Employee Productivity Tracking: How & Why To Do It

In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about employee productivity tracking, including what it is, how it's done and why it’s important.
employee productivity tracking
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System

Get The Insights You Need To Boost Employee Productivity

What does optimum productivity look like? In a world where every employee has achieved optimum productivity, no time would be wasted, no results would be subpar, and everyone would bring their best selves to work. 

While that’s a pretty bright future to imagine, the reality of the workplace is rarely that idyllic. More often than not, time is wasted due to inefficiency, distractions, and a lack of accountability. And that’s exactly why employee productivity tracking is so crucial. 

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of employee productivity tracking, how it’s implemented, and how this simple practice can empower your company to optimize ideal standards of employee productivity. 

What Is Employee Productivity Tracking? 

Employee productivity tracking is the practice of measuring and monitoring an employee’s performance in the workplace. The goal of productivity tracking is to identify areas where employees may be struggling, provide feedback on their performance, and help them improve their productivity and efficiency.

There are many different methods of employee productivity tracking, including:

  • Time tracking: This involves tracking the amount of time an employee spends on specific tasks throughout the workday. This can help identify areas where an employee may be spending too much time, and can also help identify inefficiencies in the work process.
  • Performance metrics: This involves tracking specific performance metrics such as sales numbers, customer satisfaction ratings, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). This can help managers identify areas where an employee may be struggling or excelling and provide feedback accordingly.
  • Project management tools: This involves using project management software or tools to track the progress of specific projects or tasks. This can help managers identify bottlenecks or areas where an employee may need additional support.
  • Comprehensive feedback: This involves gathering feedback from multiple sources, including the employee, their manager, peers, and subordinates. This can provide a more comprehensive view of an employee’s performance and help identify areas for improvement.

Advantages of Employee Productivity Tracking

There are many advantages to employee productivity tracking. Implementing a successful strategy for productivity tracking in your workplace can help you optimize efficiency and achieve the best results. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and how they can help your business. 

  • Improved performance: Tracking employee productivity can help managers identify areas where employees may be struggling. Once you’ve identified an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, you can provide constructive feedback and support to help them improve their performance. This can lead to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
  • Better resource allocation: Productivity tracking can also improve your allocation of resources. When you take an in-depth look at your company through the lens of productivity, you may find that some departments and employees are thriving while others aren’t getting the resources they need. These insights can help you allocate resources so that everyone has what they need to succeed. 
  • Increased accountability: By tracking employee productivity, managers can hold employees accountable for their performance and ensure that they are meeting their goals and expectations. This can promote a culture of responsibility and accountability in the workplace, which can improve overall performance.
  • Informed decision-making: Employee productivity tracking can help company leaders make better, more informed decisions. That’s because productivity tracking software will offer data and insights that make it easier for you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of employees and entire departments at a glance. For example, if you notice that a certain task or project is taking longer than expected, you can investigate and make adjustments to improve efficiency.
  • Better communication: Tracking employee productivity can make it easier for managers to provide regular, personalized feedback about employee performance. This, in turn, can improve communication and collaboration in the workplace. It can also help employees improve their understanding of their roles and responsibilities and feel more engaged and invested in their work.

Disadvantages of Employee Productivity Tracking 

Employee productivity tracking can also come with a few drawbacks and it’s important to consider the disadvantages before you dive right in. 

  • Invasion of privacy: Some employees may feel that tracking their productivity violates their privacy rights, particularly if tracking involves monitoring their internet usage, emails, or other activities outside of work-related tasks.
  • Negative impact on morale: If your employees feel that productivity tracking is an invasion of their privacy, this can have a negative impact on employee morale. When employees feel that their every move is being monitored, they may become stressed or disengaged, which can ultimately reduce productivity.
  • Focus on quantity over quality: If employee productivity tracking policies are implemented incorrectly, they may backfire by encouraging employees to focus on completing tasks quickly rather than producing high-quality work. This can lead to a reduction in overall quality and a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
  • Risk of bias: If productivity tracking is not implemented fairly and objectively, it can lead to bias and discrimination. For example, if an employee is given more challenging tasks than others, they may appear to be less productive even if they are working hard.

It’s important to carefully consider these potential drawbacks and to communicate transparently with employees about any productivity tracking systems that are put in place. By addressing concerns and ensuring that tracking is implemented fairly, you can mitigate potential disadvantages and maximize the benefits of employee productivity tracking.

How Employee Productivity Tracking Can Benefit Your Business

Now that we’ve considered some of the benefits and drawbacks of employee productivity tracking, let’s delve beneath the surface for a deeper exploration. In this section, we’ll take a look at why employee productivity tracking matters on a day-to-day level and in the big picture. 

  • Identify inefficiencies: By tracking employee productivity, companies can identify areas where processes or workflows may be inefficient. This allows companies to make improvements that can increase productivity and reduce costs.
  • Set goals and measure progress: Productivity tracking allows companies to set goals for employees and measure their progress toward those goals. This ensures that employees are working towards the company’s objectives and helps managers identify areas where employees may need additional support or training.
  • Increase accountability: The presence of productivity tracking software in the workplace can help motivate employees to perform at a higher level and can reduce the likelihood of missed deadlines or incomplete work.
  • Improve customer satisfaction: When your company tracks employee productivity, it can be easier to identify areas where customers may be experiencing issues or delays. Increased awareness of customer issues empowers you to address those issues proactively, and this can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Encourage employee development: By tracking employee productivity, companies can identify areas where employees can learn, grow, and benefit from additional training or support. This can help employees develop new skills and improve their performance, which can benefit both the employee and the company.

Overall, employee productivity tracking is important because it allows companies to measure and improve their overall performance. Employee productivity software will help you measure the success and efficiency of your workplace on a day-to-day level while using these results to analyze the bigger picture of your overall growth and productivity. 

Why Employee Productivity Tracking Matters

In addition to improving your business’ efficiency and growth, employee productivity tracking can help you tackle four underrepresented issues that are key to a company’s success. Here’s how: 

  • Benchmarking: Measuring employee productivity is an important aspect of benchmarking because it provides a baseline for comparison with other organizations in the same industry or sector. By measuring productivity levels, your company can compare its performance to that of its competitors and identify areas where it may need to improve in order to remain competitive.
  • Labor optimization: Everybody wants to work smarter, not harder. And that’s exactly what labor optimization empowers you to do. Employee productivity tracking can help your business achieve labor optimization by identifying underutilized or overutilized labor, streamlining workforce planning, and encouraging innovation. 
  • Analysis and reporting: Employee productivity tracking can assist your company in analysis and reporting by distilling employee output into measurable data for analysis. This, in turn, can support data-driven decision-making, enable performance comparisons, and support accountability. 
  • Compliance: Employee productivity tracking software can help to ensure that your company is compliant with federal and state regulations which govern crucial aspects of workplace management such as time and attendance, workplace safety, data security, and performance evaluation. When employee productivity tracking software provides you with easily accessible data about all of these practices, it’s easy to assess your results and confirm that you are complying with all multiple essential regulations, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA),  and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

How to Implement Employee Productivity Tracking Software 

All productivity tracking systems, or time tracking systems, are not created equal. Although every business can benefit from tracking employee productivity, before you dive in, it’s important to assess your company’s needs and the steps you can take to implement a productivity tracking system that will work for you. 

Let’s take a comprehensive look at the steps involved in implementing employee productivity tracking software

  • Define objectives: Start by defining your objectives for implementing the productivity tracking software. Identify the metrics and data points you want to track and how you plan to use the data to improve employee productivity.
  • Select the right software: Do your research and find the platform that will best address your needs. Consider factors such as features, cost, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing systems.
  • Communicate with employees: Before you install employee productivity tracking software on all work devices, talk to your employees about the new software and its purpose. Explain the data that will be collected and how it will be used. Address any concerns or questions they may have.
  • Train employees: In addition to having an open, honest conversation about the new software, take time to show your employees how to use the software effectively. Make sure they understand how to input their data and how to use the software to track their progress.
  • Customize the software: Every business’s needs will be slightly different and any good productivity software will allow for some customization. So, take time to familiarize yourself with the customization features. Set up metrics and dashboards that will allow you to track the data that is most important to your company.
  • Launch the software: Once you’ve worked through all those steps, you’ll be ready for the big launch! When the software is active on all employee work devices, you can begin collecting and monitoring data to ensure that the information you’re acquiring is accurate and meaningful.

Features to Look For In Employee Productivity Tracking Software

When looking for employee productivity tracking software, there are several features to consider. Here are some of the key features to look for:

  • Time tracking: Look for software that includes time tracking features, such as timesheets and time clocks. This will allow you to track employee hours and ensure that employees are meeting their productivity goals.
  • Video playback and screenshots: When a software program takes videos or screenshots of an employee’s screen while they’re working, tracking productivity is made easy through the benefit of visual records. 
  • Application and website tracking: Want to know if your employees are on Facebook when they should be working? This feature tracks the applications and websites that employees use during work hours. It can help businesses identify time-wasting activities and restrict access to non-work-related sites.
  • Keystroke monitoring: Keystroke monitoring features literally provide you with a record of the keys that employees type on their keyboards. Ideal for industries that specialize in data entry and confidential records, this feature can help businesses measure productivity levels and identify areas where employees may need additional training.
  • Idle v active activity tracking: This is especially useful for monitoring remote employees. Sure, an employee may be sitting at their desk, but are they actually working? Productivity tracking software which measures idle vs. active computer activity can help you confirm that employees are actually working. 
  • Mobile GPS tracking: If your employees work in the field or are dispersed across various locations, mobile GPS tracking can help you identify when they arrive on-site and whether they’re staying on track. 
  • Statistics and reports: Employee productivity tracking software should also provide businesses with productivity statistics and reports which can be distilled into clear-cut data on employee productivity levels, time spent on different tasks, and other key metrics. 

How Workyard Can Help 

Implementing employee productivity tracking software can help your company improve its overall productivity and efficiency. Knowing how time is utilized in your workplace can empower you to identify inefficiencies, improve employee accountability, support employees, and make data-driven decisions that will streamline employee operations. 

Workyard can support you in this mission by offering a multifaceted employee productivity tracking platform. Designed with contractors and field employees in mind, Workyard offers real-time GPS tracking for enhanced productivity tracking of mobile crews. See exactly where they are and what they’re working on in real time, and make scheduling adjustments on the fly. With Workyard in your pocket, you’ll always have access to productivity insights that drive your business forward. Sign up for a free trial of Workyard today!

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