The success of your business is dependent on employee productivity levels. You may not realize that productivity does not mean your employees have to work tirelessly on tedious or demeaning tasks. Productivity refers to the amount of time or level of effort used to get something done. When an employee has higher productivity levels, operations run more efficiently, your sales goals become more achievable, and as a result, your business is more profitable.
While this is true, some companies have misconceptions regarding how to encourage employee productivity. One reason for this may be because they are not using modern HR strategies to encourage improved efforts, such as HR document management, improved time tracking, and more.
If you want to take steps to improve employee productivity, it starts with your HR department. Keep reading for some helpful tips to use along the way.
The HR department should always serve as the primary driver of workplace productivity. You may have an entire fleet of equipment, money, and materials, but if you do not have effective human resources, progress is likely to be non-existent.
Because productivity is something that involves cultivating a high level of worth ethic and positive attitudes, HR needs to lay the groundwork for employee performance by modeling specific things, such as leadership, efficiency, integrity, and credibility.
It is also the HR department's responsibility to help keep workers engaged and motivated by creating comfortable working conditions, healthy relationships between workers, and fun culture. On the technical side of things, HR must also understand the business's operational goals to figure out what personality traits and skill sets fit best.
When the HR department has this level of understanding, it can provide employee training to ensure individuals can work smarter, make better decisions, and improve professional development.
Before figuring out what works, it is important to measure overall employee productivity levels before and after changes are implemented by HR. Once productivity levels are determined, it is possible to identify the employees who are performing best and then offer rewards to ensure they remain motivated.
While this is beneficial, it is also helpful to know the employees who are not performing as well. This will allow your business to create a support system that will help them improve productivity levels and get better at their jobs. With a performance tracking system in place, employees can find areas where improvement is needed while responding positively to the feedback they receive.
If you develop an open communication line between your employees and the management team, you allow them to bring their own recommendations, concerns, problems, and observations to the table. This can be invaluable when it comes to developing better HR practices and efforts down the road.
When trying to weigh the input and output ratio linked to productivity levels, it is essential to look into several factors that will determine if an employee or group of employees is contributing to the business's profitability. Some of the factors to consider include overtime costs, job satisfaction, and yearly turnover rates.
With that in mind, you must choose the right methods to measure overall employee productivity properly. Some of the strategies that you can try in your organization are highlighted below.
With this method, you can evaluate if an employee's actions are helping to achieve the company's targets and goals. If you have a service-oriented business, for example, and the goal you have is to maintain overall customer satisfaction, you may utilize and analyze customer satisfaction surveys to first look at how a certain employee is performing.
The gathered data can be benchmarked against the remainder of the organization to figure out who the best performers are and who are the worst.
This is considered a simple productivity measurement model. With this, you monitor productivity based on the employee’s output. This is typically something that is easy to measure.
With this, you keep track of the total number of products, parts, items, or tasks an employee has completed during a certain period. These numbers are averaged to determine the gain or loss in productivity for a specific time frame.
For some industries, it is possible to assess a worker’s productivity based on overall service levels, identifying the total amount of time it takes to handle or complete a transaction. Some banks have begun to use this idea. They guarantee that a customer in the queue waiting for service will receive service within a specific amount of time. The baseline could increase based on the nature, difficulty, or number of transactions and tasks involved. If a teller does not manage to meet this set time window, they will not reach the set targets, making them under-productive.
This method can be a bit challenging because you must consider several different criteria to help measure the productivity of a salesperson. Each criterion produces certain results based on the operation.
The most important numbers to consider include the total sales attempted versus the totals sales closed, the new customers or accounts gained, the number of emails or phone calls sent, and more. It is smart to focus on your sales conversions as the main metric. This is, after all, the only metric that directly affects your business revenue. Performance benchmarks must be set based on your business's nature and size, along with historical performance.
This is similar to the benchmark method mentioned above, however, you will find the UOS model beneficial if you work in an industry that utilizes assembly line-style operations. For example, in fast food, kitchen helpers may have the number of sandwiches they prepare and package as their UOS. Another example is in manufacturing plants. Here, the UOS for workers would be the number of parts produced.
Some small and mid-sized businesses have found this method effective because they only must track the amount of money the company makes for each dollar spent on your worker’s salary. One example of this is that instead of considering the total number of sales that a worker makes, the profit-based productivity measurement will assess every sale's true value, putting a priority on higher-value conversions over any other activities.
Another aspect of employee productivity is how efficiently time is used for handling tasks. An activity that deviates from this particular standard can be included in the total measure of a worker’s deteriorating efficiency while at work. Some of the most important time management issues you should consider include recurring illnesses, regular absences, too many breaks, and unnecessary disruptions at work.
As you can see, there are several steps the HR department can take to help improve employee productivity. Understanding what these are is the best way to improve productivity levels across the board and ensure consistency. Being informed and knowing what should be done is the best way to minimize issues and encourage higher levels of productivity. When productivity levels are increased, you will have more productive workers and a more profitable business, which is after all, the goal for any business owner.
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