One of our favorite words at ClickUp is productivity…but what does this really mean?
How do you know if you’re spinning your wheels, or adding something valuable?
And what about those mythical sales guys spending all their time at the golf course?
Are they being “productive”?
We’re all looking for that amazing sales hack, tip or tool to do more in less time.
Streamlining workflows, identifying inefficiencies, and helping you stay on top of your tasks is part of our mission at ClickUp. That’s what we want to happen every day when you use our project management system.
But are you really getting things done?
In this post, we’ll think about the different productivity metrics and see what they could ultimately mean for your business.
Use This Simple Productivity Formula To Get A Business Measurement
Before establishing your key metrics, you need to know what you’re aiming for and get a feel for the state of your business or department.
One basic way to determine productivity for your employees and company is to look at the cold, hard facts.
How much money are you averaging per employee?
This is dividing the total output by the total input.
If your company makes $100,000 a week and you have 20 employees, then your financial output would look like this:
____________ = $5000 per employee
Remember, this is just a raw number. It’s not considering expenses of any kind. It’s also not taking into account the value, expertise or position of any of your employees.
There’s value in understanding this efficiency ratio, but it may be wise to combine it with a different productivity measurement as well.
Add Time to The Formula For a Benchmark
Next, you could add a time period to this to capture the average, such as per month or per week for work.
Then, you would have a benchmark that you could aim towards and improve upon.
Another Organizational Productivity Metric: Team Effectiveness Ratio
Think about your total gross profit (revenue minus all your expenses) in comparison to the total spent on your whole workforce. Then, divide it by the number of employees if you want.
This ratio doesn’t think about the amount of time spent, but only considers the overall value of your employees in their work.
This efficiency metric emphasizes team performance over time and honors everyone’s contribution.
Drawbacks: Some employees may be doing the heavy lifting!
What Metrics Should You Use For Individual Productivity?
What’s obvious is that each employee has a different role and responsibility on your team, and therefore will impact workplace productivity in a different way.
Some will be tasked with revenue-generating activities, while others will be in maintenance, production or management.
What does that mean? Those in charge of revenue-generating activities have more pressure, but then also get more leeway.
Cue up the golf carts!
Sales productivity metric:
- New accounts opened per month
- New contacts made per month
- Number of sales closed per month
- The amount of sales activity per day (Number of emails/calls created)
- Total sales closed
Obviously, there’s some balance here and factors dependent on your industry. If one sales member spent a month closing a $1 million dollar sale and another rep closed ten $100 deals, then you have to keep that in mind!
Customer service productivity
- Number of replies
- Percentage of the replies
- Quality of the replies
We use all of these metrics at ClickUp!
Software development productivity
- Time spent on task
- Time spent on sprint
- Number of hotfixes completed
At ClickUp, our time tracking, time estimates and start/end dates help us measure how successfully we meet these metrics.
- Number of marketing-qualified leads acquired
- Size of leads compared to the cost of acquisition
- Website traffic
- Number of inbound requests for more information
These specifics may depend on your industry, but at ClickUp, we use a variety of metrics–such as cost per acquisition in our advertising campaigns, website traffic compared to number of accounts created and overall brand awareness (fuzzy!).
Productivity Metrics for Other Industries
It can get complicated pretty quickly!
Manufacturing is one of those complex ones. As you think about labor, your employees’ schedules, the number of people on each shift, and what you have to create for each shift to be successful (plus any downtime), you’ll definitely need an amazing project management solution to keep it all organized!
Food service is similar, especially when you consider the cost of food, labor, and any additional supplies or waste you may have. In this case, it may be better to drill down specifically to the hour, because your mealtime shifts will obviously be way busier than your afternoons.
Law firms or creative agencies often use billable hours worked as a metric of success, understanding that each associate is responsible for billing a certain amount of their time and to limit time outside of that (such as working on internal projects).
This post from Easy Metrics may also help you with your productivity metrics.
Other Factors That May Affect Productivity Metrics
1. Productivity is relative.
If you want to be more productive tomorrow than you are today, then first, you need to know what you did today. And that means measuring, otherwise, the data won’t be valuable.
To help, you must track your department’s productivity over a set amount of time. Your whole organization may have key metrics for this (such as revenue, labor costs, etc), but it may aid your budgeting process to drill down on these numbers to understand your department’s work.
Identify your most important metrics and start tracking them now to prove your value later on. Then you can create ratios and indexes to show how you’ve improved over time.
2) What’s the value?
The number one wish of just about any company is to create a product or service that has intrinsically more value to the buyer than it cost to produce. This is important, because it’s profit. And that’s what everyone likes. To figure out value, subtract the total costs of production minus the total sales. If this is a positive number, you may not care about your team’s productivity as much (though you should!) Or it may help you clarify and refine what areas your team needs to focus on.
Use ClickUp Goals To Help Your Productivity Metrics
I’ve been in a few organizations where goals were created and then tossed aside in short order. Not because they were necessarily bad goals, but because we had no reason to keep them around since we couldn’t tell how they directly related to our work.
With ClickUp Goals, you won’t have that problem. Goals are embedded into the platform, making it simple to attach tasks and specific measurable actions to your objectives, targets and key results.
Goals Are Front and Center
Goals are in your navigation bar, right where you start tasks and access different views. There is no confusion on how your team can access their goals. Just look for the trophy icon!
Goals Are Measurable
Use numbers, completed tasks, currency or a simple true/false binary to help your team establish their goals.
Set due dates for your goals if they must be accomplished within a certain timeframe.
You’ll know if each goal is accomplished or not, and track your progress as well.
Goals Have Targets
Goals in ClickUp aren’t nebulous–you can attach specific targets or tasks to each high-level goal or objective to ensure there’s a path to reach it. No one wants a goal that seems unattainable, otherwise, it’s just a pipe dream. That won’t be the case with ClickUp goals.
Go here to learn more about Goals in ClickUp.
When considering how to measure productivity for your team and the right metrics to use, don’t ignore the human element. People aren’t only based on metrics, but your company is also not a charity (unless it is!). Okay, what I’m trying to say is that people are your most valuable asset, and no one likes to be reduced to a number (even though that happens sometimes).
What’s the point? Work collaboratively with your team if at all possible in establishing your productivity metrics. That way they’ll be more invested in achieving them, rather than feeling like it’s an authoritarian.