Are you a startup
founder? Watch out for
employee productivity metrics.
Here's why

“It's time to decide where you want to lead your organization in 2019.”

Reads the first line of a Gallup report, shared in the beginning of this year. The report provides enough food for thought for startup founders, with various takeaways: how to build on last year’s success, organizational blind spots, and measuring the return on investment on human capital. Observation: there’s one common thread, productivity.

Startups have a lot going on: procuring funding, building efficient products/services, marketing, building business strategies, finding the right talent, and managing staff. It’s easy to skip employee productivity analysis and continue trusting employees’ outputs.

Whether a start-up or an established company, employee productivity is obviously important and in most cases, directly related to a company’s growth and success. Research shows, Apple, Netflix, Google and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company. The fact: they have the same number of star employees as other companies, but their star employees are way more productive! What do these companies do right? They streamline organizations, group star employers together, cutting organizational drag.

Experts can’t stress more upon productivity. Let’s look at some obvious reasons why startups should care about and measure employee productivity metrics:

Underutilized employees are an expense to a company. Start-ups cannot afford to spend their funding.

Relying on trust and perception about an employee’s productivity can be deceiving. From the admin assistant to the business development executive , each employee’s productivity contributes to company success and needs to be tracked.

When employees are not given tasks, responsibilities, objectives and timelines associated with goals, their work is hard to gauge in terms of productivity.

Unless each employee’s work is tracked, founders will not be able to tap on their strengths, which is what leads to productivity.

How can startup founders increase employee productivity?

“Great companies obsess over productivity, not efficiency”, writes Michael Mankins of Bain & Company, in the Harvard Business Review (2017). Mankins stresses on the benefits of improving productivity as opposed to efficiency. A workforce productivity and performance study conducted by his company revealed three fundamental tenets of productivity mindset:

1. Most employees want to be productive but lose more than 20% of their productivity capacity due to organizational drag – the structures and processes set by organizations. The solution: create working methods that let employees focus their time one delivering work.

2. 15% of most companies’ staff are star employees who are the difference makers. To do: make sure top talent is assigned critical and important tasks.

3. Inspired employees can be 125% more productive, but most employees are not inspired enough. Analytics shows that one inspired employee can produce the work of 2.25 satisfied employees. Founders should: do everything they can to tap into each employees productivity!

There are a number of ways and metrics to measure productivity. One important metric that organizations use is quality. Although difficult to define, an employee who cares about what s/he does, is proactive and engaged, will perform better.

Get into the productivity mindset. Try leveraging employee productivity metrics in your company.


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