Enhance Your Productivity

Dataquest – June 3rd, 2014

Productivity-enhancement tools are the drivers of inclusive growth, writes Kishore Reddy

With present-day offices expanding beyond the limitations of physical space, it has become challenging to monitor employee activity on a daily basis. Organisations are struggling with issues like work-life balance, employee productivity, extended working hours, etc and although they make half their expenditure on employees, there is no way to measure their productivity. It is in every organisation’s interest to know how to engage with millennials as they are ambitious and prefer working independently with flexible work schedules. So there is a growing impact on businesses due to low productivity and increased operational overheads in organisations.

Project planning is most often not the cause as there are excellent project planning tools that are being used. But poor project estimation and project execution are the key reasons for failures or delays. It is important for employees and the organisation to understand how time is spent on meetings, on planning, support, design, coding, testing, documentation, etc. Measurement of productivity motivates stakeholders if there is mutual agreement on what is being measured and how it is measured, transparency of its usage and a feedback mechanism where all the stakeholders enhance the means to achieve the target.

Additionally, managing a workforce that has different levels of productivity is a major concern. Therefore, it gets difficult to balance out work assignments for those who perform better than the average and team heads must monitor them closely to make sure they do not hit the crossroads. Managing highly productive employees sensibly can be just as critical as enhancing the performance of less productive employees. Traditional organisational productivity measurement like employee self-reported time sheets could be inaccurate as well as subjective and therefore prone to misrepresentation.

The solution is to get visibility at a micro task level on a real-time basis for better governance and faster corrective actions in organisations before complexity sets in. They work effectively in many workforce scenarios like standard enterprise with multi-shift operations, shared services, telecommuter enablement, etc. The data these tools provide can enable organisations to identify performance issues or the need for training while gaining deeper insight into activity and efficiency. Also, measurement of time at work through activity-monitoring leads to improved human capital and significant cost savings through better allocation of human capital in people-centric organisations.

While tracking output is critical, it must be done without intruding into employees’ privacy. They must be informed and aware that work activity is being monitored for the right reasons. Any such solution must provide an option for personal time when employee activity is not monitored. Also, data that is collected should seek the approval of the employees before submission. Such a solution is an ideal blend of efficiency without loss of privacy.

It can be difficult to maintain the stability in certain cases where there is limited budget. But for organisations determined to acquire maximum productivity across the workforce, deploying productivity-measurement tools is the need of the hour. It will help them assess productivity and allocate resources appropriately to facilitate better understanding and work arrangement. It combats the need for better employee practices for transparency at work and drives a high-performance employee culture.

– The author, Kishore Reddy, is the Chief Technology Officer of ProHance