It’s no secret that every manager wants their teams to be productive. But, ensuring that your employees stay highly productive may be a challenging task, especially nowadays when millions of employees are working remotely.
Although many managers believe that high performance is an individual issue that can be boosted by efficient time-management training, most productivity issues are systematic, stemming from organizational glitches rather than poor individual performance.
Simply put, no man is an island, meaning that every employee is just a piece in an intricate network that keeps a business running. According to Harvard Business Review, a company may lose up to 20% of its productivity due to organizational glitches. Instead of applying productivity hacks that don’t work in reality, managers need to understand that their employees are often overworked, buried in piles of unnecessary emails, and forced to multitask.
This is why business owners need to establish and measure effective employee productivity metrics that’ll paint a realistic picture of their team performance. In this article, we’ll provide you with essential employee productivity metrics, showing you how to choose and measure those crucial for your line of business. Furthermore, we’ll offer you efficient steps you can take to battle low productivity and get your team performance back on track.
Choose and Calculate Employee Productivity Metrics
The simple truth is that you can’t expect your workers to be productive and dedicated to completing tasks every second of their working hours. Employees often need to spend time on things that aren’t measurable like training or meetings. For this reason, you need to focus on measurable tasks when choosing the right employee productivity metrics that will give you an unbiased insight into your team’s performance.
For example, if you want to find out whether your employees time spent on answering emails is productive or not, try asking them some of the following questions:
- How many company emails did you either receive or send yesterday?
- On a scale from 1 to 10 how important these emails are for overall business growth?
- Did tackling these emails prevent you from focusing on a more demanding or significant task?
When you get your answers, you’ll see whether the whole process added to overall productivity or was counterproductive and led to a waste of time and the company’s money.
This example shows that you can create productivity metrics for any segment of your employees’ performance that you think is essential for productivity by defining desired outcomes and the activities that will lead to them. Then, try determining the ways to measure these outcomes, accompanied by the ways to assess whether they have led to achieving set goals.
Now that you know how to choose and measure effective productivity metrics, let’s focus on those that will give you a clear picture of your employees’ productivity so that you can take steps to overcome possible issues and improve overall performance.
Assigned-To-Completed Tasks Ratio
One of the questions that many managers are constantly asking is what tasks are done timely and adequately. If you ask yourself the same question over and over again, you need the productivity metrics that’ll show you the assigned-to-completed tasks ratio. By applying this metric to find out how many tasks are finished efficiently within set deadlines, you’ll see whether your team is capable of achieving set goals, and you’ll take appropriate actions to boost productivity if needed.
This said, if this ratio between planned and finished tasks exceeds 80%, you can be satisfied because you are running a highly productive team that accomplishes the majority of assigned tasks within a planned time frame. On the other hand, if this percentage drops under 50%, make sure to identify possible issues that affect your employee’s performance and find efficient ways to tackle them.
Problem Solving Efficiency
This “first call resolution” metric will show you the level of efficiency your employees have when handling various customer issues. Namely, if your support representatives can tackle any issue your client may have, find the right solution and leave the customer satisfied within one call, you have a well-trained and efficient team that adds up to the company’s success and reputation.
On the other hand, inefficient support may cause numerous issues that could frustrate you and your customers, making them call several times before they get any solution to their problem. Poor customer service may easily lead to low productivity and the loss of profit.
This employee productivity metric is closely related to the previous one, although measuring it can be a tricky task. However, there are effective ways to assess whether your customers are happy or not. First, you can create a simple automated survey to get valuable customers’ feedback. You can use different digital tools such as CRM to send these surveys via email or incorporate them into live chat, depending on the way you communicate with customers.
Bear in mind that only frequent and consistent customer feedback will provide you with objective insight into the level of their satisfaction with your service or product. Collecting customer experience data over a longer period will get you a better understanding of how your teams function and answer crucial questions about their overall productivity. This will also ensure you don’t base performance assessments on single negative feedback when some of your employees might have a bad day at work.
Revenue Per Employee
Only a profitable business is a successful business, right? The revenue per employee metric will show you how productive your team is successful in generating revenue. Therefore, if you want to see how much profit has an employee made over a specific time, divide the overall team revenue by the number of team members. The result will show you how productive your employees are, given that the higher score reflects higher productivity.
What You Can Do to Boost Team Productivity
Once you start using these metrics to measure your employees’ productivity, you’ll be able to see whether they need system support to enhance their performance and fulfill their potential.
As we have already mentioned, high productivity isn’t an individual thing. So you need to make some systematic changes to boost your team productivity.
Here are some steps you can take to eliminate obstacles that may prevent your employees from focusing on their tasks and reaching set goals.
- Getting Real-Time Insight into Workflow
One of the major concerns that numerous managers have when running remote teams is how to make sure that employees are working, i.e. how to make their work visible when they work out of the office. This is where advanced digital tools like project management platforms and employee computer monitoring software may come as a perfect solution for this “invisibility” issue.
Namely, this productivity and time tracking tool will show you the real-time progress of your ongoing projects and tasks, enabling you to see who is doing what. At the same time, you’ll see who is overwhelmed with work and who has spare time on their hands. You can use this information to delegate tasks accordingly and provide additional support to those struggling with specific tasks. This will help your employees get the job done efficiently, without breaking set deadlines.
- Define Major Communication Channels
One of the crucial preconditions for running a successful remote team is to provide seamless communication between employees and management. Despite an array of different communication platforms and tools like Google Office, Zoom, and Slack that should alleviate this process, many significant things may still get lost in translation.
Furthermore, employees may be overwhelmed by numerous accounts and messages they need to check on a daily basis. This may interfere with their workflow and affect their productivity.
For this reason, you need to determine the communication platform you intend to use to discuss burning issues and separate it from the one reserved for smaller, easy-to-fix problems.
By setting a clear and easy-to-follow communication policy, you’ll help employees stay focused on their work, without having to check all emails and messages all the time.
- Allow Independence in Decision-Making
One of the benefits of remote work employees greatly enjoy is the flexibility to choose their work hours and the freedom to make work-related decisions on their own. In the other words, they’re responsible for completing tasks and have the authority to make decisions related to results without having to go through numerous meetings or presentations beforehand.
By showing your employees that you trust their judgment, you’ll not only enhance their efficiency but also boost their loyalty to the company.
Dijana is a Content Writer at Workpuls, with a background in marketing and education. She enjoys writing about productivity and technology.