top priorities if they want to boost staff productivity, subsequently improving business productivity. Working conditions can be described from many angles, from physical facilities to mental factors.
Based on infrastructure, if you operate in an office, it’s critical to make sure there are dedicated spaces set up for quiet and focused work and areas where staff members can accept calls and collaborate. If they remote work fully or partially, it’s important to enable them with the necessary technology and supporting systems to work and collaborate effectively.
The mental health of employees should also be a key focus because according to the World Economic Forum, happy workers are more productive. In contrast to dealing with pressure from the boss or harmful influences from coworkers (body shaming, gaslighting, etc.), fostering an environment where employees may feel inspired and creative to work would unquestionably increase overall productivity.
As we indicated previously, there are whole bodies of knowledge on these topics but our point is that workplace conditions and employee mental health affect productivity.
Offer learning opportunities
The best strategy to boost long-term productivity is definitely through learning and growth. Employees can be trained to use productivity technologies, develop soft skills that improve collaboration, and get more operational domain knowledge, all of which will speed up work processes and improve the quality of work.
Implement the latest productivity tools
The workplace has undergone significant change during the past few years. Many firms have adopted a hybrid working strategy and are learning to gauge success in a hybrid workplace.
Another method to improve productivity is implementing project or task management tools. These digital tools allow team members and managers to stay on top of deadlines, maintain an efficient workflow, and potentially prevent burnout.
When it comes to improving employees’ productivity and effectiveness in using your critical applications, another productivity tool is known as a Digital Adoption Platform. In general, a Digital Adoption Platform makes it easier for employees to adopt and become proficient in the applications needed to perform their jobs. DAP’s do this by providing help and guidance to application users as they are performing their application tasks, without leaving the application or having to find the guidance needed.
If you are looking to learn how a Digital Adoption Platform can revolutionize the way your employees use your critical systems in order to achieve the desired productivity with those systems, check out this video today.
Using the Opus Digital Adoption Platform to measure and increase employee performance
Opus is a cloud-based DAP that is built for the size and scale of your critical applications used by a large number of your employees. Opus helps you overcome the challenges of giving your employees exactly what they need to execute their application tasks. Not just what they need (help and guidance content) but when they need it, in the application they are working in and at their moment of need.
Content Creation: It starts with the right content in the right format, which has been the bain of application help in the past. Opus dramatically reduces the time needed to create application documentation by as much at 95% by automatically recording tasks and producing contextual help and guidance, literally in minutes – even for complex tasks that can involve 60 or 100 steps. By the way, anyone who is knowledgeable in your applications can be a content creator because you don’t need to know Opus to record your tasks, you just need to know how to perform the task correctly. In other words, Opus is a zero learning curve tool for your creators.
Workflow management: Customers of Opus end up using Opus on many applications to help their employees, becoming the standard. This results in many employees involved in the effort and a large volume of processes and tasks across many applications. Opus provides a workflow engine for managing the employees involved, the tasks assigned, and the workflow from creation to editing/review to publishing (at which point the content is available to your application users). Without this workflow engine, the effort would crash under its own weight and sustaining it would be impossible..
Overcome training’s Achilles heel: Traditional training methods for end users on new software is useful in some regards but rarely enables the use for actual use. As part of change management, training is good for communicating the purpose and desired outcomes from the new system. However, training employees on the step by step use of the system for the processes and tasks that need to be performed is:
- rarely retained by employees
- is a one and done approach
- falls into the 10% of the 70/20/10 model of learning, which is the least effective method of learning
- is the most expensive and disruptive method of learning while yielding the poorest results. Opus provides employees with immediate, contextually-relevant assistance while shortening the time required for adoption and achievement of proficiency.
Usage data: At the moment, businesses’ capacity to scale application competency and acceptance is constrained by a lack of understanding of usage. Opus captures xAPI data that can be used to understand learning and performance activity.leveraged into measures user and team performance across the workforce so businesses can better understand user and team performance.
Companies may create a workplace that promotes productivity by utilizing the newest techniques, approaches, and best practices. Even if your firm achieves new levels of success and organizational expansion, finding the right Digital Adoption Platform to achieve the productivity needed form your employees and your critical systems can help drive higher employee well-being, productivity, and engagement.
If you want to test an effective agile Digital Adoption Platform for the effective use of your critical applications, find out more about Opus.