Updated: Feb 21
In the era of the coronavirus pandemic, most organizations are working from home. Managers have had to transition to remote work for the first time, making employee productivity a trivial subject for discussion now more than ever.
Increasing employee productivity is not about making your team work longer hours. Employee productivity starts with you (the manager) and the level of engagement at work.
As a manager, you have the power and responsibility to check in on your teammates and empower them with the best resources they need to do their best work.
What Do We Mean by Employee Productivity?
Employee productivity is the amount of work (or output) produced by an employee in a given period. As a manager, it is important to understand how long it takes your teammates to complete specific tasks, and if there are any distractions along the way that you could help them overcome.
Productivity is being able to do things you were not able to do before. - Franz Kafka
Why is employee productivity important?
To fully work toward increasing the productivity of your team, it is expedient to know its importance. They are:
According to Andy Core a motivational speaker and a workplace expert, productivity usually translates into good customer service, healthier work relationships, and motivated employees.
Productivity in the workplace is an important aspect of every organization. When top management understands this concept, success is just around the corner – Andy Core.
Every manager must know that it is necessary to keep an eye on employee engagement and how it affects overall productivity. If you notice that productivity is low, and some employees seem to be underperforming, it could be a result of disengagement, collaboration problems, or inefficient company processes.
Before we discuss the ways employee productivity can be managed, let us take a look at three ways in which leaders at different organizations measure their teammate’s performance.
How to Measure Employee Productivity
Set and measure goals One key way to measure employee productivity is to set goals at the beginning of each quarter and monitor your team’s progress. Track time utilization for projects and employees' work efficiency with flexible time and attendance modules.
Measure quality of goals
In as much you need productivity from employees to boost the growth of the company, always have it at the back of your mind that, quality always trumps quantity.
Communicate with your team members to not put in shady work all in the name of meeting deadlines. This is a setback, especially when members are taken back to the basis of the initial work to start all over again, wasting precious time that can be used to work on other tasks.
Measure the amount of work completed
Last, but not least, you can measure employee productivity by taking a look at the number of tasks completed by an employee in a specific period.
If you see that one of your teammates is doing a good job at completing all their tasks, make sure to send them an encouraging note saying how much you appreciate their hard work. This will help boost highly effective productivity from such a teammate.
Ways to Increase Employee Productivity in the Workplace
Improve workplace conditions: If you want to see an increase in employee productivity, you need to make an effort to improve your employee’s working environment. If you work at an office, you can ensure that there are selected areas set up for deep and silent work. If your team has recently moved to remote work, you should check in with everyone to make sure that they have the necessary resources they need to work from home. For example, work-from-home office stipends to help employees with their home office setup.
Allow flexible schedules: Always take note that, your employees have lives outside the workplace. Some may need to drop off their kids at school in the morning, while others might not be able to take calls in the evening. Make sure to use your time and attendance modules to keep track of how long an employee has worked in a day. If you want to increase workforce productivity, start by setting core collaboration hours where everyone is expected to be online and encourage flexible working hours outside of those times.
Set clear deadlines & expectations: Uncertainty is the opponent of productivity, so it’s very important that as a manager you are clear with your deadlines. To develop a healthy environment, it is very important to set clear expectations in all the varying segments of work.
Avoid interruptions and encourage a focus on work: We live in an era of ever-increasing demands for our attention. A study by Udemy shows that 3 out of 4 workers admit they feel distracted at work, with 16 percent agreeing that they are almost always distracted.
Instead of adding more interruptions to your teammates’ day, teach them about the importance of focus and deep work. Deep work here meaning, any professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. (Cal Newport)
One of the ways to encourage deep work is asking people to add points to the meeting timelines, instead of interrupting others by messaging them throughout the day.
Celebrate accomplishments: Lastly, always celebrate your employees for their accomplishments. If you want to increase employee productivity, you need to create avenues where employees feel recognized for their contributions. If they are constantly celebrated and rewarded, they will be more likely to continue doing their best work.
You can always use a Time and Attendance management solution to preview employees, check-in and out time daily, and integrate with your payroll system to help boost efficiency, reduce labor costs and ensure that your employees are paid for the hours they work.