How Do You Measure Productivity?

We all want to make sure our employees are productive, but how do you measure that? Better yet, how do you make sure your efforts aren’t misconstrued?

Many organizations invest a lot of time and money into ways to track their efficiency. Why? Because this is key to increasing your competitive edge, and in turn, profitability. But how do you track productivity? How do you classify and measure something seemingly intangible? Is it through time tracking? Or is it more task-oriented? There are many ways to measure productivity, but first and foremost, let’s take a look at why we measure productivity and how to do it properly.


Why do we measure productivity?

In the simplest terms, productivity is important because organizations must provide more goods and services to consumers to earn higher profits. But more than that, productivity ties back into any given organization’s mission. We’ve been asked quite a few times to provide reports for our customers regarding the hours their staff members work. While tracking hours worked is important, does this necessarily translate into productivity?

This is where objective-based tracking comes in. If you’re not using the right tools for proper project management, it’s difficult to track productivity in terms of objectives. When we talk about measuring productivity, we need to focus on whether or not we’ve defined the tasks necessary in the first place. What tasks lead to the sort of outcome you desire? What are your long-term goals?

How to track productivity in an objective-based way

If you’re only focusing on one thing, such as servicing customers, it becomes difficult to measure productivity that way because how do you know if the customer was truly served correctly and per your long-term goals? Our mission statement, for instance, is to exceed expectations. First, we measure what the expectation is in the first place. We have those defined, and we aim to do better than that. We have an internal process we go through each time we service a customer to ensure that happens.

If we’re tracking productivity in an objective-based way, it’s not enough to simply consider calls completed, for instance, as you can complete 1,000 calls in a day and leave 50% of those customers unsatisfied. Also, you don’t want to wind up with an organization focused on doing tasks as opposed to achieving your mission.

For most employees, going from task-to-task can become unfulfilling. They’re given the task, and they get it done. Now that may be all you need them to do, but, even in something as trivial as a drive-through window, those people want more importance. It might be something like “give customers their food as quickly as possible without error” to give them value to the task they’re completing.

You want more than task do-ers

Something as simple as a customer satisfaction survey can make a world of difference when it comes to tracking productivity in an objective-based way – without losing focus on what’s important to your organization. It’s important to provide context to your team. Otherwise, people will complete the task, and that is all. Many of us instinctively care about completion. We gravitate towards it.

But here’s the thing: there are more than enough studies that show fulfillment leads to greater productivity. It’s vital to communicate WHY you’re tracking productivity. You may find yourself in a position where not everyone wants to be tracked to see if they’re productive. Some may even feel offended. When you track productivity without giving context, you are questioning their integrity.

There needs to be an element of trust. When you’re talking about productivity, it’s important to make sure you’re tracking it for the right reasons and communicating those reasons – and the bigger picture – to your team. If there’s no trust and you’re tracking productivity for that reason alone, it’s time to look at your hiring and training processes instead.

Questions about implementing tools to track productivity? Get in touch with us.

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