Employee productivity. How do you measure it in a hybrid work environment. How did you measure it before?
In my last blog post, I listed a few reasons why there is a strong push to return employees to the office; one of these reasons is the concern about productivity. Let’s examine that idea a bit further in this post, starting with understanding what we really mean by ‘productivity’.
Attendance Equals Performance?
Many managers feel as though they are in the dark about whether their team members are working a full day if they cannot physically see (and monitor) them.
Some organizations have concluded that the only way to solve this problem is to bring everyone into the office every day; this is especially true for organizations that were forced to allow their staff to work remotely only as a crisis response.
Other organizations are attempting to monitor their employees’ work through invasive hardware and software tools to track how employees work and spend their time. Some even track keystrokes, GPS location and randomly send screenshots and audio recordings. This approach creates several security and privacy concerns and erodes trust between employers and employees.
Is there a better way?
The good news is that, for most job roles, there is a better way. It begins by defining what organizations are paying people for in the first place – is it for their time? For some roles that may be the case, but for many roles people are paid for results. After all, would you keep paying your financial controller if their quarterly forecasts were usually wrong? Would you keep paying a senior software developer if every code release was full of bugs?
Measure results not hours in an office
This leads us into the mindset of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). This approach has already been successfully adopted by many organizations around the world, but it has become even more significant in a world of hybrid work.
The concept is straightforward; set goals for the business, cascade them down to individuals, and establish ‘key results’ by which to measure them. Communicate all of this to everyone to establish a sense of purpose.
Trust leads to productivity
OKR and similar approaches have enjoyed success before, partly because the approach is based on sound psychology that shows people work harder when they understand exactly what ‘success’ means at the end of the day. Clear objective setting was always important, but this approach is especially valuable in a hybrid work environment where managers have fewer visible cues to measure the productivity of their team members.
Effective objective setting is one part of a solid hybrid work strategy. It can be a struggle but with the help of an experienced flexible work professional, it doesn’t have to be. To explore how this and other practices can improve results for your organization, contact SCG Hybrid Work Solutions.