How to Measure Productivity in the Workplace with KPIs and Metrics

Productivity metrics are a great way to measure how well your employees perform at work — but are they reliable every time?

You want to ensure your employees are thriving in their roles, and the best way to make sure that happens is to check on your employees' productivity scores. You might receive different results depending on how your employees work, but measuring productivity is always an excellent idea.

Measuring Employee Productivity KPIs & Metrics

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Why Is Measuring Productivity Important?

Measuring productivity is a common activity many employers do, especially if their employees work from home.

Productivity is defined by the efficiency of output — meaning, in this instance, how fast someone does their job. Knowing how to measure productivity in the workplace is one of the most common things employers learn, as it ensures that their employees are completing their work and doing it well.

Productivity has more uses though. People choose to measure productivity to know how well they're doing as a company, help workers grow, and ensure everyone does their best work. Of course, with all the benefits of measuring productivity come a few difficulties, such as the problems that arise from keeping tabs on it.

You may face a few problems deciding how to measure productivity best. For example, some employees may think their employers prioritize a productivity percentage over their well-being. While productivity is important, your employees should feel valued and not micromanaged. Around 55% of surveyed employees said that feeling micromanaged hurts their productivity rather than helps it.

Instead of measuring productivity evenly across all your employees, you can measure individual growth tailored to employees pushing through their unique pain points. What gets measured gets managed, so show your employees you're more invested in perfecting their workflow and helping them feel their best rather than forcing everyone to meet the same standards.

Models for How to Measure Productivity at Work

How is productivity calculated? That answer depends on the workplace. These productivity indicators will differ depending on how a specific business chooses to track them and implement strategies to help its employees grow. If you want to try a creative way of measuring your workers' productivity and success, utilize these unique methods:

  1. Using Sales

    If you're in a sales field, using your total sales as a business can help you see where your overall productivity is. You can evaluate each employee based on their monthly or yearly sales. 

    However, checking this isn't the only way to measure productivity. In fact, it may not even be entirely accurate sometimes. Just because someone may not have high sales doesn't mean they are not trying. Sometimes, sales just don't work out. If that's the case for your company, you can always try something different.

  2. Tracking Time

    Several time-tracking apps exist for employees to follow what they work on and for how long. They'll keep a virtual timesheet that allows them to note how they spent their time. Managers can pair these time-tracking apps with other project-handling software, which they can use to create time estimates that may change throughout the day.

    Many people might think it productive to work hour by hour, but time-tracking software can encourage your employees to take breaks, which can improve their concentration throughout the day and benefit them more in the long run.

  3. Obtaining Group Feedback

    Though this tool can be helpful, it's best for close-knit or smaller teams. Group feedback entails everyone assessing the personal details of an employee's work ethic. If someone is going to evaluate how well an employee is doing in their job, they must know every responsibility a person in that position holds.

    If this method sounds like a fit for your team, ensure everyone knows how to provide adequate feedback. Communication is essential here, as it can help your employees get their point across clearly and concisely with politeness, so the employee receiving the feedback doesn't mistake something as hostile.

    Alternatively, you can choose to compile feedback as an employer and present it to each employee at once, limiting their interaction with their coworkers and the chance of any misunderstandings.

  4. Creating a Dashboard

    A dashboard gives you an at-a-glance look at how your employees are doing, particularly if you're in the service industry. Giva's dashboard can help your employees self-manage their productivity by giving them in-depth details about what projects they're still working on and can help them take less time on certain tasks.

    Dashboards are great for both employers and workers in keeping track of how their daily activities look and in building their schedules around what they have left to do.

  5. Monitoring Social Media

    While monitoring social media use might be a little extreme, it's no surprise you'd want to mitigate its usage during work hours.

    Adding your employees on social media websites might not be very professional. You have no guarantee they would want you following them on their platforms, so it might lead to blocking.

    Furthermore, banning websites might just lead to your employees working around those bans through their phones or other devices. Instead, you might sign your organization up for a social media platform. Doing so can encourage colleagues to talk to one another when they need a social media break and help keep their heads on task.

  6. Checking in Daily

    Be careful with this method, as some of your employees may consider it micromanaging. For those who struggle with procrastination, a daily check-in can help them stay focused and business oriented.

    Creating and communicating daily goals can help them thrive in a fast-paced environment where tasks and projects might change every day. You don't necessarily have to have a meeting for your daily check-in — you can check in via Slack or another platform that allows you to communicate with your employees.

Employee Productivity Metrics, KPIs for Measuring Efficiency

Those looking for how to measure employee productivity should start by setting goals. To really measure efficiency and productivity, you must know what you're measuring.

Break it down into several points. These points should look for quantity and quality — you want to know your workers are doing as much as they can while putting out the best quality possible.

The following KPI (Key Performance Indicator) metrics examples should help you learn to set some for your organization and teach you how to measure productivity in the workplace. Different metrics may work for varying companies. You have to define your goals first to figure out which KPIs will work best for your organization, and which would benefit your employees and encourage them to work more productively:

  1. How Much Is Done

    These KPIs measure quantity over quality. Typically, one of the easiest ways to tell whether your employees are working to the best of their ability is to see how much they get done throughout their shifts.

    You can measure things like how many emails they send and respond to, how many projects they complete or work on and to what extent. If someone is lagging behind what your other employees are accomplishing, you'll know to talk to them. You might find out something is keeping them from working their best.

  2. Profit Margins

    You should always look at how much you invest into your business and your employees and see what the return is. Ideally, you'll want to invest a fair amount into your company and get a much greater return.

    For some months, that margin may be much smaller. If you can, try to look at the margins for each worker. You may find one employee is better suited for a different role. You can also use profit-margin KPIs to see whether you can hire additional talent to help your organization.

  3. Customer Satisfaction

    Measuring customer satisfaction makes up another great set of KPIs you can use. You might see which employees customers rate highly. Then, you can reward those employees accordingly, which can motivate your other employees to work harder for the same reward.

    You may look into things like the number of issues resolved with clients, or accuracy when dealing with orders and people. These metrics should show you which employees might struggle with their workloads.

Problems You May Run Into Tracking Employee Productivity Metrics

Keeping track of KPIs can be difficult and does have some difficulties. Realistically, you can't assess people using a single formula because everyone works differently. One of the best things you can do for your employees is encourage them to find out when their "deep work" is.

"Deep work" is when you're at your most productive and can focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by other tasks or outside sources. Enable your workers to build their schedule around their peak deep-work times for best results.

Sometimes, people may have off days. You may notice an off-month in sales. Those lower metrics don't mean your employees aren't working hard. It might just mean everyone has had a difficult month and couldn't meet their usual quota.

Also, try to remain empathetic. That way, everyone will know that you prioritize the intelligent and talented human beings that work for you over finances.

Measuring Productivity Can Be Important Yet Take Effort

Learning how to measure productivity in the workplace can be challenging, especially if you're not used to KPIs and metrics. Though productivity metrics might be necessary to you, always remember to value the employee over a productivity score.

Those metrics might not reflect how hard an employee is working. If something seems off, you can always reassign them to another job or find somewhere else where they excel.