Looking for ways to track your employees’ productivity?
Employee productivity tracking helps managers or business owners determine how they can improve their overall business productivity.
Tracking employee productivity also helps them identify which employees are the most productive, and which employees need more support to increase their output.
In this article, we’ll cover why you should consider tracking employee productivity and give you five handy tips to help you out. We’ll also discuss four excellent tools that’ll help you track employee productivity easily.
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Let’s jump in.
Why Should You Track Employee Productivity?
Employee productivity isn’t something that stays constant over time. Throughout the workday, your employees’ motivation and productivity levels can increase or decrease based on several factors. This makes employee productivity tracking incredibly essential to any business.
So here’s a closer look at three key reasons why you should measure employee productivity:
1. Saves Time And Money
All employees, even your most productive ones, can get distracted during a workday because of their coworkers, social media and other factors.
However, this is a significant problem because you’re paying them for the time that they’re unproductive. Additionally, since they’re wasting time, it’s wasted hours and money for your organization.
When you track your employees’ productivity, they won’t waste as much time since they know you’re always monitoring their work activities. Most productivity tools even have distraction management features that help your employees focus on their work.
This way, you’ll be paying for actual work done instead of idle time. And since your employees are met with minimal distractions, your business’ productivity will gradually increase.
2. Gain Better Insights Into Employee Performance
When you track employee productivity, it doesn’t just help keep your employees more focused on their work.
Based on the method you choose to monitor employee activity, you can access tons of information that help you track things like idle time, attendance, how long a task takes and more.
More importantly, it’ll help you figure out ways you can improve employee productivity.
From the information you get, you can gauge an employees’ contribution to the business and determine how productive they are.
While this helps you recognize and reward the best-performing employees, you can also boost the efficiency of unproductive employees.
3. Eliminates The Need For Micromanagement
Have you ever found yourself telling your employees how to handle every little detail of a task?
Nobody likes to be micromanaged. But without an employee productivity monitoring system, you’ll have to constantly supervise your employees to know if they’re working properly.
And since you’re forced to micromanage your employees, this, in turn, lowers their trust and morale as they feel like you don’t believe in them.
Instead, if you use tools designed for employee productivity tracking, you can keep track of what your employees are up to — without the risk of micromanaging them.
You can also use your time for more important things like developing business strategies instead of spending it on supervising employees.
5 Tips To Follow When Tracking Employee Productivity
While tracking employee productivity is essential, it’s not something that takes a ton of effort or time.
However, you need to know how to track your employees accurately. This will help you avoid overstepping their boundaries and losing their trust.
So here are five tips to keep in mind while tracking employee productivity:
1. Focus On Results, Not Hours Spent Working On The Task
Many business owners and managers measure productivity or work quality using the hours put into a task. The more hours an employee puts in, the higher the quality of the result will be.
Although it may be true in most cases, some employees can do an excellent job in a lesser amount of time, while others spend hours on a task only to produce a sub-average result.
Instead of making your team fill in the standard hours, make them a result-oriented team. This way, they’ll focus more on getting the job done instead of just waiting for the work day to end so that they can go home.
To motivate your employees, make sure you reward their results too. For example, if they finish a task properly by 2 PM, you could give them the rest of the day off. This way, they’ll know that you care more about results and put in more effort to deliver high-quality work in a shorter amount of time.
2. Communicate Your Expectations Directly
Do you know that confused employees play a huge role in decreasing team productivity?
Confused employees won’t do their work correctly, wasting productive hours. Or even worse, they’ll work on the wrong tasks and waste your business’ resources and time.
So if you want to boost your team’s productivity levels, it’s essential to give your team clear targets or goals. Additionally, provide goals to your employees on the organizational, group and individual levels — this ensures that they are always working towards a specific overall goal that’s connected.
The goals you give your employees have to be:
- Specific and measurable.
- Realistic and achievable.
- Subjected to a timeframe.
And instead of just giving them goals that only relate to work, give your employees personal development goals too. This way, they’ll improve their skill sets and be of more value to your business.
3. Measure Your Employees’ Performance And Help Them Improve
It’s essential to measure employee performance to improve their productivity.
But remember tip #1?
Always measure performance through task completion, not how much time your employees spend on a task. This will help you quickly identify which employees are top performers and who needs extra help with their work.
But just identifying underperforming employees isn’t enough.
Go to them and ask what you can do to help them get back on track. Use the information you collect from tracking productivity to help your unproductive employees overcome their rough patches.
4. Leave Room For “The Human Element”
No matter how productive we try to be, we’re not robots. Humans are quickly and heavily hit by emotion, which is why we struggle to stay productive.
It doesn’t matter if an employee has been super productive the past month. If something upsets their emotional balance, they can quickly fall into a productivity slump, which they may not overcome for weeks!
As an employer or manager, pay attention to your employees and remember that they aren’t robots. Just as they can be negatively affected by personal issues, create a work environment in a way that impacts them positively.
Promote positive practices like showing gratitude, compassion and treating others with respect in the workplace. Help your employees believe that their work has meaning and encourage healthy relationships between them.
These practices will help your employees see your workplace as a community, and that’ll have a positive impact on their mood and how productive they are.
5. Communicate With Your Team And Provide Constant Feedback
Communicating and providing feedback to your team is essential to ensure they stay productive.
Clear communication will ensure that your team is on the same page regarding tasks or projects, and being open with them helps boost their trust and morale.
It’s crucial to share clear and achievable goals with your team and check in on their progress regularly.
And if you’re using an employee productivity tracking system, always be open about what information is being tracked and why. Some team members might think you monitor their work activity because you don’t trust them enough to work independently.
Ensure your employees know how the information you collect is used to improve overall productivity and always provide feedback based on the data you collect.
This way, they’ll know the purpose of the employee productivity tracking system and fully cooperate with its implementation.
4 Kinds Of Tools That Can Boost Employee Productivity
Productivity tracking software doesn’t come in an all-in-one package.
You’ll have to match and analyze data from several different applications to see the bigger picture of how productive your employees are.
So here are some tools you can use to measure the productivity of your employees:
1. Productivity Tracking Tools
Most productivity tracking software also doubles-up as time-tracking software or employee monitoring tools. These employee time and productivity trackers are widely used to monitor employees’ work performance.
Some employee monitoring software also provides powerful features like automated time tracking, distraction/time management and integrations to other productivity tools.
Time Doctor is one such productivity tracking software you can use.
What is Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a popular productivity tracking software that helps you keep tabs on your employees and freelancers. Large companies like Apple, Verizon and PwC, as well as SMBs like Thrive Market use Time Doctor to boost the overall productivity of their businesses.
Here’s how Time Doctor helps you:
- Automatically track time spent on tasks.
- Minimize distractions faced by employees during work.
- Prevent your employees from passing off idle time as work hours.
- Access real-time reports to help with productivity analysis.
- Know what your employees are working on with optional screenshots.
The best part?
As Time Doctor has a manual time tracker, employees have full control over when they’re tracked. This helps you avoid any privacy issues — which is the key reason why employees don’t like being monitored.
2. Project Management Tools
Keeping your team updated on what everyone is working on helps avoid bottlenecks and ensures a more streamlined workflow.
You can use project management tools to track what tasks each member of your team is working on at any given time. Apps like ClickUp, Basecamp and Asana allow you to create tasks, set deadlines and assign tasks to members.
Using the right task management tools will help improve your team’s productivity as everyone will know what their team members are working on and plan their tasks accordingly. Additionally, some of these tools have built-in reporting features that give you insights into your team’s productivity over tasks.
3. Communication Tools
If you can communicate clearly, you can avoid most of the troubles.
That’s why you need communication tools that help you have quick discussions and share relevant files with your team.
If you run a remote business, you need tools that are fast, secure and reliable to stay in touch with your remote employees. Communication tools like Slack and Fleep are built for this.
They support instant messaging, general as well as team-specific channels to help you have discussions on all levels.
From team meetings to task clarifications, these tools help you stay in touch with your employees. You can even conduct virtual team building sessions to boost employee morale and productivity!
4. File-Sharing Tools
Ever wasted time looking for a pesky file that’s suddenly missing?
With file-sharing tools, you won’t have to worry about that! While they let you share files with your team members quickly, your documents will be stored on the cloud for easy accessibility.
However, ensure that your file-sharing tool is secure — especially if you use it to share sensitive or confidential information.
Tools like Google Drive and Dropbox are widely popular because they allow users to share files with their team and collaborate seamlessly. They’re also highly secure and even provide mobile app support so you can share files with your team on-the-go.
With apps like these, you can always stay on top of your work and keep your team’s productivity high.
Employee productivity tracking is essential to improve the overall productivity of your businesses.
And while there are tons of tools to help you out, most businesses use productivity and time tracking tools since they’re the easiest way to monitor employee activity.
Use the tips we mentioned here to make employee productivity tracking easier and help your employees understand why you’re tracking their productivity. And with the right set of tools, your team’s productivity will skyrocket in no time.
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.