There are countless ways to measure productivity. Unfortunately for many businesses, quantifying productivity can be rather…unproductive. Measuring standard economic productivity (ie. revenue/employees) alone is not going to help improve business operations. In order to obtain a thorough understanding of productivity, managers must look beyond “how many units are shipped” and other traditional benchmarks.
While seemingly difficult, there are some strategies that can be used to properly measure employee productivity and provide detailed operations data.
Establish a Control: Before you can begin measuring, you must first set a foundation or baseline. Determine your daily business output and divide that by the number of employees that contribute to said output. For example, if you produce 1,000 rolls of toilet paper each day, and employ 5 workers – your employees are averaging 200 rolls a day.
Remove Redundancies: Begin identifying and removing any redundancies that might decrease an employees’ output. For example, eliminating tedious manual tasks and replacing them with automated processes can do wonders for productivity.
Track Individuals: Once you have established your foundation and have eliminated any redundancies, you can begin to evaluate employees individually. Business owners should be looking for any trends or commonalities that begin to develop over time. This will help identify top performers and under-achievers while illustrating common productivity gaps or areas for improvement.
Be Consistent: Consistency is king. It is important to remember that measuring productivity is not a one-time task. In order to maintain an effective business, you should always be evaluating and measuring the productivity of your employees. While measuring productivity might not be feasible as a daily task, it should at least be a quarterly focus.
Support Your Team: Productivity improvements start from the top. Unmotivated employees are not likely to be the best employees. Therefore, you should do everything within your power to ensure that your employees are invested in your company and are committed to providing quality service. This can be done by developing a strong company culture, providing clear expectations, and rewarding employees when goals are exceeded.
Re-evaluate: Every few months, you should reevaluate your current productivity measurements. Establishing a new baseline measurement will make sure that your productivity efforts are reflective of your current operating conditions.