A Guide to Measuring Workplace Productivity

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business world, productivity has become a crucial factor that directly impacts the success and growth of organizations. Productivity is not merely about working harder; it’s about working smarter and more efficiently. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what workplace productivity is, why it is essential, and how to measure it. Whether you are a manager seeking to drive your team’s performance or a company leader looking to streamline your business operations, this guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and expertise to make data-driven decisions and unlock the full potential of your workforce. 

What is workplace productivity?

Workplace productivity refers to the efficiency and output of tasks and activities in a workplace. It measures the work completed in a given time frame, considering the resources utilized. A productive workforce accomplishes more with fewer resources, maximizing efficiency and contributing to the overall success of an organization.

Why should you measure productivity?

Productivity is a critical performance indicator of an organization’s success. By tracking productivity, leaders can identify areas of improvement, inefficiencies, and potential bottlenecks that hinder optimal performance and employee engagement

Measuring productivity provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of processes, resource allocation, and the performance of individual team members. It enables data-driven decision-making, allowing leaders to set realistic goals, implement targeted improvements, and optimize workflows to ensure the workforce operates at its highest potential. 

Here’s what measuring productivity can do for your organization: 

Types of workplace productivity measures

There are several methods of measuring productivity, from labor and capital to material and total factor productivity. Let’s take a closer look at the types of workplace productivity measures:

Labor productivity

Labor productivity measures the production of goods or services. It can be measured at an individual, team, or company level. Consistently measuring labor productivity over a certain period helps companies determine when to invest in new capital, technology, or training. Understanding employees’ average engagement and productivity levels also help leaders spot employee burnout.

Capital productivity

Measuring capital productivity is a great way to determine if your tools and technology need an update. This workplace productivity measurement shows how efficiently a company’s capital is used. Workplace capital includes anything physical, like buildings, cars, computers, machines, office supplies, and tools. Look for anything tangible slowing down your production process, and ask employees for their input. 

Material productivity

Material productivity monitors how much electricity, fuel, heat, and other consumable materials are used during production. Measuring your company’s level of material productivity may solve some significant issues around wasted energy and inefficient processes.

Total factor productivity

Total factor productivity is a standard economic performance measurement. The most effective way to calculate productivity, total factor measurements compare goods and services produced to total inputs. This method gives companies a birds-eye view of their productivity inefficiencies and strengths.

Measuring productivity in the workplace

When measuring workplace productivity, there are several considerations, including goals, company culture, communication, task tracking, profitability, and more. 

Establish standards and goals

Start with setting standards and goals. Identifying current productivity baselines and future goals makes showing progress and celebrating improvements easier. Increase shared growth by ensuring all employees understand what’s expected of them and how to ask for help. Creating baselines and clear communication paths helps everyone stay on the same page.  

Consider company culture

Workplace culture has a significant impact on productivity. It determines how connected team members feel to their work and how motivated they are to succeed. Employee engagement and productivity increase when you improve company culture with workplace initiatives like professional development or diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Employee engagement surveys are an accurate and effective way to measure the overall health of your company culture. Workplace experience themes pinpoint strengths and opportunities for improvement. In addition, leaders impact organizational culture the most, so they must lead the movement toward a more productive and supportive culture.

Learn More: A Guide to Employee Engagement Surveys

Identify and change benchmarks as needed

Employees play a more meaningful role in their progress when they understand what is expected of them and how much leadership cares about improving productivity. Goals and benchmarks change over time as employees, managers, and leaders continue to communicate their needs.

Request updates from employees

In addition to collecting employee feedback, leaders must regularly ask for employee productivity updates. Lower-level employees and managers can help keep track of productivity by giving daily or weekly performance reports. Checking in ensures accountability and builds trust between management levels, which boosts productivity.

Measure profitability

One of the most significant benefits of learning how to measure productivity is using the data to calculate profitability. Data from engagement and productivity surveys can be used to predict growth, which is helpful when your company is getting or making investments. Higher levels of productivity mean more profitability and vice versa. If your company’s profits are growing, it’s a good indicator that productivity is increasing as well.

Measure the number of tasks completed

There are many methods of measuring productivity, but focusing on tasks completed is a way to start or get a productivity overview. Keeping track of the number of assignments completed and comparing that to previous data is a great way to gauge productivity trends. This process helps companies determine what’s working well and keeps everyone focused on results.  

Time tracking tasks

Try time management tools if you’re wondering how to measure employees’ productivity and keep them engaged simultaneously. Many productivity management tools are available online, but managers can also design their style of regular check-ins to suit their employees’ needs. Checking in regularly with employees ensures they understand company expectations around performance and productivity.  

Feedback and peer assessment

Feedback, open communication, and peer assessments help companies gain more insights about the employee experience and any personal problems that might hinder productivity. Peer assessments are valuable if your employees interact or communicate regularly.

Employees and their data are your most vital resource for improving productivity. Employee engagement surveys like Top Workplaces are a great way to increase the value of your survey results. When companies analyze employee engagement surveys, they uncover honest insights about day-to-day operations and productivity.

Compare labor time to goods produced

Comparing input to output is a popular productivity measurement method, and it just makes sense. The more you put in, the more you get out. Understanding exactly how long it takes to complete a task helps managers recognize when specific tools, training, or tricks helped improve efficiency. Like many others, this method can be applied at an individual, team, or company level.

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction might be the last item on this list of types of workplace productivity measures, but that does not mean it’s the least important. Happy customers spread positive brand awareness and show that your processes work well. Customer satisfaction should be measured just as closely as employee satisfaction.

Capture productivity insights with the Top Workplaces employee engagement survey

Employee engagement surveys are a great starting point for measuring employee productivity. Higher employee engagement drives growth and profitability; survey data gives leaders a roadmap for improved efficiency. The Top Workplaces program offers an industry-leading employee engagement survey and Top Workplaces Awards employer recognition throughout the year.


Does your company believe in the value of employee engagement and a people-driven culture? Get recognized for it! Based on the results of an employee engagement survey, you’ll also capture insights about workplace productivity at your organization. Start by nominating your organization today.  

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