The 4th industrial revolution is upon us and forcing us to reassess how we track workforce productivity. As digital is quickly becoming the most important factor in our competing society, we need to start asking impertinent questions like:

  • How do I measure workforce productivity better?
  • What tools will enable my employees to achieve more together?
  • How do I optimize my team?
  • And how do I get the information I need to make these decisions?

Boosting Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is vital to increasing productivity. But, how? Well, here are 3 suggestions that increase workforce productivity while boosting employee engagement:

  1. Productivity and Engagement Apps: Move beyond traditional email and check out your app options. G-suite, Skype for Teams, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, 15Five are a few great platforms that encourage learning, goals alignment, performance as well as basic HR processes. If you want to improve productivity you need to streamline and align your apps!
  2. Mobility: If you can, give your employees the ability to work from anywhere. It eradicates commuting time and increases employee happiness and as a result increases productivity.
  3. Recognition: Give your employees the continuous feedback they need with real-time methods. Individual and team recognition encourage morale and therefore increases productivity. Make the time to give feedback! Checkout these 6 apps that are revolutionizing HR.


Keep it Simple, Eradicate Complexity

We’ve long surpassed the days of using the standard economic measurement of productivity (company revenue divided by # employees) and so are the days of counting the number of products leaving your manufacturing plant per week. Making operational improvements based on such calculations simply won’t help you improve workforce productivity.
Fortunately, well thought through KPI’s can reveal how well an employee’s output is contributing to your organizations bottom line. The key is to rid your process of its complexity and keep it simple to ensure employee productivity is maximized and their performance goals realistic. One way of doing this is by choosing 5 KPI’s, 1 across each of the following areas:

  • Financial Indicators
  • Business Performance Indicators
  • Business Generation Indicators
  • People Based Indicators
  • Risk Indicators

The key to keeping your KPI’s relevant, is to reassess the companies baseline every 6 months and as a result, review employee KPI’s to ensure they are still relevant. This might seem like a daunting task, however, if you keep your KPI’s aligned to your organization’s values and goals, the baseline may only need to be tweaked. Furthermore, sticking to only 5 KPI’s make the process relatively painless.

The Big Picture

Open communication has always been key in driving workforce productivity and sharing the company’s setbacks, achievements and most importantly, vision. Employees tend to feel more productive when they are considered a valued member of the team, regardless of their level. They are more likely to be more engaged and deliver when they are seen as more than just a number in a spreadsheet.
Ultimately, SME’s need to ride the 4th industrial revolution wave and invest in digital solutions that measure quantitative and qualitative employee productivity. Simple effective solutions and transparent communication will drive employee engagement and therefore increase productivity.

Written by Alexia Cox (PhD), Director of Merging Minds 

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