Keeping Track of Employee Productivity

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One of the most complicated things to manage is employee productivity. It plays such a big role in keeping the company alive, but at the same time, it is such a normal, everyday occurrence that we hardly feel it in the background. That is until something big, bold and heavy starts to weigh everything and everybody down.

For engineering managers, one of the few reasons that employee productivity is not so much of a joy to handle is because nobody really understands how to measure it. There are so many aspects and things involved to really come up with a reasonable measure and formula for it. How much time do they use in a specific task? How efficient are they in handling applications? And then, these have to be balanced with possible data privacy issues and compliance to data protection laws, such as GDPR. There are a lot of questions to be asked, and maybe the biggest one yet is ‘where to get the answers’?

Regardless of these challenges, it is still very important to analyze employee performance. A tool that will help engineering managers in keeping track of employee productivity will be a godsend. Here are simple tips for keeping an eye on employee productivity.

Know Your Employees

In a perfect world, there will be a grand method or formula for correctly managing people and effectively keeping track of their productivity. In reality, it all boils down to the basics: know your people to the core. Have an accurate representation and idea of who you are handling and what they are capable. Keep track of their workflow patterns. A heatmap of license usage may be useful to keep track of the team’s activity. It should show an overview of what specific day and hour of the week is the busiest for license usage and checkout, so it gives you an understanding on how your people move and when they are most productive. Another report that can provide information on how much a specific team member spends on a specific task is the license usage per user. Complemented with the License Efficiency Chart, which gives an overview on how long a certain number of licenses are concurrently checked out, these reports will give you an idea of each individual’s skill set and how effective they are in handling tasks. It could also provide you insights on whether they have the right knowledge in using different software applications, which is very crucial in any engineering and design team. That is why it is important to have a reporting tool that can accurately give you an idea of how your employees work, which software applications do each of them use, how much time do they spend on which applications, what time of the day are they using each one, and other relevant questions.

Figure 1 Weekly Hour Heatmap

Figure 2 License Efficiency Chart
Equip Your Employees with the Right Training

This goes hand in hand with knowing your people to their core. Once you have established your employees’ profiles, you will find out where they stand out and what their weaknesses are. It is also important that you make your employees feel that they are valued and well taken care of so that they would give their best in every task that they do. Investing in your people will make them more productive not just by giving them more knowledge and skill sets, but they will also feel more treasured and, thus, will be more inspired and motivated to work.

Encourage Independence

As much as it is important to keep track the entire activity of each employee in order to ensure and analyze their productivity, it is also vital that every manager should know when to back off. One of the things that will bring out your employee’s productivity and creativity is giving them the sense that you trust them, and you give them the autonomy and independence in deciding when, where, and how they will do their own job. Having the correct tools that will give you the reports that you need to analyze your employee’s activities can be very helpful. An insight on Active vs Inactive Time by Users will give you an overview of data showing the amount of active and inactive usage of an application by the users. These types of reports will give you and your employees the space that you both need in order to do the task correctly and efficiently. At the same time, it will still give you an accurate report of your employee’s accomplishments and how much time they have spent on the job, what applications they have used for the day, and for how long they have used it. It will bring out the balance in managing your people, giving them the time and space that they deserve but also the supervision that they need in order to perform well and do the job as efficiently as they can. Of course, if necessary, your tool should be able to mask the names of the users in compliance with data privacy laws or internal company policies that must be followed.

Figure 3 Active vs Inactive
When it comes to managing employee productivity, there are no easy answers. There are, however, tools that can make your job as an engineering manager that much easier.

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