How to Take Productivity Analysis To the Next Level At Your Enterprise
July 27, 2020
The idea of measuring workforce productivity as a path toward boosting organizational efficiency isn’t new. As today’s business world adjusts to remote workforce models, analyzing productivity has become even more critical to business success – but implementation lags within many organizations.
The reason is simple: no one has been quite sure how to accurately (and cost-effectively) gather and analyze the most informative metrics. In fact, one recent survey that asked how managers are measuring the productivity of their remote employees during the pandemic uncovered the following trends:
- 26% are using output tracking
- 15% are engaging in manual monitoring
- 6% are monitoring customer satisfaction
- Only 4% are using some form of productivity analytics
- 16% – the second-highest percentage – are using no metrics at all.
With a majority of your competitors likely relying on gut checks, spreadsheets or limited applications of activity or output monitoring, your business has a great opportunity to jump ahead of the curve and improve organizational efficiency using the latest tools in productivity analysis. Here’s how.
What’s New in Productivity Analysis?
Most companies already use basic time monitoring tools that capture limited information such as work attendance, the time of clocking in and out, and perhaps even how much time employees spend on designated tasks. Timesheets and spreadsheets are the traditional tools for this sort of monitoring, which means this practice is drastically limited in terms of providing insights on productivity.
However, new tools can provide deeper access to performance and efficiency data at both the employee level and the task level. Detailed analysis of this data can help your business understand the work patterns and behaviors of all your employees and teams, validate the effectiveness of process flows, determine the impact of training, and devise better performance management strategies and employee retention mechanisms.
In short, these new tools effectively transform productivity measurement into the basis for outcome-oriented optimization practices. While the cost of implementing these tools may be higher, your operations quickly recoup the cost in terms of higher productivity levels, optimized delivery models, and more valuable vendor relationships, just to start.
Summarizing Existing Tools
To understand why today’s analysis tools represent such a leap forward in efficiency, it’s important to understand the evolution of productivity analysis tools to date. We mentioned timesheets and spreadsheets above; here’s what came next.
These are applications that document employee activities like answering email and browsing websites, as well as time spent in apps that support both core and non-core tasks. These monitoring tools are fairly easy to use and fairly cost-efficient, but they offer only limited insight into employees’ overall productivity because they can track only computer-based activities, not actual completion or efficiency of work.
These applications monitor employees’ work output by tracking the completion of core activities like processing paperwork. Like activity monitors, these tools are fairly easy to use and fairly cost-efficient, but they can track only the completion of tangible objectives such as administrative quotas. Therefore, they also fail to offer insight into employee efficiency, team workflow, etc.
Now we reach the gold standard of today’s productivity measurement. Comprehensive workforce efficiency monitoring tools integrate time, activity and output monitoring to unobtrusively capture information automatically and in real time. This data helps determine the productivity and efficiency of not only employees, but whole teams, and provides a level of clarity into work activities and processes that has been previously unavailable.
These comprehensive monitoring platforms require a higher investment at deployment but operate as SaaS applications thereafter.
Advantages of Comprehensive Productivity Management
The best-in-class productivity management tools provide insights into employees’ daily work patterns and task-level data – but that’s not the limit of the insights they provide. Their advantages over less advanced tools include the following:
- The establishment of accurate performance benchmarking at any level from the individual employee on up, which can then be benchmarked against the efficiency levels of peers, other divisions, or the market as a whole.
- Once benchmarks are established, your organization can identify its top performers as well as those employees most in need of assistance such as increased training (and over what areas of responsibility). Your human resources team can then establish the efficacy of training through before-and-after metrics and develop detailed recruitment profiles based on the core traits of top employees.
- The opportunity to foster employee understanding of their own work patterns and time usage trends; this fosters individual development and engagement as well as a corporate culture that encourages self-improvement.
- Monitor and objectively analyze the productivity (and therefore the success) of outsourcing vendor contracts and then select the most valuable vendors for continued relationships.
- Optimize delivery models by reforming the delivery process based on analytics such as most efficient shifts, optimizing work distribution across teams, and establishing and monitoring the effectiveness of remote working.
In summary, these comprehensive tools establish insights into not only productivity, but into workflows and bottlenecks, employee engagement, skills gaps and training needs, and more.
The Solution That Will Drive Useful Productivity Insights
Learn more about the next frontier of organizational efficiency from Everest Group’s most recent workforce productivity report. And to learn more about how Sapience can unlock the full potential of your organization’s human capital, reach out to us today.
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