How To Create a Productivity Plan Using Employee Monitoring Software

Productivity makes the world go ’round. Productivity, or the state of producing something, is crucial to normal business operations. Businesses in all industries look to productivity measurements to assess how well their company is working, how efficiently it is producing, and ways to improve low productivity levels. 

As we’ve gained more workplace technologies, businesses are better supported to tap into a productivity strategy that addresses multiple levels of productivity effectiveness. 

One way in which companies can do this is by creating and utilizing a productivity plan based on company metrics. Here’s what that looks like:

What is a Productivity Plan?

A productivity plan is a type of strategy that is designed to improve productivity. Each company would need its own type of plan. Effective plans address organizational and individual levels of being productive. 

A high-level organizational productivity plan might include three main elements:

  • Operational planning: This measure defines “who, what, and when” things need to get done. This might outline the work that a department undertakes, the individuals in this department and their roles, and deadlines for when things need to be done. This type of planning is most often used (in the context of productivity planning) to coordinate with suppliers, vendors, materials, and the daily activities of workers as a way of ensuring that all team members have access to the resources needed to do their jobs. 
  • Tactical planning: This measure is the systemic organization and planning of short-term business activities aligned with the overarching business goals. Within the productivity plan, this section might consist of who is responsible for achieving big objectives within each area of the plan. This section might also document how the leaders will implement the plan. 
  • Strategic planning: Another essential part of your plan, strategic planning consists of policies and procedures designed to align the daily activities with the overall mission of the organization. Strategic planning might also set up objectives (like improving productivity) that help the business to carry out its mission or hit its goal. Managers may conduct a SWOT analysis, for example, and develop and implement strategies to take advantage of the SWOT details. 

The Importance of a Productivity Plan

It is estimated that the average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day, which is shocking considering that standard workweeks are 40 hour weeks comprising 8 hour days. 

Unfortunately, through presenteeism and high turnover rates, poor productivity costs companies thousands of dollars. According to a 2013 Gallup report, unhappy workers cost the U.S. $450 to $550 billion annually to lost productivity. 

Non-productive employees might be struggling with their job roles, experience disruptions in the company’s operations, or be failing due to poor productivity oversight. When any of these three factors are happening, your company is bound to have lower productivity levels. 

Luckily, a productivity plan can accurately address:

  • Who is contributing to the company goals
  • Which aspect of the goals your employees will be supporting
  • When the mini-goals need to be reached

Businesses of all sizes should have at least a basic productivity plan so that each level of the business structure understands what needs to be done to achieve the business’ goals. 

6 Steps to Developing a Productivity Plan Using Employee Monitoring Software

With a monitoring tool, organizations can:

  • Use its monitoring features better to understand user activity and their employees’ productivity
  • Generate hard data around employee activity
  • Monitoring data from features like the keystroke logging to see how employees are spending their time (really)
  • Monitor remote workers for productivity or attendance
  • Assess your team’s productivity scores
  • And still, respect employee privacy

Here are six steps to developing your productivity plan using employee monitoring software:

1. Identify a Focus Area

Your departmental team should focus on improving productivity in a certain project or keeping track of the number of breaks that an employee has. 

If you already have a tracking app or time tracking software installed and your team has been using it, take advantage of the unique monitoring features and metrics to identify a focus area. 

You can use the employee tracker to pull out themes around productivity, which might include: 

  • Employees are taking too many breaks
  • Employees aren’t tracking their time effectively
  • Employees are spending too much time wasted on social media, messaging, etc
  • Employees aren’t completing projects within the allotted time
  • Employees are working on other people’s projects too much

2. Perform a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis identifies a company’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Performing a SWOT in relation to your team and productivity can help you identify major things that your team needs to work on (most likely what your goals should be) and the biggest weaknesses. Weaknesses, like not having enough resources to complete their job effectively, can be used as an opportunity for improvement to develop a collaborative relationship with another department. 

Threats might include common threats, cyber threats, or threats based on poor productivity trends. Use your employee monitoring software to identify strengths, step away from weaknesses, monitor productivity threats, and capitalize on productivity opportunities. 

3. Set Priorities Like Tracking Time

Set up priorities for improved productivity. This might include tracking time, submitting the end-of-the-week report, or setting regular meetings with leaders to ensure that work gets done. Your priorities should reflect your themes or focus areas and make sense for your company’s directive. 

You should only have one or two priorities. Look to your employee productivity tracker or productivity tracking to identify which priorities are more reasonable than others. 

4. Categorize Employee Work Responsibilities

It helps to categorize work responsibilities. Common workplace categories include administrative, communications, productive hours, project-based tasks, research, or wasted time. 

Address these categories with your employee. And then, ask that your employee track time for one week with these categories in mind. At the end of the week, go through the tracked time and label or categorize each task (if they aren’t already). You can then identify what percentage of the day was put aside for administrative work vs. communications or productive hours, and so on.

5. Provide Steps For Productivity Improvement

Once you have identified the types of tasks your employees are doing, problem areas, and strengths, you can then establish steps for improving productivity. With your employee tracking tool, assess if your employees are disorganized, doing their work, or aren’t gaining access to the resources they need to do their job. 

Make sure the steps are clear and make sense for the employee. It should also tie into the employee monitoring software so that you can check up on the changes after a week or so. 

6. Allow Time For Experimentation and Reassess

Every productivity plan needs time to adjust. Once you have provided your employee with the SWOT, the employee performance analysis, and the plan for moving forward, give them some time to implement these changes. 

If your employee makes any adjustments to the plan, address these changes, so you understand the changes and why they made them. 

How Employee Monitoring Software Can Support Your Productivity Plan

As mentioned, having metrics will support a productivity plan and make the directions clear and achievable goals. If you have metrics that show currently how your employees are productive (for example), then you can use this information as a base and establish reasonable, long-term goals. Monitoring software can provide you with these metrics. 

Employee monitoring software is software that tracks and records employee behavior and alerts managers to this behavior. Therefore, with this software, managers can see:

  • The websites and apps that an employee uses during the tracked time
  • The time length they were on those websites and apps
  • Email and messaging communications
  • The average amount of time an employee spends on a task, project, or problem
  • Relationships within the project (as it relates to project management) so you can better understand who is working on which projects
  • Issues that need to be addressed in the workflow or project management aspect of things
  • Attendance tracking
  • 24/7 activity monitoring for productivity but also for security
  • Time tracking for the remote employee
  • How often employees are working compared to slacking off at work
  • And live streaming to see if your employees are actually at their desk and working

An employee monitoring solution provides simplified ways of managing employees. Managers and administrators get productivity reports so that admins can see weekly, daily, and monthly attendance, wasted time reports, trends in web and application use, and times for breaks, lunch hours, and meetings. 

Use employee productivity monitoring software to boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, and reduce the cost of poor productivity in your organization.

By SoftActivity Team

August 16th, 2021