Monitoring employees’ productivity is a key to success at any company, be it a startup or a huge enterprise. CEOs and HR Managers know how important employee tracking is. Some modern technology and classic proven methods will help you keep an eye on employees’ activity. Here’s the list of the best ways to keep track of your team’s productivity.
Monitoring your employees’ performance with your own eyes is one of the most efficient ways to improve their productivity. Listen to your employees’ conversations with customers and check how they interact. Track customers’ reactions to the employees’ words. Being involved in the workflow will tell you much more than online reviews. If you visit the office regularly and track the work getting done yourself, your team members will know that you can come in at any time and will have less temptation to get distracted from work.
One of the best ways to track any kind of employees’ activities and to keep records of their progress is to install a monitoring program on their office machines. Modern employee monitoring programs offer an abundance of features for employers to check the productivity of every employee separately or the whole department. Such programs show your team’s attendance, track their work hours, and breaks letting you know how your staff spends their time at the office. Additionally, monitoring software is used to track remote co-workers and to check if they’re productive while working from home.
Here’s the basic list of monitoring features offered by such programs: keylogging, efficiency tracking, monitoring of IMs and social apps, recording of visited websites and running programs, live viewing of the screen, screen recording, etc. Some software can record calls made with IMs and social apps, for example, Spyrix. Before you install such an app on employees’ devices, make sure that your team members are aware of being monitored.
Employers can also provide their teams with self-control tools so that staff members could track their efficiency and progress themselves. Team members can simply make notes of the tasks they have completed during the workday. However, note-taking takes too much time and distracts your employees from the workflow. This is where time-tracking apps come into play. For example, Clockify can help you manage your time without any charges. In such apps, your staff can use the timer to track how much time they spend on this or that task or project and to analyze their productivity at the end of business week or day. An employer, in turn, can identify hard-workers and reward them in some way for their efficiency.
Further, you can encourage employees to create their own schedules and to stick with them. When a person keeps in mind that they need to complete several tasks within a limited time frame, they’ll do their best and work more productively.
Sometimes, it’s not necessary to use special applications to track your team. It may be enough to talk to your employees on a daily basis and ask them what they have done since your last discussion. Your one-on-one conversations with every team member must become routine in this case since a one-time talk won’t get it for the better. For instance, you can ask, “What actions did you take? What results can you show? What problems have you faced while completing the task?” Listen to your colleague very attentively and make intelligent conclusions. This is the most efficient way to make your employees accountable for their actions. Then move on to discuss the next steps, tasks, and plans.
Most managers can’t imagine a typical workflow without regular meetings. During staff meetings, the team usually discusses what they have achieved within a particular time frame and what plans they have for the next week. month, etc. Before such meetings, every employee prepares a report about ongoing and completed projects, which helps them analyze their workflow and manage time and resources even better in the future. Listening to such reports is a perfect way to monitor your employees and to avoid both slacking and work-overloads.
Ask around about the employees’ work. Gather feedback from your partners, coworkers, customers, and check how the job is getting done. Remember that you should ask questions about productivity, not personality. Ask for details and descriptions and make an analysis of the work of specific employees or departments. Keep your ear to the ground and trust only verified statements to get a vivid and fair picture of the workflow. If you gather intelligence on a regular basis, you’ll be always updated on your team’s progress.
Surfing the Net for customer reviews is also helpful. Just google your company’s name and check what people write about your services to find out how to improve your business processes. Again, identify only reliable sources with real people chatting on them. If you find any negative reviews, discuss the incident with the team member responsible for the service, and find out why the customer had a negative experience. Ask your team to suggest ways of solving the issue and preventing similar incidents in the future.
If you notice that the productivity has decreased though all team members don’t leave the office during work hours, check out for workplace distractions. Productivity-killing distractions may include unproductive apps and websites like social networks and IMs, personal phone calls, noisy co-workers, and surely gossip. Note that any distractive app and website can be easily blocked on employees’ devices. Besides, limit the number of phone calls a person can make at work and ask managers to control the discipline.
Smoke breaks are a real problem in modern offices and need some more serious measures to be taken. Some companies give cash rewards to non-smoking team members motivating other employees to get rid of the bad habit. Others use services of health plan providers that offer tobacco cessation benefits. Moreover, it’s also helpful to get your team members to take Health Risk Appraisals and to ensure that they know the risks.
A company policy is a good and time-proven tool to manage your team’s behavior in the workplace. In the Policy, you can transparently explain what activities are forbidden and how employees’ misbehavior can affect them. To avoid inconsistent, illegal, or abusive discipline, don’t make your policy sound too strict. For example, many companies create policies that are intended to keep a friendly atmosphere at the office and to make sure that though employees know they must stick to the company rules, they feel comfortable at work. For instance, in addition to restrictions, you can add to your policy the following point: we must always help new-comers to adjust to the business process and assist them if they have any issues.
Remember that it’s on you how your team is motivated and feels at work. If there’s a friendly climate in the office and all the team members love what they do and believe in the great future of the company, you won’t even need to control them.