Employees spend a lot of time at work. But do they spend a lot of time working?
Sometimes the most engaged employees are the least productive, but uncovering the unsavory truths about workplace efficiency is only possible by implementing metrics to track performance.
A survey from Deloitte indicates that tracking efficiency of employees has become more of a priority for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to become more agile. According to the survey:
• 75% of businesses rate performance management as an ‘important’, or ‘very important’ issue
• This marks an 8% increase from the previous year
Since employees are probably your most significant investment, naturally you want to see a strong ROI. Here are three strategies to help you optimize efficiency in the office:
1. Measure Employee Activity
It helps to look at employee productivity like a marketer looks at a new target market. A marketing manager will begin by collecting all the relevant data on market conditions, starting with a competitive assessment before moving into a demographic breakdown. Once enough data has been collected and analyzed, the marketer can develop a strategy.
The same must be done with employee performance. If you do not have any data on performance, how can you go about making it better?
You need data on employee activity when in the office. That means setting up performance management software to see how each employee breaks up tasks in a day.
To make the most out of activity tracking, you should have managers set up a log sheet for each employee to track performance on a month-to-month basis. Then, if you want to compare performance over the long-term, all the data is there for you and your team.
Issues with Performance Tracking
It must be said that tracking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some employees may feel privacy is being infringed upon.
The success of activity tracking all depends on your approach. What is crucial to stress here is that collecting data is not meant as a way to weed out the ‘lazy’ people and only keep the high-achievers. On the contrary: receiving performance data will help make the entire office run more smoothly by isolating pain points in the system and showing each employee where they can improve.
2. Set realistic standards and goals
The only way to monitor performance transparently is to set benchmark standards and goals. Each business will have its own set of factors to be considered in determining these performance metrics.
For example, assume an employee spent six hours designing a new MailChimp campaign template and 1.5 hours on personal sites. It is up to each company to decide if this work rate is acceptable or not. If it is, then it should be made clear to every employee. If it’s not, then an alternative ratio of work time to personal time must be stated.
3. Run efficient business meetings
Could your team benefit from a more efficient meeting routine?
As entrepreneurs look for novel ways to drive results, time has become the factor with the most weight. It is likely that your business either:
• Meets too often without producing measurable results
• Only meets when someone has something to report
Incorporating a scheduling app into the day-to-day functioning of the company will increase collaboration between departments, ensure projects are done on time, and make it easy to track who is meeting with whom, and what for.
An Efficient Office is a Happy Office
Ultimately, the more you know about the behaviour of employees, the better you can run the business. Setting up a time management tool that allows employees to coordinate tasks across departments is step #1 to making your office a more efficient place to work.