View Source: Sushman Biswas

Productivity analytics is a rapidly emerging HR technology concept that can help organizations embrace agility and thrive in a VUCA world. Here’s a quick overview.

Large-scale digital disruption across industries means that organizations today are operating in a world of volatility, uncertainty, increased complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). In the face of change, organizations need to embrace agility, adapt and evolve in the era of digitization.

The Rise of Productivity Analytics in the Workplace

Thanks to rapid advances in data analytics, organizations can now measure productivity to help managers and employees drive their best performance to support business growth. “Organizations are trying to help employees become more productive in the workplace and enjoy a good work-life balance. Often employees see working hours pass by in internal meetings and answering internal e-mails without being able to deliver on their daily work. Tools like Microsoft’s MyAnalytics and SAP’s UEM application can help both employer and employees to better manage time and work. These tools can map interactions among employees thereby providing key nodes of collaboration between different divisions. Analysis of such data helps in organization design and provides guidance to organizations on ways to improve collaboration and employee productivity,” says Debanjan Sen, Director at Singapore-based HR Analytics Consultancy, Centroid Strategy.

Data-driven employee productivity analysis holds great promise for organizations looking to optimize internal processes and streamline employee workflows. Tools like Microsoft Workplace Analytics and SAP User Experience Management application leverage user data from employees’ everyday work to identify collaboration and usage patterns that impact productivity and engagement, providing employers with actionable insights into key areas of improvement.

How Productivity Analytics Drives Business Growth

Productivity analytics tools are key to organizational agility, providing managers and executives with a comprehensive view of how employees are interacting with key business applications. These applications include everything from your employee onboarding suite to sales CRMs and customer support applications. Managers can now monitor behavior patterns in real-time to know if or where their employees are struggling with their software to effectively perform everyday tasks.

Using data from productivity analysis tools, HR teams and managers can create new productivity strategies for their entire function or the organization. For instance, if your marketing team spends 50 percent of their time attending meetings and not enough time doing creative work, managers can use this data to develop a new strategy to reduce meeting times and focus more on productive tasks.

One of the most important attribute of an employee productivity tools is its ability to track employee collaboration patterns with internal and external stakeholders. Imagine if one of your customer support professional has to frequently communicate with a certain contact, the employee’s manager would be able to determine whether this collaboration pattern points toward a product/service issue. Based on this information, managers would also be able to flag potential future issues and save the company valuable time by proactively addressing the snag.

Finally, perhaps one of the most important applications of productivity analysis is that it provides HR teams and managers a granular view into an employee’s engagement levels. It helps you determine whether your organization’s collaboration patterns are good for business, and if workloads are equally distributed among employees and teams.

“An understanding of employee productivity is key to business performance. Workplace engagement, attrition, overtime and absence hours, compensation per FTE are some metrics that reflect employee productivity. These combined with simple HR metrics like headcount, gender and age diversity, and recruitment funnel can provide a good indicator of the state of health of any business,” says Debanjan.

Three Productivity Analytics Best Practices     

In the end, the value of any people analysis comes down to improving efficiency. Just as marketing analytics deployed across customer touchpoints helps make the buying journey better, productivity analytics help employees become more effective at their work and ultimately deliver more value to customers.

Here are three best practices for productivity analytics that can help your drive business success:

  1. Know your data and its sources
  2. Develop metrics that can be easily calculated from the existing data
  3. Keep at it regularly for at least 18 months – you will see the trends emerge

Conclusion

By gaining visibility into individual employee productivity and then expanding your analysis to the wider organization, you can develop a very clear picture of exactly what your organization is capable of achieving. Productivity analytics takes the guesswork out of forecasts and reduces the risk of under- or over-shooting the capabilities of your employees. In other words, productivity analytics is an indispensable tool in your organizational agility arsenal.