Embrace automation to make your productivity reporting processes more effective and objective.
Productivity reports are a bottom-line necessity for successfully managing your workforce. Leaders, managers, and stakeholders need clear data on how employees handle the workloads given to them.
Prior to today’s digitally-enabled, hyper-connected work environment, productivity reporting was a time-consuming manual process. Analog punch clocks were considered effective employee performance tracking tools, and employees would clock in and out every single day.
Now, organizations have a wide variety of work tracking software options available, but a surprising number of leaders still rely on intuition and subjective monthly or annual assessments to gauge productivity.
At the same time, enterprises have radically upgraded their technological infrastructure in other areas of the business. Digital transformation has led to incredible improvements in workplace efficiency. It’s time productivity reporting made the jump, too.
Not All Productivity Metrics are Equal
There are many different ways to measure productivity, depending on the type of work being done. In some cases it’s even possible to measure the same kind of work in different ways, and the choices you make can deeply impact your eventual reporting capabilities.
Let’s take a developer, for example. Some of the ways that organizations traditionally measure a developer’s productive output include:
- Number of Commits
- Lines of code written
- Number of pull requests made
- Number of velocity points achieved
All of these measurements have their advantages and drawbacks. For example:
- Measuring by commits incentivizes developers to work quickly, but that can lead to bugs and errors that would otherwise have been caught before they were introduced into the system.
- Measuring developer productivity by lines of code written is good for determining the size of your software system and understanding how the codebase is changing, but encourages developers to write large, unwieldy applications in inefficient ways.
- Measuring productivity by pull requests encourages developers to think small, since this metric doesn’t factor the size or effort required. Developers may start prioritizing small, easy-to-code features over large, strategic core functionalities.
- Velocity point requirements require managers to size projects before the work is completed, which makes it imprecise. This undermines the utility of estimating project value in the first place, since developers will earn based on the estimate, rather than the finished job.
- Impact is difficult to define and measure at an organizational level or across organizations. One team may define “impact” differently than another.
Despite the challenges it represents, impact remains the best option for accurately assessing the value of employee productivity. In order to get it right, managers must establish the right metrics from the start and then deploy technology that automates the challenging and time-consuming process of granular, personalized productivity reporting across large teams.
Establish Productivity Metrics That Truly Measure Impact
The concept behind measuring “impact” is a good one, but it’s difficult to do without using automated work tracking software. This is because the average employee monitoring tool doesn’t gather or provide enough data to make “impact” a measurable performance indicator.
The ideal impact of any employee’s work refers to the actual dollar-value of the work they perform. The key to effectively measuring performance in terms of impact is correlating employee work-hours to specific projects aimed at achieving enterprise goals.
The beauty of this approach is that it enables a high degree of enterprise agility. Individual employees and even entire teams can self-organize around established objectives and then report how their work advanced those goals. This is the fundamental concept behind Objectives and Key Results (OKR) agile methodology.
But in order to effectively manage OKR workflows, you need something more than a generic employee time keeping app. Whether you’re looking for a Hubstaff, Time Doctor, or Activtrak alternative, you need comprehensive employee performance tracking tools and data visualization features.
Manage Employee Time with Agility and Automated Reporting
With the right tech-enabled project management and productivity tools in place, enterprises can align employee performance to strategic business goals without having to micromanage every aspect of the employee experience. This helps teams share accountability for their work while enjoying credit for it as well.
Agile methodologies like the OKR method support employee creativity, increase their motivation and commitment, and enable self-management. Computer activity monitoring software takes on the burden of capturing employee productivity data and ensuring that team members produce value for the enterprise.
Organizations that deploy analytics-ready work tracking software can immediately generate insightful graphs and charts that show exactly how individual employees and teams are performing according to their stated objectives.
Since the software generates employee productivity data automatically, the reporting process can occur in real-time. There is no need to wait for management to create monthly or annual performance reports – all the latest data is immediately available on demand.
Enable Automated Reporting for Remote and Hybrid Employees
Teams that deploy employee performance tracking tools to automate productivity reporting earn more than the ability to improve business agility and streamline project management. They also make it easier to onboard remote and hybrid employees with flexible work schedules without negatively impacting productivity.
Losing productivity is one of the primary concerns company leaders face when implementing remote and hybrid work solutions. Establishing agile, objective-based workflows and measuring performance according to the real-world impact of employee productivity mitigates that risk.
This kind of approach allows employees to approach their home office work the same way they’d approach work in the physical office. They know their productivity is being objectively measured, and they understand that the impact of their work is directly related to their performance.
As a result, productivity increases as employees dedicate their newly flexible work schedules towards achieving valuable business goals. Your distributed team members can achieve business goals without supervision or micromanagement while your work tracking software gathers data and generates reports on their productivity.