The Future of our Workplaces: Reimagining productivity

Measuring performance is complex. In many cases, traditional KPIs are no longer effective or nuanced enough to accurately portray the quality and value of an employee’s work. Some departments may still have more tangible KPIs which are applicable but daily productivity can sometimes be more challenging to measure. Not to mention the fact that everyone may have different definitions of what productivity is!

Measuring productivity in a hybrid or remote workforce is unequivocally linked to visibility in the workplace. If you haven’t already, check out our previous blog on promoting visibility in a hybrid workforce HERE

So, how can we begin reimagining what productivity might look like in a hybrid workforce?

Here are some of our thoughts:

  1. Define productivity and set your goals

Firstly, we suggest an open discussion about what productivity means to everyone. Encouraging open conversation and mutually deciding on a definition may increase intrinsic motivation and clarity among employees.

Consider setting goals at an organisational, team, and individual level and take the time to make the links between these clear to everyone. It is beneficial for individuals to understand what they need to achieve and how this contributes to the bigger picture, ultimately, serving the customer in the best way. These goals can increase accountability and develop the framework for which productivity will be measured against as breaking down goals into tangible tasks increases the visibility of productivity.

  1. A new type of KPIs

Writing for Forbes, Aram Lulla suggests new employee KPIs could be implemented for measuring remote performance, namely self-discipline and effective communication. Find more detail in the article HERE

These KPIs look at the softer skills of time management and communication. Are employees able to complete tasks in a specific timeframe? Are employees consistently communicating in a prompt, polite, and accurate manner?

Perhaps approach these KPIs with some flexibility as external factors may still lead to circumstances out of the employees’ control and effective application of these skills can be subjective. Nevertheless, awareness about these KPIs may be useful when discussing whether productivity whilst remote working is sustainable and effective for certain employees.

When setting KPIs it is beneficial to be clear about deadlines and dates of review meetings and consider booking in time for ongoing evaluations as well.

  1. Use your shared platform to make daily productivity visible

We discussed the use of shared platforms in our previous blog on maintaining visibility HERE but these platforms may also be useful specifically for monitoring productivity.

Perhaps encourage employees to share their to do lists for the day and their progress to help ensure accountability and promote celebrating small successes and tasks completed. Also consider using time-blocking techniques and shared calendars to encourage visible productivity further. Managers can see how many tasks employees are able to tick off and complete in their day.

Teamwork and Monday are popular project management software which you may wish to explore further to enable collaboration among hybrid workforces. This clarity and visibility reduce confusion and the divide between office based and home workers as all work can easily be seen together in one shared space.

  1. Weekly check-ins

Managers should consider ensuring weekly check-ins are more than conversations about ‘to do’ lists and set aside time for ongoing performance evaluations. Are goals still relevant? Does the individual understand what success looks like and why they are doing what they are doing? Are there any barriers to the individual’s productivity and success?

This ensures goals are kept at the forefront of people’s minds, expectations are clear, and individuals are intrinsically motivated. Encouraging discussion about individualised goals may also aid managers in understanding what support each individual may need to maximise their productivity.

  1. Focus on Outputs

Whilst physical work is not visible, it may be best if productivity is measured by the outcomes of people’s work and what they achieve. Hours of work completed is not always synonymous with the quality of work or progress made towards goals.

That’s what makes the software mentioned above so valuable. Everyone’s contribution is visible no matter of their location and they provide an easily accessible and visual way of capturing progress and therefore productivity in an inclusive manner.

Regardless of where an individual is working, employers may consider the above steps to help demonstrate real care about employees’ personal progress and value their contribution to the team and organisational goals. What seems to be clear is that measuring tangible progress against goal-oriented tasks and focusing on outputs may be the most effective way to ensure equity when looking at productivity and performance management in a hybrid workforce.

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