If you’re interested in employee productivity tracking, it's only a matter of time before you'll come across the 80/20 Rule. In fact, you may already have noticed it in business guides, conferences, or company blogs—like this one.
But what is the 80/20 Rule, and how does it relate to the productivity enhancement tools and facilities used by the corporate world?
That's what we're going to flesh out in this guide. Additionally, we’ll also examine how you can apply it to increase productivity in diverse and intuitive ways.
What Is the 80/20 Rule?
The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto principle, asserts that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of causes. The rule has been used in many fields, but most notably in business and economics.
- 80% of the fruit is produced by 20% of the fruit trees.
- 80% of sales are closed by 20% of sales reps.
- 80% of the coffee is being drunk by 20% of the co-workers.
It's pivotal to note that this isn't a hard-and-fast rule backed by scientific data. On the contrary, it's possible that 75% of your revenue may come from 15% of your clients, for example. Yet, the 80/20 Rule is still a precious principle you can apply to many aspects of your work and personal life.
5 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule for Better Productivity
As previously stated, the 80/20 Rule can be applied to multiple aspects of your business. In this guide, however, we'll exclusively look at how you can use it to track employee productivity.
Read on to discover the five ways you can employ the 80/20 Rule to successfully use time more effectively, increase revenue, and boost employee productivity.
1. Identify the 20% Of Tasks That Result in 80% Of Your Revenue
Everything you do in your business impacts your revenue. But not every task is equal in that regard, and neither is every client or customer. So a good place to start is to identify which 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your revenue.
Here's how to do that:
- Tally up weekly, monthly, and annual sales for each customer.
- Subtract the cost of goods or services provided.
- Quantify how much time you spend on servicing every customer.
Once you have these numbers down, you can quickly prioritize your customers.
2. Identify the 20% Of Repetitive Tasks Taking up 80% Of Your Time and Automate Them
Undeniably, you and your employees perform a series of repetitive tasks during a regular workday. And while they may be vital to keep the wheels turning, they can often take up a lot of time. That's why it's essential to discover how you can automate them to maximize productivity.
For example, reading and responding to emails can easily take up two and a half hours.
But, most of them can be down-prioritized or disregarded entirely. Hence, an excellent way to fix that is to set up inbox filters to only deal with the most important messages.
Another example is filling in documents with the same information over and over. A good CMS system will be able to populate various documents with client data you’ve already entered once. So that task can easily be automated with the right CMS integrations.
3. Analyze the 20% Of Time Slots Your Employees Get 80% Of Their Work Done
People aren't machines, which means you can’t expect a consistent output throughout the day. Everyone has their own peak performance hours, so a uniform schedule for your entire staff won’t always make the most of their capabilities.
Fortunately, many companies have allowed for more flexibility on this front with the gradual shift towards remote working. And you can still find the times each employee works the best by using employee productivity tracking software.
Look at what time of day each employee is most productive, and then give them the flexibility to adapt their schedule accordingly. There's no reason for them to perform repetitive tasks when they're in their peak performance hours. Instead, those hours are better reserved for tasks that require deep work.
4. Identify the 20% Of Employees Who Have the Top 80% Of Performance
Just as there are no uniform peak performance hours, each employee also has their own unique overall performance level. That's why it's important to identify which of your employees perform the best, so you can use them as a benchmark to upskill others on your team.
Highly productive employees tend to have these traits in common:
- Take the initiative to solve tasks without supervision.
- Use their problem-solving skills to preempt future issues.
- Open to feedback and incorporate it into their work.
- Use time management techniques to increase productivity.
- Have a positive mindset.
- Form co-worker relationships.
Certain employees may also do better than others when it comes to performing specific tasks. They may have figured out a way to do it that saves them time or resources, for example. That’s where a benchmarking tool comes in handy, so you can identify who does what most efficiently and use them as an example to train others.
5. Identify the 20% Of Tools Your Employees Use to Get 80% Of Their Work Done
It's natural for your team to add new productivity tools to aid with design, marketing, and any other tasks to get the job done more effectively. But not all software and team productivity apps will have a positive impact. That’s why it's important to track their effectiveness and their use over time, so you’re not wasting valuable resources.
Take stock of each tool your employees use and assess how much it boosts or negates productivity:
- Would getting rid of it hamper their work?
- Could you save some valuable time and money by using another tool?
- Do you have two tools that perform the same thing?
- Are there tools that aren’t getting used at all?
Consider these questions to trim the fat off your toolbox and only use the best productivity tools for work.
Ready to Apply the 80/20 Rule?
Hopefully, with the 80/20 Rule, you’ll have an additional principle you can use for tracking employee productivity and skyrocket your business. Maybe you’ll find yourself getting rid of tools used to improve productivity that don’t actually do what they’re supposed to do. The best productivity products are the ones that make sense, such as employee productivity tracking software.
To summarize, here’s what you can do with the 80/20 Rule:
- Identify which clients or tasks bring in the most revenue.
- Automate the most repetitive and boring tasks.
- Discover the peak performance hours for each employee.
- Identify the best-performing employees and use them as benchmarks.
- Clean out and optimize your toolkit for work productivity.