How employee monitoring can help solve England's productivity problem

Can the data you get from employee monitoring software help drive productivity – and other financial – benefits?

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The British have a productivity issue: output per hour worked in the three months to June 2017 was 0.3 percent below its level in the three months to June 2016, the Office for National Statistics said. This is the biggest fall since the third quarter of 2013. Productivity is an ongoing focus for all teams – from small businesses to nations. How can the data you get from employee monitoring software help drive productivity – and other financial – benefits?

Ensure employees are focused on the right things

The most obvious way that employee monitoring helps ensure productivity is to use the resulting data to confirm employees are actually producing meaningful output. Typically, this means tracking time spent using software and websites that are categorized as ‘work-related’. Tracking hours can also help pinpoint excessive absences, lateness, and similar measures of productivity.

Determine peak productivity periods

Monitoring data also provides a way to analyze peak productivity periods, helping organizations determine when individual contributors - and teams - are most productive. Utilizing technology that arms managers with such data, they can optimize schedules, provide additional training opportunities, and best structure incentive packages. For example, utilizing technology as a process to track active versus idle time, companies are given a detailed picture of individual productivity levels, allowing them to measure task completion. From an organizational perspective, data could then be aggregated to view best-performing teams.

Get rid of bottlenecks in processes or technology

Looking at a live view or historical playback of employee activities provides further insight into what may be negatively impacting employee performance. For example:

  • Employees might be struggling to find data across your network, causing unproductive time. You can look at ways to centralize information to reduce time spent hunting.
  • Perhaps a task requires switching between multiple applications to retrieve and input data. Maybe this is an opportunity to streamline processes and/or look for integrations.
  • If you see a majority of your employees struggling in the same spot in the same application, this could signal the need for a friendlier UI, additional training, or in-application help.

Alice Chin, founder and CEO of Your Other Half, a human resources and operations outsourcing firm that helps businesses fine tune productivity, says "I think productivity and time-tracking software can be useful in understanding where time leaks are in your business and closing them, in refining or automating repetitive processes, and determining employee, product or service profitability, especially if an employee works across multiple projects."

Reduce software waste

There are less-obvious ways that employee monitoring software can contribute positively to the bottom line. The data gained through employee monitoring software can be mined to give you insight on which software applications are used throughout your organization. For example, maybe a particular application that you’re paying yearly maintenance on is not being used at all. This is an opportunity to retire the application and save operational dollars. In addition, you may find after reviewing the data that you’re over-licensed for an application and can reduce yearly licensing spend.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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