8 Steps for How to Measure Productivity in the Workplace

Productivity is key to any business. However, measuring productivity in the workplace does not come easy. With all the distractions from smartphones, social media and busy personal lives, it can be tricky for employees to focus on tasks and do their best. This consequently affects the productivity of your business.

Businesses will need to find ways to measure productivity in the workplace accurately and transparently. Below are eight steps on how to measure the productivity in the workplace:

1. Monitor workplace attendance records

The number of times an employee is absent from work impacts negatively the productivity of your business. Your business must find an efficient system for tracking time and attendance in the workplace.

While an employee may be a stellar worker, if they are constantly absent on sick leave due to work-related stress, your business’s productivity will suffer. On the other extreme are employees who are often unwell but don’t miss a day’s work. These employees are not in a position to give you their best output. As a result, their productivity suffers.

In both the above instances, the productivity of a business is negatively impacted. As much as employee attendance is important, it is also important to have the employees at their best in terms of health and ability to work. If their illness is infectious, they are likely to infect other healthy employees. Besides, insisting on working while unwell extends their recovery time, keeping them unproductive for an even longer time.

If you notice any irregularities in attendance records, always check with your employees to find out how they are doing health-wise. Come up with wellness programs to identify and address both presenteeism and absenteeism.

2. Establish a baseline of workplace productivity

In order to measure productivity in the workplace, you need to have a clear outline of what is expected of every job. This should not be a hard task, especially when dealing with positions with specific duties.

The challenge comes when evaluating less-defined roles such as those of receptionists or administration staff. This notwithstanding, establishing a baseline is still critical. This makes measuring productivity in the workplace much easier.

3. Identify productivity benchmarks

Depending on the industry you are currently working in, a business must be conscious of the average productivity level of the entire industry. This is critical when doing benchmarking.

One thing you should keep in mind is that these benchmarks vary according to roles, functions, and other factors. For instance, in a restaurant, a service provider such as a waitress has no control over their workflow. However, the restaurant’s HR manager has control over their workflow. In this case, productivity parameters vary depending on position and workflow.

4. Set fair comparison rules for productivity

From our previous example of a restaurant, it would be unfair to compare the productivity level of the waitress to that of the HR manager. There are obvious differences in their job descriptions.

For instance, the waitress’s productivity may be measured according to the hours worked while that of the HR manager could be task-based. This is why a business should measure the productivity of employees within the same job bracket for an accurate productivity comparison.

5. Define and measure productivity of tasks

Coming up with measurements that relate directly to different job functions is a good way of measuring productivity. Examples of such useful measurements include how fast clients are served, how many orders have been dispatched, how many sales calls have been made, and how many emails have been replied to. The list of performance measurements is endless, all of which can be used to measure productivity in the workplace.

6. Carry out a client satisfaction survey

Carrying out a client survey greatly benefits a business. It’s an excellent way of gauging how clients rate a business’s products or services. The survey sheds light on areas clients feel need improvement.

Another key benefit that is often not recognized is that a client survey helps track the productivity of individual employees. Continuing from our restaurant example, if a client complains that a certain waitress, let’s call her Jane, was too slow when serving them, or maybe she got the order wrong, the management can gauge the productivity or lack thereof of Jane as an employee.

7. Placing a value on the quality of work

Jane might have been too keen on serving as many clients as possible, perhaps in the hope of getting more tips. In the process, she may have compromised the quality of her service to clients. The truth is both the number of clients served and the quality of service they get is equally important to the business.

The restaurant should, therefore, ensure that its employees are properly trained to deliver quality service to clients.

8. Set clear workplace objectives & goals

Employees need to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the company’s objectives and goals. This way, they can connect how their work and performance contribute to the realization of the company’s goals and objectives.

Without this understanding, they will be shooting in the dark, oblivious to how their efforts feed into the company’s goals and objectives. To keep productivity at the highest level possible, regular employee performance reviews and progress evaluation are a must.