Keeping Track of Productivity in the Workplace


Productivity in the office needs to be maintained at as high a level as possible if the company is to thrive. It is important to define what is meant by productivity, which should not be confused with production. Production refers to the volume of products or services sold by a company over a given period. Productivity in this context refers to the amount of work produced by the firm’s employees.

In order to check the amount of work produced by an individual employee, his/her productivity, it needs to be monitored. There are several ways managers can keep track of employees’ productivity. One is to check how long it takes the individual to complete a particular task. It is not a measure of how long they spend in the office that matters, but how much actual productive work is carried out.

Another way of keeping track of productivity is to monitor the outcomes. This means making contact with clients and finding out how they heard about the company and its products or services and what persuaded them to make a purchase. Next it is case of tracking back and identifying which employee or employees were responsible for generating the business.

It should be remembered that slack productivity is not always the fault of the employee. They may have to work with outdated or below par systems. It is therefore in the company’s best interest to ensure that systems are efficient and capable of allowing the workforce to maximize productivity.

Senior management also has a crucial role to play in ensuring maximized employee productivity. For example, managers should be properly trained to perform their leadership roles. This should not take the form of a one off course at the beginning of their employment; they should receive ongoing training throughout their entire career.

One factor that can limit staff productivity is poor morale. High achieving employees should be praised while underachievers need to receive counseling and perhaps re-training. Managers and supervisors should also set an example to the rest of their staff in their behavior and treatment of others.

Poor health can seriously affect an employee’s productivity and stress may be related to the work environment. Remember, a stressful environment is not conducive to maintaining high morale and can lead to health problems developing in the workforce. Management should monitor work practices to ensure that workplace stress is kept to an absolute minimum.

One health issue that cannot be ignored is the abuse of alcohol or drugs. This can affect both attendance and have a detrimental effect on overall productivity. Employers need to maintain firm control of these problems by constantly monitoring productivity levels and keeping an eye on employees suspected of drug or alcohol misuse.

An innovative technique management can introduce to check for the misuse of drugs and alcohol is what is known as an oral fluid lab test. This form of testing is non-invasive and can be performed in private. The test is able to identify drugs and alcohol in the body which have been ingested during the previous 48-hours.

To ensure productivity is maintained or if necessary improved, constant monitoring is needed of both work practices and systems. This will benefit both the company and its employees and ensure both remain healthy.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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