The Do’s and Don’ts of Measuring Employee Productivity

Most employees often lose morale after working awhile at a job; they find themselves disengaged from their jobs and hence reduce their productivity. Employers, on the other hand, lose millions of dollars in revenue over low productivity. Thanks to technology, employers now can measure the productivity levels of their employees. However, most employees often lose the point, and they go beyond what can be termed as an ethical measurement; they become a source of disturbance to their employees. The employee then would feel stuffed by a nosy boss. The line between employee productivity measurement and micromanaging is thin. In this article, we will talk about the dos and don’ts of measuring employee productivity.

Remain superficial

When monitoring your employee computer behaviors stick to what are the common distractors, the work patterns, how to keep them working. Office gossip, social media, phones are among the most common distractors. Remain in the office just to get seen, now and then just to remain visible. However, do trust your employees to do their work. Constantly hovering over will not help but it will turn them against you. They will feel you do not trust them which is not what you want. According to a study by Interaction Associates, 60% of the employees who took part reported that their organizations lack trust in them to get the work done.


Create an environment that is conducive for your employees to work in. Motivated employees will always remain productive, and that will reduce your temptation to keep measuring and monitoring what they are doing. Let them understand how their contribution matters to the organization and that their input is valued. The performance review should be about goal setting and employee personal development and less on individual performance. When the metrics show that a certain employee is struggling with their productivity, do not be quick to reprimand, on the contrary, take time to find out the reason they are struggling. Whisper words of encouragement, take them for an exercise. Do not shout at them for a poor performance they are human and they can get their emotions hurt.

Measure quality

Don’t make employee measurement about quantity but rather on quality. For example, your organization manages developers; one employee writes half of the code one developer has written and another twice as good. Who among the two qualifies to be a performer? The one who has written twice as good is better for productivity than twice as much. Make the measurement about quality output and your employees will strive for perfection as opposed to quantity.

Use technology for measurement

There are many programs available that can offer productivity measurement and hence track performance. Such technology will help you monitor who among your employees is a performer. However, if not well-used, technology can backfire on your measurement process. Do not make it a thing to constantly measure them, allow them some freedom to work on their own.

Account for human element

Most employees make the mistake of thinking employees are a couple of machines, they are not. Do not set performance expectations too high that they are not attainable. Incorporate fatigue, human error, burnout effect and other aspects that make us human. As much as you want your employees to remain productive allow them some break time, and time off to give their bodies time to rejuvenate.

Concentrate on individual performance

Do not track time instead measure performance. Time tracking software will measure the time it takes for an employee to complete a task but not the results of the time they spent or the quality of the work they have worked on. Performance should be about deadlines met, the quality of the work submitted. Make it about quality not quantity. Talk to your employees at an individual level; find out what they would like the organization to do for them to increase the value of their productivity. Each individual has different requests and if it is something you can do then do it.


While measuring employee performance and productivity is important for the organization, you need to tread lightly since it can get emotional. You need to know what to do and what not to do.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.