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Ways to Measure Productivity in the Workplace

written by: Jayant R Row•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/9/2010

Measuring productivity needs clear thinking on goals and objectives of the organization, as these factors define the required standards for productivity. Ways to measure productivity in the workplace have to be properly defined and agreed upon with persons whose productivity is being monitored.

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    Productivity Is a Reality Every Business Has To Face

    efficiency-compass Every business has one common goal, which is, to make profit. Profit can only be gained if the cost of production of the goods that make up the business are under sufficient control. This is where productivity becomes important. Ways to measure productivity in the workplace should, therefore, lay down standards that are required to be met, so that businesses reach aimed profits.

    A good business needs to find ways and methods to measure productivity at all levels of the organization, whether it is on the shop floor or in the office. Every employee in the organization has a particular role to play, and when everyone works to the expected standards and discharges the responsibilities that he or she has, the company as a whole becomes very productive. It is important to measure productivity at all levels of an organization. Finding the right parameters to judge productivity levels is easy where manufacturing is concerned and can be directly linked to the products being produced. But in other areas, productivity and results may not be so easily tangible and require other ways to measure productivity in the workplace that gives the exercise some relevance to the overall goal of the organization.

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    Tools to Measure Productivity

    Key performance indicators or KPIs are quite often used as ways to measure productivity in the workplace. For this, every position within the organization has to have linked to it, the responsibilities and outputs that are indicated by laying down such performance indicators.

    Once KPIs are laid down, it is then up to the assessing authority to measure the performance of each employee and degree of efficiency that the employee has. KPIs would have to be constantly upgraded when new technologies become available or training is imparted to the employees. These are also ways to increase productivity and an organization that offers sufficient importance to these aspects would find its productivity levels constantly on the rise.

    Productivity can be greatly affected by jobs becoming dreary or repetitive and managements must make sure that all ways to measure productivity in the workplace take this into consideration and find means to keep the work force motivated.

    When determining ways to measure productivity in the workplace, it is necessary that items to be measured are defined. Then the techniques and methods of measuring as well as relevant standards can be determined. For this, industry standards can be used or in-house time and motion studies conducted. All these productivity targets have to be ultimately linked to see that they are achieving the profit or other goals the organization desires.

    One of the factors that can greatly affect productivity is job satisfaction, and good management needs to give this the appropriate amount of credence and thus weld their workforce into a unit that constantly exceeds productivity targets set.