Employee productivity is a significant factor for any business to succeed. If the productivity is low, then your organisation will not be able to perform properly, and it will lose money. That is why numerous ways of assessing employee productivity have been established in order to find out which employees are working effectively and which ones are not.
When you employ people, the expectation is that they should be able to hit the ground running immediately. It means that if someone came from another organisation or was a self-employed person, this person must at least know how his new job is done and be familiar with the methods in place. Otherwise, it may require the employee to learn everything for the first month instead of getting on with their actual job duties right away.
When you hire a new person, you need to carefully consider their specific knowledge. If this person does not meet your requirements in the field you wish to employ them; then it is better to consider other options that are available for you.
What is Employee Productivity, and how do you Assess it?
The productivity of an employee is a person’s capacity and willingness to do his/her job well. If the employee works effectively, then his productivity is high and vice versa. Now, there are several productivity rules and ways to assess employee productivity that you may fancy over others. In order to choose the most appropriate way of assessing your employees’ productivity, you should know who you need in your organisation.
You can consider a number of ways for this assessment. Here are a few top ways of assessing the productivity of your employees.
● The classic method
With this approach, employees will be required to make an annual report about themselves on how they have worked and what achievements they made throughout the calendar year. These reports will then be reviewed by a supervisor who will determine whether the employee has been productive, or not.
This approach is heavily employer reliant. It means that you (the employer) will be tasked with determining how well a person performs certain tasks. You will then measure the employee’s effectiveness against your knowledge.
● Evaluation and interviews
When employees are still being hired, the employer asks them whether they have any problems or difficulties. Employees should use this opportunity to be honest about how well they are able to perform their tasks. They would start working for you only after this step. You will need to regularly evaluate their performance, as well as interview them once a month to understand the effectiveness of the job was in general rather than by particular assignments.
● Employees’ involvement in decision-making
Nowadays, many organisations try to involve their employees in making decisions that involve them directly so that they feel responsible for what has been achieved. It also helps show the employees that you trust them, something which can be helpful in bringing new perspectives to making even better decisions.
● Working with statistics
Using statistics is a method that can be used in large companies. In this case, indicators of employee productivity are assessed in the whole organisation, and then these data will be used for the analysis of an individual worker’s indicators.
● Self-assessment by the employee
This approach is very convenient if you wish to instill a workplace culture of responsibility, self-correcting, and self-monitoring. When your employees evaluate themselves and tell you about their achievements, it will be easier for you to analyse the situation to then know what requirements employees must fulfill to increase productivity.
● The standard method
Each line of work has its own standards and rules for assessing employees’ productivity. It means that if you have a law firm, you may need to use different ways than someone who runs a repair shop. The important thing here is to determine which criteria will be followed when assessing your employees’ productivity.
What to Know about Employee Productivity Assessments
When assessing employee productivity, it is important to remember that all these methods can only provide an approximate evaluation of the situation because there are no exact rules that apply. Each organisation has its own development characteristics; the same applies to each person’s working capacity and skills. That is why all these indicators should always be considered objectively.
In order to understand which employees are working effectively and how they work, you may organise one or more meetings each week where management shares information with employees about what is going on in the organisation. You can also hold meetings on topics directly connected with employees’ duties, such as discussing new projects that will be implemented soon, announcing new technologies that might affect day-to-day work, etc.
Such methods will help maintain smooth cooperation between management and workforce by keeping them informed about everything happening in the business (in an open manner). It should be mentioned that such practice is very important because running a business is complicated, and sometimes it is hard to explain all the details in written form. Also, if some important information about the organisation is not shared with employees in time, they will be worried and frustrated about their work for nothing. Such a method can also help motivate employees to work harder as everyone wants their job done well to show up on the list of “top performers.”
Business meetings are very useful when you want to assess employee productivity. Before each meeting, you should think over what exactly needs to be discussed at this session. For instance, when announcing new projects, discussing results of previous jobs and such – make sure that everyone understands how their duties are interrelated so that internal conflicts do not take place.
Tests and quizzes are also good methods of assessing employee productivity. They show how well people know their job duties and what problems need to be solved for better operation. While organizing such tests or quizzes, you should pay attention to their specific design so that they reflect your business’ particular features. For instance, if you manufacture different products, but each product requires some similar operations, it is better to separate these questions into several groups depending on which operations may be required for each group of employees. It will help you evaluate work more efficiently at the end of the test and provide a detailed way to improve employee productivity if needed.
The last method of assessing employee productivity is helping co-workers solve employee ineffectiveness. If someone has been working for a long time and has not shown any progress yet, it may be helpful to ask his/her co-workers what problems this person faces during work. Sometimes employees do not realize that they are not effective enough because their co-workers do everything for them. Now you provide such an employee an opportunity to think about why they are struggling at work while others are doing a few things right—which results in higher efficiency overall, thus increasing your organisation’s bottomline.
You may also want to interview current and former employees who had experience working there but left for various reasons (lack of development opportunities, salary issues, etc.). Check what skills they were looking for and if you can provide them. Some employees simply do not fit specific positions because of their qualifications but can be successfully employed elsewhere within the organisation.
You should create such positions if it helps solve the problem with employee inefficiency as well as provides better development opportunities for your staff members. Also, while interviewing current employees, ask about each one separately what these people need to be more effective at work. Be ready to take notes or provide a recorder so that nothing happens to this information afterward.
It may become hard for you to improve employee productivity if you lose this data. You may lose important facts that can help you realize why someone is inefficient at work and how to motivate them to become a top performer once again.
Online forums are also a great way to assess employee productivity. Not only can they enable you to receive new ideas, but they can also help answer some questions on how to perform certain activities or find better solutions for similar problems that some employees encountered over time. It is important that while checking such forums, you should not forget about professionalism.
You may easily find out a few things that will help employees become more effective at work and improve employee productivity as well. For instance, if someone explains their experience with a particular project, you can use it later when planning projects of equal difficulty level and amount of tasks for each employee to be done within specific time limits. In addition, you will know what skills your competitors need and what their current staff members possess to not fall behind in the race for better employee productivity.
Online forums and productivity templates can also be used to find experts who have experience working with specific solutions or devices and can help you find out how efficient they are when it comes to solving specific problems with your employees’ work. For instance, if one of your employees has been asked questions requiring them to compose different reports daily during a test, but this person fails at the assignment, you may contact such an expert online and ask what kind of software they recommends using and why. It is important that before contacting any expert, you should already know exactly what background information of yours needs improvement as well as possible ways of solving this problem by new software, procedures, etc.
If there are no online forums available that can have an impact on employee productivity, you can use another method of assessing employee productivity—using surveys (which coincidentally, are one of the trending approaches to assessing employee productivity). To create such a survey it is important that all employees be aware of it so they could take part in completing it.
It would be best if you do not send it out by email as this may only cause additional pressure to your employees after work. You can send a survey via personal letters (which are also better when compared to emails) and attach an invitation for taking part in the questionnaire completion at the end of each letter, along with a promise to have someone check the answers together with employees after collecting them for further analysis and improvements if necessary.
Use representatives from different departments in order to collect such responses. The main goal of the “post-work” employee productivity survey is to identify personal traits and characteristics that lead to specific behaviors that appear productive or not at work. These surveys are also important for determining whether an employee has some problems outside of the organisation (e.g., a sick child, a dying pet), which may affect their performance at work directly.
In addition, it is also helpful to learn about what motivates every individual and contributes greatly to their effectiveness at work, as well as assess employee productivity. Therefore, carry out a survey among different employees about what exactly they find motivating. Do not forget to ask questions on how they would like their manager to act towards them when this particular employee is having a bad day or is not in the best shape. This way, you will know what actions to take with every employee and which method of assessing your employees’ performance will be more effective in your case.
Assessing employee productivity isn’t a one-time process but a continuous one, implying that you will need to have plans for continued assessments. Note that processes also change so you also may need to think about additional ways, besides those described above, for getting information on how the work done by employees could be improved.
Author: Charles Normandin – Writer
Photo credit: Unsplash