5 January, 2017
3 Tips For Tracking Employee Productivity
It can be tempting to track employee activity to ensure they aren’t wasting company time on unapproved sites or taking longer to complete projects than necessary. But there is a lot to consider before you track employee productivity.
Productivity trackers in the workplace are another result of big data. Employers can gain insights into how employees are using their time and offer ways to objectively evaluate performance. However, productivity tracking brings up questions of employee privacy, what metrics to track and how much employers should monitor.
Alice Chin, founder and CEO of Your Other Half, a human resources and operations outsourcing firm that helps businesses fine tune productivity, says there are certainly benefits as long as these considerations are handled correctly. In her own business, productivity tracking has helped fine-tune efficiencies, and she’s helped numerous clients implement similar systems.
“I think productivity and time-tracking software can be useful in understanding where time leaks are in your business and closing them, in refining or automating repetitive processes, and determining employee, product or service profitability, especially if an employee works across multiple projects,” she says.
If you decide to implement productivity tracking software of any kind — whether you’re tracking email, calls, websites visited or time idle — you need to be as upfront as possible with your employees. Celeste O’Keefe, CEO of The Dancel Group, a multimedia technology company, says that in her business, she tells employees during the hiring process about productivity tracking.
“If you monitor your employees, make sure they know. Don’t keep it a secret. When an employee is first hired, we sit them down and explain the process and what [the software] will tell us. We also have them sign an acknowledgement that we are monitoring them,” she says.
Chin suggests being clear with employees about what the objectives are and what the company hopes to gain from tracking productivity. Giving your employees clear objectives around productivity tracking means there won’t be any surprises on their end. You can even bake in incentives for employees who actively track their time and participate in the program. But once you create a plan — you need to stick to it.
“If you tell your employees your goal and then use the data in a different way, it will absolutely wreck your employees’ confidence in you as well as any successful adoption of the software,” she says.