In the work environment, employers want their employees to feel committed to their work. But engagement is just a proxy for another requirement that employers are most interested in: productivity. It is obvious how important it is for a person to be productive in his or her work because it is synonymous with reliable and effective work, but engagement and productivity are not equivalent in the work environment.
This is why it is important to understand the difference between the two concepts. To understand better we can imagine a situation in which a group of employees has been assigned to work on a project, so they meet frequently and work well as a team. The enthusiasm is great so they have many meetings online and in person, generating discussions and exchanging ideas, but there are no real results. This shows a high degree of commitment, but they are not productive.
By understanding the difference between the two concepts, employers will be able to better evaluate their employees and monitor their productivity. There are some alternatives that employers can follow to hold employees accountable for doing things correctly and generating better results in their functions.
Recommendations for evaluating productivity
One of the main concerns of managers in remote work is employee productivity and accountability issues. Therefore, the first step to ensure that employees are productive is to set clear expectations, what are the productivity benefits of the role the employee is performing, what are their expected goals, what level of quality and performance they are expected to deliver.
Also, managers should keep in mind that time and hours worked are not meaningful metrics to consider. Hayden Girls, an apparel brand, through experience trying to keep its workers engaged and productive in a new hybrid work model, the company began using different, more meaningful metrics to measure productivity.
“Email responses are our biggest factor, and we use random email check-ins at multiple times throughout the day to ensure that employees are on track,” said Hosea Chang, Chief Operating Officer of Hayden Girls. They also make use of daily work calls at the beginning and end of the day where micro objectives are set on a daily basis.
Another step to consider in this labor productivity evaluation is for managers to explain to employees what is expected of them, and upon understanding the objective for them to develop a plan to achieve it. This is a step that makes the difference for high performance. Developing a scope of work document is a good strategy, and better if together outlining the deliverables and their timelines.
The use of technological options can provide solutions to track progress against the results set, ensuring a feedback loop. With the information obtained, decisions can be made about how and where the work is done, who is doing it, or whether additional resources are needed. Technology is a good resource, however, the human element is necessary with reports that maintain contact between managers and employees.
Let’s remember that commitment is important, but if it does not lead to productivity, it is not really a factor to focus on. If it does promote productivity, it is necessary; if it does not, it is a lost opportunity and represents wasted resources. What is true is that research suggests that working at home makes people more productive. One of the challenges now will be to maintain productivity when employees return to their face-to-face jobs.
Some people have been able to work remotely thanks to the access to technological devices and the accessibility of the network. However, there are still people who have not been able to fully perform a job function due to a lack of resources. It is precise to this group of people that we at eSmart Recycling seek to target the recycling and donation of computers, to contribute to their work productivity and improve the future for them and their families.