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Employee Productivity: 4 Metrics & 4 Best Practices

on 28 February 2021

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Posted by Craig Hyslop
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As a manager, it’s your job to handle a broad range of issues that affect your workforce—engagement, morale, turnover, and communication, among others. But all these issues are part and parcel of an even greater challenge: Employee productivity, the amount of work your team produces in a given time period.

The Importance Of Employee Productivity

What impact does employee productivity have on organisational success? Hamna Amjad, outreach consultant at Gun Made, says it touches three key areas:

  • ROI. The more productive your employees are, the more work they can produce in a given timeframe. Not only does this result in greater output, but it also reduces your cost per employee.
  • Customer satisfaction. An unproductive workforce leads to lagging or missed client deadlines. Naturally, customers will be less satisfied and more likely to switch to a competitor.
  • Employee happiness. Keeping employee productivity high across the board can help ensure you aren’t forced to make some employees pick up the slack of less productive ones. Avoiding such situations can contribute to overall morale and happiness.

Employee productivity is a key component of your organisation’s success, but do you know how to measure it? And what about improving it? Keep reading to discover different metrics and improvement techniques.

4 Employee Productivity Metrics

1. Time Spent On Tasks

One quantitative method for measuring employee productivity is tracking how much time employees are spending on certain tasks. “Looking at time per task will give you a clear idea about how much work an employee can process per hour, day, or month,” says Amjad.

In addition, you’ll likely want to consider the value of each task. For example, you likely find that time spent on checking emails is less valuable than time spent on completing client deliverables. Following that logic, one hour spent checking emails is not as productive as one hour spent on a client deliverable.

You would need to compare the same type of work to determine employee productivity at the task level. For instance, if it takes one team member three days to complete a client deliverable compared to another team member who only takes two days on a comparable task, the latter team member is likely to be more productive. With that knowledge, you can investigate further to identify areas of improvement in the former employee’s approach.

2. Planned-to-Done Ratio

“One way I track employee productivity is through the planned-to-done (PTD) ratio,” says Neal Taparia, CEO of Solitaired. Typically used in agile work environments, the PTD ratio involves documenting how much work your team commits to doing at the start of a given timeframe, then comparing that commitment to how much was completed at the end of the timeframe.

Taparia says the PTD ratio enables him to see how much work is actually completed by his team, and how quickly it happens. “In addition, by using project and time management software, I get all the necessary data to calculate the PTD ratio in one place. I believe that it’s a metric that best reflects the performance of my team.”

3. Revenue Per Employee

Another employee productivity metric Taparia employs is revenue per employee, which you can calculate by taking the total revenue over the last year and dividing it by the number of full-time equivalent employees at your company.

“Revenue per employee enables me to assess how much money I make off of my workforce,” Taparia explains. “This works especially well with sales and marketing, as this department’s job can be quantified more easily than other departments. The metric is just another way to gauge whether certain employees' productivity is satisfactory.”

4. Responses To Employee Surveys

On the qualitative side, Amjad recommends administering employee surveys so your workforce has the opportunity to tell you themselves about their productivity levels. Such surveys can help you identify issues at both the individual and workforce levels. For example, an individual employee may be having difficulty adjusting to a recently instituted process change. Alternatively, you may find many employees asking for digital tools to help make work easier.

You may be surprised at how forthright your employees are about their ability to get work done. “You can make the surveys anonymous to maximize the chance of honest responses,” Amjad explains.

Boost employee productivity across your organisation with Glasscubes, the all-in-one collaboration solution. Start your free trial today.

How To Increase Employee Productivity In The Workplace

1. Allow employees to set their own working hours.

Michael Steele, CEO of Flywheel Digital, recommends allowing every staff member to set their own working hours. “This allows everyone to do their work when and where it’s best for them, their family, and their lifestyle.”

While most of his team tends to stick to standard business hours, some members do take advantage of the flexible work schedule. “This built-in flexibility ensures our team members are working when they’re at their best, and it results in achieving peak performance,” Steele explains.

You may think that team members working on different schedules makes collaboration difficult. That’s where collaboration solutions like Glasscubes come in—regardless of when your team chooses to work, you can keep everyone on the same page with communication, project management, and customisable workspace features.

2. Set clear periods of uninterrupted work time.

Steele says the value of deep focus time is ignored in many workplaces, so he’s made sure to carve out time in the week for the staff to work without the added pressure of communications, multitasking, and competing with multiple priorities.

Every Monday morning for two hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., he gives his staff that time to work on their tasks without being interrupted by pings in Slack, email messages, and the like. He says it’s helped his team avoid derailing their productivity. Dubbed Monday Morning Flow Time, the period has helped his team “start the week off strong and set a productive tone for the rest of the week.”

3. Provide employees with clear, efficient ways of communication.

“Communication is an essential aspect of effective and sustainable work, especially when working remotely,” says Bill Joseph, CEO of Frontier Blades. That’s why he recommends using communication tools to promote continual and direct communication between employees and managers. “This enables employees to ask questions and address concerns in a timely manner.”

Joseph says communication is also important for ensuring employees are working in sync, as this significantly improves efficiency and team performance. “Furthermore, using communication solutions provides the opportunity to socialize and feel connected to one another and the organisation. All these factors contribute to healthy, collaborative work.”

4. Mitigate sources of employee burnout.

Rolf Bax, CHRO of, says one of the biggest detractors of employee productivity is burnout, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Employee burnout can have numerous causes—unclear job expectations, dysfunctional workplace dynamics, work-life imbalance, a heavy workload, and so on.

“You need to take strides to eliminate—or at least reduce—sources of employee burnout however you can,” Bax explains. “Try dedicating time during your meetings to listen to and address what employees are saying is adding stress to their jobs. Then formulate solutions that remove or lower that stress so employees can maintain high levels of productivity.”

Take employee productivity from zero to hero with Glasscubes.

Glasscubes is a robust collaboration solution that ensures your entire organisation is able to stay connected and on top of work. Our solution gives teams like yours the ability to stay in the loop on the latest updates, and share what’s most important—all while keeping work moving efficiently. From task management to communication to file sharing, our platform helps you stay in touch and on top of things all in one place.

Use threaded discussions to keep conversations in context, whether discussions deal with client tasks or important project files. And speaking of files, share them to your heart’s content—with team members, your clients, your suppliers, and so on.

With Glasscubes, you can:

  • Store and share files in a secure location, complete with automatic version control. You can even create approval workflows and view clear audit trails of user actions.
  • Assign and manage tasks for different members of the team, and track them to completion.
  • Create customised workspaces for each project team in your portfolio. Team members can share resources and communicate with one another in their specific workspace, and you can access them all for easy oversight.

Want to see how other companies are using Glasscubes to ensure employee productivity stays high? Check out these case studies.

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About this author: Craig Hyslop

Craig leads the Glasscubes Customer Success Department, and with over 30 years experience in the field, helping companies achieve maximum success with collaborative technology.