Enterprises want to increase productivity, but many aren’t investing in it with the same gusto that they do other parts of their operations.
Enterprise leaders have always been enthusiastic about efficiency. A more efficient workforce, the thinking goes, will grow at a substantial rate compared to the rest of the market. Maximum output with minimal input is the recipe for enterprise success.
However, it’s important not to confuse efficiency with productivity. On a strategic level, they are very different concepts.
As an element of management strategy, efficiency often centers around doing the same with less. It assumes a fixed output, and finds ways to reduce the cost of producing that output.
Productivity, on the other hand, focuses on doing more with the same. It assumes a fixed input, and finds ways to maximize the business output it can generate.
Enterprise leaders who internalize this subtle-yet-important shift in thinking can achieve significant, sustainable growth. Instead of using textbook efficiency tools like Six Sigma and process reengineering to uncover waste, leaders can spend valuable time and energy building bigger, more profitable processes by supporting productivity directly.
Not All Enterprises Have Restored Pre-Pandemic Productivity
When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, organizations around the world had to quickly adapt to new ways of working. Many employees went remote. Others continued to go to work, but performed their jobs in entirely new ways. This event had a major impact on enterprise productivity across the board.
Companies that capitalized on the latest technology were often able to remain remarkably productive during this time. However, many companies are less productive now than they were before the pandemic. Even if they are running more efficiently than ever, they produce less than they should given the time, talent, and energy at their disposal.
Each of these three factors is an important element of the productivity equation. Enterprises that use computer monitoring tools to optimize time, talent, and energy can enable productivity improvements beyond what traditional efficiency-based systems offer.
- Optimizing time means enabling employees to dedicate more hours of work each day to productive activity. That means reducing excessive communications, eliminating unnecessary meetings, and streamlining approval processes.
- Proper talent management means putting each worker in a position to play to their individual strengths. It means identifying your top performers and assigning them to the tasks they do best.
- Energy refers to employee motivation. Highly motivated employees will invest more energy into their performance, aligning their success with the success of the company, its customers, and its stakeholders.
According to the Harvard Business Review, enterprises that manage time, talent, and energy effectively are 40% more productive than the rest. Efficiency plays a role in this success, of course, but it’s a supplemental role, helping workers be more productive.
Use Employee Tracking to Reduce Organizational Drag
Enterprises that struggled to collaborate effectively before the pandemic have had a difficult time reducing employee distractions in the post-pandemic workplace. New York University researchers found that pandemic-era meeting frequency and size grew by about 13%, while productive employee time dropped by around 3% on average.
This highlights the productivity-negating effect of organizational drag – the tendency for meetings, communications, and approvals to get in the way of productive work. Structures that consume valuable time and prevent employees from getting work done can consume up to 20% of the company’s productive capacity.
Organizations that haven’t invested in productivity-boosting initiatives since the pandemic may now find themselves lagging behind their better-performing peers. This situation will only compound in time unless enterprise leaders take action.
Enterprises need to make productivity-enhancing investment central to their strategy moving forward, reducing organizational drag and improving the value of every employee-hour. User activities monitoring can enable enterprises to bypass many of these obstacles and keep their employees focused.
Put Top-Performers in Roles that Boost Their Effectiveness
Every organization has a small number of talented people who have a disproportionate effect on productivity. These top-performers make a bigger contribution to enterprise-wide strategy initiatives than many of their peers, and often achieve leadership roles in the workplace.
On average, these top-performers make up about 15% of the enterprise workforce. Some of them are highly gifted, some are highly motivated, and others are simply industrious – but all of them are star players who deserve to be put in roles that emphasize their strengths.
The problem is that without user activities monitoring software tracking their performance, it’s difficult to pinpoint who these top-performers are, and what tasks they excel at. Many enterprise leaders mistakenly promote highly productive workers to positions that don’t capitalize on their actual strengths, and productivity suffers as a result.
Monitoring software can help enterprises identify top performers and find out what roles they do their best work in. Employee monitoring technology can show who does their best work on any specific task, and what kinds of tasks drag down their productivity. This kind of granular, individual insight is key to productive talent management.
Enterprises Can Accommodate Top-Performers Remotely
For organizations with distributed work teams, cloud-based employee monitoring can play a major role helping leaders manage top talent. Monitoring software isn’t just about keeping workers focused on their jobs – the best remote monitoring software enables leaders to accommodate star talent outside the office.
In order to do this, enterprise leaders need real-time analytics on employee performance. It’s vital that managers see exactly how productive individual employees are in different circumstances.
Some workers may do their best work in the office, while others work better at home. Without clear, actionable insight into how these factors impact employee performance, there is no data-driven solution for accommodating your best workers. You simply have to rely on your intuition, and assume the risk that it might be wrong.
Great leaders often have great intuitions, but the best will always back up their decisions with data. User activities monitoring data can drive employee engagement and provide clear insights into how enterprises can better motivate their star players, whether working remotely, in the office, or both.
Improve Productivity by Inspiring and Engaging Employees
Perhaps the biggest difference between efficiency-oriented leadership and productivity-oriented leadership is in the way each approach informs employee motivation. Efficiency encourages employees to identify waste and reduce costs. Productivity encourages achievement and performance.
The better an organization is at inspiring its employees, the more likely it is to keep them actively engaged in their work. Inspired, engaged employees will outperform their peers time and time again – potentially turning average performers into star players in the process.
Driving employee engagement requires establishing a strong company culture that employees believe in. Monitoring software can help leaders identify what employees value the most, and give critical insight into how a performance-driven company culture might look like.
Enterprise leaders that develop a strong company culture can reliably inspire their employees to meet and exceed productivity expectations. Using the right technology can help make that goal achievable throughout the entire enterprise.