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How to Monitor Employee Productivity

 

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1) The conception of Employee Productivity:

Monitoring and measuring employee productivity is a challenging task for managers. Independent business researchers remind us of countless business hours which just flow away aimlessly every year, being wasted by employees on counter-productive not work-related purposes (including social networking, surfing Internet pages on personal basis, electronic entertainment, etc).

Employee Productivity is amount of outputs (usually regulated by requirements and quality) which can be produced by employee per period of time, utilizing the given resources. The more stable and elaborated the process of production (the less X-factors or varying inputs it involves), the smoother level of productivity is expected from employees operating it.

The problem of poor utilization of business time is rooted in several things:

  • poor work planning;
  • poor work organization;
  • poor employee discipline;
  • poor productivity monitoring;

Of course, each of these four issues (forming up a complex problem) deserves a particular attention, investigation, and rectifying. Let’s consider matters making up a concept of employee productivity monitoring:

  • Measuring: There is a popular saying: " you cannot manage what you cannot measure” meaning that you need to employ clear and right metrics and standards on what you are trying to control, so you get enabled to objectively qualify employee-produced results as proper or improper ones. Correct measuring respects variability of results, recognizing levels of productivity and trends to productivity decreasing or increasing.
  • Comparison: To go ahead with productivity monitoring you need to have a conception of good, sufficient or low productivity levels which are stated in certain performance standards. This plan will be compared against indicators that you have in reality; therefore a plan should be based on certain objective appraisal, probably a common norm, experiment-based results or projection.
  • Identification: One of the goals of productivity monitoring is to find out what reasons underlie a lack of productivity. In other words to understand whether employees can’t do the job right or they don’t want to do it . In both cases you need to perform special investigation to define what exactly harms the productivity on each workplace, and once reasons are identified, they need to be removed or mitigated.
  • Feedback: Low productivity should be approached very accurately and thoroughly. A company cannot demand from its employees a good productivity level if these employees are untrained, demotivated, poorly managed or supplied with defective tools. It is necessary to consider all factors before reaching employees with feedbacks. When you are sure that poor productivity is a result of time wasting or any other counter-productive employee’s attitudes, then you can apply warnings, personal meetings, disciplinary actions, re-examinations, etc.

2) How to organize Employee Productivity Monitoring:

  1. Conceptualize the output which is to be controlled on every workplace;
  2. Determine how the amount and quality of goods/services/value produced by employees can be measured (indicators of productivity in regard with specifics of certain jobs, departments, etc);

    For example: productivity of a salesperson can be appraised through a number of deals he has closed during the month, or amount of products/services he sold in monetary explanation, while support operator can be appraised through a number of trouble tickets he has resolved.

  3. Determine how you can track indicators of productivity (methods of data collection):
    • Special reports manually created by employee supervisors;
    • Information derived from departmental electronic databases, where possible;
    • Managerial observations;
    • Employee self-reporting;
    • Productivity-related data pieces collected from official documents;
  4. Define a period of time which is essential to your conception of productivity and how often you need productivity to be reported (daily, weekly, monthly, etc);
  5. Determine certain desirable productivity level which will be taken as a standard. This standard can be derived from the following sources:
    • Industrial norms;
    • Objective estimation;
    • Experiment-based results;
    • Historical data (previous experience);
  6. Study the factors influencing productivity and project certain productivity fluctuations;
  7. Define a suitable method to consolidate the gathered information;
  8. You may use spreadsheet managers or any other software of your choice to get information on productivity into one electronic file to be solely reviewed and managed;

  9. Make sure that productivity-reporting pattern and schedule is agreed with all managerial levels and performers;
  10. Monitor the incoming data per periods which may give you a reasonable picture over the time. Derive the following:
    • How stable the productivity level is: check its peaks and decreases;
    • Define what factors caused these fluctuations;
    • Categorize productivity by performers, departments, etc;
    • Define if someone regularly underperforms;
    • Define if someone regularly surpasses usual productivity level;
  11. Properly address low productivity cases. Investigate reasons for each case of low performance. For example: regular and widespread underperformance across the staff may identify:
    • Too high productivity standards, they may need to be re-approved and revised;
    • Ineffective working process, tools, methods, etc;
    • Low morale and demotivation among employees;
    • Very poor work organization and planning;
    • Poor staff selection and assignment;

3) Away to Monitor Employee Productivity with VIP Task Manager:

VIP Task Manager is a product that stands for collaboration between managers and employees, so it allows managers to monitor productivity of employees in terms of their particular tasks and goals. Let’s consider simple step-by-step instructions to monitor productivity using this product:

Instruments to be used:

  1. Task Tree mode;
  2. Task List mode;

Task Tree mode actions:

  1. Set work decomposition maintaining tasks and task groups;
  2. Create in each group appropriate sub-groups and sequenced tasks;
  3. Plan certain values for tasks (using Custom Fields) or set productivity norms in some other way;

Task List mode actions:

  1. Use “Assignment” field of the Filters to display tasks by Resources (employees assigned);
  2. Set “By Date” filtering to select a controllable period of time;
  3. Set filtering by Status to check amount of work (tasks) completed per defined period of time by selected employees;

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