When you are assessing the health of your business and business practices we often look at the business stats. We look at our sales performance, profit, margins for our products and our expenses. But there is one vital measurement we should be spending much more time on and that is measuring your team’s productivity.
Staffing costs can be one of our biggest expenses as a business, so you want to make sure that you are getting value for that expenditure and that they are performing to a level that you require in order to meet your business goals.
Here are a few suggestions on how to measure productivity.
Working in a small team means that everyone that is there is needed. Keep note of sick days, and the number of days that people are arriving late or leaving early. This can be a sign that the employee isn’t fully engaged or committed to the project. If one team member isn’t doing their share it often has to be picked up by other employees who then feel disgruntled or can experience their own burn out. This sort of cycle can seriously impact on the health of your business so you need to be proactive in maintaining a healthy culture and expectations around attendance.
2. Bite sized goals
Even if you are working towards a big audacious goal, break it down into smaller milestones for your team. This has a couple of benefits, firstly, it means that you are able to get them to be engaged and enthusiastic when the goal is closer and more easily achieved. Secondly, it allows you time to slow down and see each step in the process more clearly and see the performance and contribution that each team member is making. This will help ensure that all team members are being as productive as possible.
3. Planned-to-done ratios
We have all had projects that we wanted to get done that never end up happening. This can be for legitimate reasons such as a change of brand strategy or a new product that might have superseded the one you were working on. However, sometimes it is because our team is unable to finish projects or they never properly get off the ground. Measuring the amount of projects that are completed can help understand your teams ability to effectively execute a plan. If your team is only able to get a small amount of tasks completed from your list then you may need to look at your planning and delegation process as a team.
4. Measuring mistakes
To maintain a business in the long run quality needs to play a role in your delivery to your customers. Measuring mistakes over time can help you analyse how frequently you are meeting the customer needs. You may start off measuring complaints, or it could be defects that are more subtle. It could be when you get an order wrong and have to redo it, or there is a delay in your process. Sometimes these might be things that the customer is unaware of, but still affects their overall outcome through a delay or reduced customer experience.
5. Budget of a job
Productivity is not about wages. High wages can present a problem, not because workers are paid too much but because they produce too little. In deciding how best to measure productivity, managers should focus not on dollars per hour but on labour dollars per product.
You may think you know how much a job costs you, but once you start measuring productivity, it could be that your spending much more time on a particular job/task etc than originally budgeted.
People time play a significant role in getting this right so understanding productivity levels around a job is important. In order to get more done and be more productive, good time management skills are essential.
Having a culture of performance and high standards will help ensure that you have the right people working for you and will help them feel that they are contributing to the bigger picture. High performing team members will appreciate clear objectives and measurements and will strive to achieve them.