When all its team members are highly productive, your small business running efficiently. When you have a small workforce, it only takes one underperforming employee to slow down production and cut into your profits. Tracking employee productivity can help you uncover issues and ensure everyone contributes to the overall goals. Rely on a variety of productivity assessments to monitor your staff and look for ways to increase efficiency.
Choose Performance Assessment Standards
The best performance measurement or evaluation method varies from business to business and even between departments within the same business. For example, when evaluating employee performance of manufacturing line workers, you might measure the average number of flawless pieces produced. When you look at sales staff, you might evaluate the total gross profit of orders they solicit. To choose the best ways to measure employee productivity, consider the specific goals and driving factors of your particular business. Once you clearly determine whether your business’s main focus is increasing profit margins or breaking into new markets, then you can identify which employee behaviours contribute most to achieving your company goals. It’s easier for employees to prioritize their efforts and be more productive when they understand the company’s current focus.
Measure Performance by Goals
Some businesses find that transitioning employees from hourly wages to salary status with a clear emphasis on completing projects or achieving defined goals makes it easier to identify top employees. This also often leads to increased productivity. This method of performance measurement works well when your small business is new or rapidly growing. It’s important to set and achieve growth-related goals in a timely fashion.
Track With Objectives and Key Results
Originally created by Intel and used by big names such as Google, objectives and key results help you set goals and increase accountability. You can invest in complex software to track OKRs or just use a basic whiteboard.
The process is simple: Employees set measurable goals and track their progress. For instance, a bank employee might set a goal to open X number of new accounts in the next quarter, a sales rep might want to increase sales by 30%, or the owner of an e-shop might want to increase the length of time shoppers stay on their site. While all of these goals are different, they’re all quantifiable.
On a regular basis, you and your employees should revisit the goals you set and grade your progress. A lot of people like to use a grading system between zero and one. If they hit a target, they apply a one. If they get close to their goal, they may score a 0.7, while a clear miss might be a 0.2. You can set up a grading system that makes sense to you.
Once the grades are in, you can use those numbers to track the efficiency of various employees. Further, you can use the numbers to determine which objectives aren’t working. If employees keep missing a certain target, you might decide you need to change the target or the processes related to that target.
When employees develop their own goals, they tend to be more accountable to those objectives in particular and to the company in general. Tracking key results helps quantify progress in ways that can help with decision-making while also identifying areas for improvement. When you combine these concepts in the form of OKRs, the results may be surprisingly effective.
Obtain Co-Worker Feedback Assessments
One innovative way to assess productivity is through feedback from fellow workers. This productivity metric works well in companies where employees interact extensively within departments. The strength of this method is that co-workers within a specific department are best equipped to evaluate a fellow employee’s performance because they know what relatively good or bad performance looks like. Intra-departmental evaluations generally give employees a feeling of greater independence. This often helps unlock employee creativity and improve operational efficiency.
Use Productivity Tracking Software
Software programs designed specifically for the purpose can help you measure productivity. Tools such as WorkiQ track and measure employee activity on their computers, producing easy-to-read visual reports on the amount of time employees spend using productive versus nonproductive applications. Other employee employee productivity software programs include I Done This, SnapEngage, and Pipedrive.
While time tracking may still be necessary for some positions, a little thought and research into available performance evaluation tools can help you implement significantly more helpful employee productivity metrics. Similarly, you can manage other aspects of your business with tools such as QuickBooks. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage business on the go. Download the app.