Workplace productivity basically comes down to output: what can employees accomplish in a given day/week/year?
Back in the industrial era, we used to be able to measure output very concretely. For example, it’s pretty easy to quantify the number of car parts a line can produce in an hour.
Sometimes that’s still possible, but in an information economy, output often becomes much more slippery, for a few reasons:
In any industry, increasing what you and/or your employees can accomplish in a day has a direct impact on how well you can compete.
There are more priorities competing for employees’ attention than ever before. Keeping people’s focus and engaging them in their roles determines the performance of your business as whole.
Understanding how to measure workplace productivity often comes down to the way you define your goals at an institutional level. You can’t increase how well you’re doing unless you know what the benchmark is.
The way to accomplish this depends on the size of your organization; in general, the goal is to align employees’ goals with company objectives but maintain a way of measuring performance on an individual level.
Depending on your business, one or more strategies might be effective:
Talking about “maximizing workplace productivity” often conjures images of the production line and micromanagement in which breaks are measured down to the second.
But in fact, giving workers more autonomy is often the key to improving productivity. People who are happy and invested in their work get more done.
That might sound obvious, but it can be difficult to accomplish in practice: almost two thirds of workers in the U.S. don’t currently feel all that engaged in their jobs.
How to fix this? In short, managers need to:
Entire books can and have been written about how best to maximize workplace productivity. The way work is done is also changing rapidly – in other words, businesses will need to keep experimenting and creating new systems to improve and measure outputs.
We’ve discussed a few methods above, but it’s also important to be open to flexibility for measurement – each organization can work different guiding principles. Individuality is part of a successfully productivity equation.
Feel free to contact us for further information on productivity measurement.
We’d also love to learn more about how your organization measures productivity. What are your favorite methods, tools, or tips to boost how much you or your employees can get done?