For years, companies have looked for examples of productivity indicators to measure their performance. Productivity can be measured in many different ways and at different levels, from the gross industrial output of an asset in a manufacturing facility to the specific performance of a salesperson’s individual sales. 

Today, we have information at hand that offers a vision for improvement in specific areas, and which can be found, for example, in a human resources dashboard.

There are many examples of productivity indicators that are used to measure progress and evaluate performance. Likewise, there are plenty of guides on how to be productive at work. 

How do companies measure their productivity? Each industry, business and department has adapted its own definition of individual productivity that can be evaluated using performance indicators.

Let’s learn 7 employee productivity indicators that you can use to improve your business performance.

What is productivity?

Productivity is the efficiency of production; Metrics are methods of measurement. They are, by definition, the way companies measure productivity, usually that of their employees.

Productivity indicators and metrics can often act as interlocking categories. Sales targets and profit margins are all examples of performance metrics and/or productivity metrics that companies reference, but it goes much further than that. 

Sales bring profits; The management of those benefits is greatly influenced by the metrics used to measure productivity throughout the company.

Therefore, there are some examples of productivity indicators that help increase the work performance of all departments. Human Resources, management, customer service, and other professionals can benefit from data on their employees’ productivity metrics.

How to measure productivity?

Measuring an employee’s productivity can mean many different things. Do employees complete their projects on time and as instructed? What about the results of those efforts?

If they do all those things according to what they are told, but there is still no growth in sales, where do adjustments need to be made? 

The way we measure it can vary between companies. For example, some believe that letting their employees use social media during the workday can be a productive habit, while others consider it a reason for disciplinary action. 

Without these measurements, it would be more difficult to justify any claim, one way or another.

Examples of employee productivity indicators

These examples of productivity indicators can be customized by department and, at the same time, shared generally. 

Below I will present you with examples that can be both specific and universal to measure the productivity of departments. 

1. Extra hours

Overtime is a good way to measure cost and performance of individual employees, keep in mind that consideration of context is important in measuring productivity. 

For example, if the company has a sales spike, people have to work harder to deliver on the promises they are selling. 

If overtime is a direct result of increased workload, this may be an indicator that there is a need to hire more talented employees, rather than evaluating existing ones.

Additionally, when evaluating overtime you can also combine other examples of employee productivity indicators, such as workload, this way you can work to prevent the errors that inevitably occur in an overworked team. 

Another common symptom of an overworked team is a higher rate of absenteeism from work.

2. Work effectiveness 

Work effectiveness is a multifaceted metric that connects a number of details such as staffing levels, shift effectiveness, and more. 

These factors are important because they provide the information you need to answer questions about personnel.

Calculating this metric by dividing total sales by the number of employees is a very simple and direct way to get the answer. Once again, although this is a great indicator, there should always be other indicators that must be taken into account that influence production performance, such as the quantity of product delivered, quality control and others. 

Sure, there is an element that attracts all industries. Professionals who calculate overall work effectiveness are able to understand exactly what the company has accomplished, and how efficient its workforce is.

3. Project progress

Knowing the status of on going projects can be useful for the different departments of a company. It allows all employees, regardless of their area, to have a common vision of the work performed. 

This overview is motivating, since it reflects the global situation based on the tasks carried out by the different departments.

4. QA

Quality control indicators also provide information that is worth displaying and communicating to the different departments of a company. These measures range from the cost of quality to the percentage of compliant products and the number of defects.

Visualizing this data encourages transparency between management and employees. Easy access to information often has a beneficial effect on employee productivity. 

To excel at a high level, workers need to feel part of the team. Publishing data that was previously reserved for managers is an effective way to promote engagement and better performance.

5. The spirit of initiative

We all want to have employees who ask us what we need and how they can help us. But it’s much better when they anticipate your needs and take the initiative to meet them themselves. 

So, have you ever thought that initiative is an excellent indicator of productivity?

Pay attention to the drive and energy of your employees so that they take the initiative and participate in the growth of the company. Although initiative is difficult to measure, it is a good way to know the commitment of your employees.

The talent that is proactive and capable of adapting to the evolution of your company will be the most effective in your organization.

6. Employee turnover rate

Employee turnover rate is one of the examples of productivity indicators used by human resources professionals to measure employee retention. 

The turnover rate gives managers the ability to anticipate the need to replace talent, so that no tasks are left unfinished for a departing employee.

To calculate churn rate, choose a time period. From there, divide the number of separations by the number of active employees during that time period.

A low turnover rate is a sign of happy employees. Ultimately, it leads, at a minimum, to lower recruiting and training costs. If your company has a high turnover rate, look to your managers to identify areas that need extra attention.

7. Sales growth

For sales departments and most companies as a whole, this is one of the examples of productivity indicators worth evaluating. 

To measure sales, track individual sales employees’ performance against goals and territories. Be flexible, see what works and what doesn’t, and adjust as necessary to ensure better productivity from your salespeople.

8. Higher performing staff

Your best talent deserves to be recognized, and relying on these examples of productivity indicators allows a manager to be objective when determining who the strongest employees are. 

Here are some customer service indicators you can use to determine who your best support agents are:

  • First call resolution
  • Average calls per hour
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Sales success

These examples of productivity indicators can help you identify team members best suited for management positions, as well as those who may need a little more training in specific areas.

9. Recruitment conversion rate

This is a unique metric because it measures the performance of your HR staff. Additionally, with this metric you will have to have your own standards; right or wrong will be determined by the quality of your hires.

To measure your hire conversion rate, simply compare the number of applicants to the number of hires. If you always find outstanding people with little effort, take a look at what you are currently evaluating. 

If time, talent and consistency become areas of concern, you have things to check.

10. Time to fill a position

As the search for the perfect employee continues, the clock is ticking. Work can pile up, causing other employees to become overworked and overwhelmed, often resulting in poor performance. 

To establish a benchmark for your human resources professionals, average occupation time is a useful productivity indicator.

To calculate the vacancy coverage time, record the time that passes from when a job is created until it is hired. 

Please note that there is no standard for occupancy time. The number can be low or high as long as the right employees are chosen at a limited cost to the company. If any of those factors are not present, the time to cover it is worth experiencing.

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