The professional world has realized that a team can work effectively regardless of location —  and even outside of the same organization.

Regardless of your industry, many companies now realize the advantages of outsourcing when looking to improve workforce productivity.

As a growing business, it’s important to streamline your workforce and ensure your day-to-day operations are at optimal efficiency. 

Empowering your team, adopting open communication, implementing new technologies into your workflow, and discovering opportunities to outsource will improve employee engagement. This, in turn, leads to higher retention and increased productivity levels.

In this post, we’ll run through some of the most exciting trends and opportunities to help employee productivity, scale your operation, and improve your bottom line.

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What is the meaning of work productivity?

Work productivity is about gauging the outputs a business can deliver within a given timeframe. It’s also about how efficiently your team works as individuals and as a collective.

In the context of this guide, we’re referring to the efficiency and effectiveness of a team completing specific tasks and projects.

As individual and team performance increases, the labor productivity formula will begin to show how businesses can operate at a much higher level. That means that as we increase inputs (hours, workers, etc.), our outputs (deliverables, products, etc.) need to increase as well.

Once your output begins to increase, you’ll notice how overall operations become streamlined. From there, you’ll start to notice improvements to your bottom line.  

How is workplace productivity measured?

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you can measure employee productivity using a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Using productivity KPIs can help you identify areas for improvement within your workflow. From there, you’ll also begin to see specific processes that can be better optimized. 

Some of the most common things to look at when developing KPIs include: 

  • Time tracking data. Tracking time to specific tasks helps you assess how efficiently your team utilizes their time.
  • Output per employee. Seeing the amount of tangible units of work each team member can produce can help you set throughput benchmarks.
  • Quality of output. Assess the standard of work. Are there too many mistakes? Set a baseline for what you expect so that your team will never compromise quality when addressing other KPIs. 
  • Input per employee. How much time do employees spend to complete specific tasks? Are they using more or less time? 
  • Project completion time. How long do projects and tasks take to complete?

To effectively benchmark your workforce productivity and calculate labor productivity, divide the input (time spent on a project) by the output (revenue generated by completing the project) per employee: 

Total Input / Revenue Generated = $ labor cost per project

Hubstaff’s Labor Productivity Calculator

Have a project in mind that and interested in doing some benchmarking? Hubstaff’s Labor Productivity Calculator is a useful tool for quick estimates.

With Hubstaff time tracking, use automated timesheets to see a detailed overview of each team member’s input split by date, client, and project. 

These real-time insights can provide a better understanding of how long it takes each employee to complete a task, helping to make decisions and inform future projects.  

Hubstaff total hours

What is the importance of workforce productivity?

To understand the importance of employee productivity, we need to look at individual and team performances.

This can help you make informed decisions on key areas of your workflow, such as which team member is best suited based on capacity and skill set. It can also uncover potential bottlenecks within your workflow.

The benefits of enhancing workforce productivity for your business operation include:

  • Business efficiency. Highly productive teams ensure that tasks are completed efficiently. This then contributes to the overall efficiency that ensures sustainable growth and provides a better scope for scalability.
  • Cost-effectiveness. When addressing team inefficiencies and the reallocation of internal resources, improving productivity often leads to cost savings for businesses.
  • Competitive advantage. Productive workforces can often outperform competitors, leading to a competitive edge in the industry.
  • Employee satisfaction. Efficient workflows and successful outcomes contribute to job satisfaction and motivation.

Labor productivity growth will increase your capacity to deliver for clients, and as a result, your revenue will have room to grow substantially.

Optimum work productivity means tasks are completed within the project deadline without compromising quality. This then contributes positively to the overall success of a project and the wider business.

What is meant by employee productivity?

When we talk about employee productivity, we are referring to an employee’s performance when completing assigned tasks and core responsibilities.

Employee productivity takes into account how each of your employees utilizes their time, resources, and skillset. This isn’t only limited to their own performance; it also considers how they work and contribute to a team. For example, strong performers:

  • Support their peers in delivering projects on time
  • Assist other team members in need of their skills
  • Improve the quality and standard expected for each project beyond their own responsibilities

Achieving improved employee productivity not only benefits your bottom line but also improves the well-being of your employees and boosts morale within teams, leading to a much more engaged workforce. 

How do you improve employee productivity in the workplace?

Let’s take a look at a few strategies you can adopt within your business to improve employee productivity within your workforce.

  • Open communication. Understand what motivates your employees and make sure that standards, goals, and deadlines are clearly communicated and achievable. Acknowledging the value your team is bringing to each project will help improve long-term engagement and retention.
  • Empower your employees. Invest in training your employees to enhance their skills and knowledge for their own professional development. Be transparent on how team members can get recognition for their hard work and what steps they can take to work towards a promotion.
  • Embrace technology. Provide the right tools, software, and resources to assist your employees to complete tasks more efficiently. Have your finger on the pulse of the repetitive and manual tasks that are occupying your team’s time. Oftentimes, these can be replaced with software.
  • Employee check-ins. Offer (informal) open lines of communication to your team. Where appropriate, check in on their personal life. Not only will it go a long way, but it also helps you learn whether anything is preventing them from performing to the best of their ability.
  • Flexibility. Provide flexible work schedules for remote and in-office staff to accommodate individual working styles and allow teams to work during their most productive hours throughout the day.

Implementing the strategies that are most relevant to your workforce can contribute towards a more engaged, happy, and productive workplace.

Setting benchmarks

Benchmark your starting point before implementing too many things all at once. A gradual transition to a new way of working will isolate variables to see which strategy has made the biggest difference to your overall workforce performance and output as a business. 

Be agile and pivot if something isn’t working. If it is, then double down when a strategy is proven to be successful.

It’s worth sharing your findings with departments and individuals to engage employees at a deeper level. Sharing these valuable insights can often give employees an opportunity to reflect on past projects, how they managed their time, and think critically about the contributions they made.

It also allows space for employees to prioritize their work with a more intentional mindset. This then helps them become more self-aware when completing tasks and working on projects in the future. 

Outsourcing: a solution for workforce productivity

Keeping your internal work in-house has many advantages. It gives you direct control over your team’s output and cuts out a lot of middleman communications.

When it comes to workforce productivity, the benefits of outsourcing often outweigh the benefits of keeping everything in-house.

Specialist Skillset

Software solutions, agencies, and third-party contractors offer specialist skills that enhance many areas of your business, freeing up more time for your team to manage their own responsibilities more efficiently. As a result, this can also improve team engagement and long-term job satisfaction.

With outsourcing, you get a ready-made team who can devote their entire time to executing strategies and initiatives that will support you in scaling your operation.

Outsourcing has the potential for:

  • Greater ROI
  • More cost-effective payroll
  • A wider talent pool
  • Access to third-party tools and resources
  • Less risk
  • Greater employee productivity
  • Increased bandwidth

It also provides a valuable outside perspective on your business. An external contractor or agency can provide insights into your company and operation that you otherwise would not see.

Workforce Productivity 

There are likely many bottlenecks that come to mind when considering a business’ day-to-day operations. These usually consist of areas that take unnecessary time and attention away from your North Star Goal.

These inefficiencies often distract (and potentially detract) from employee productivity, so identifying opportunities early on will help inform where your business could outsource. 

Cost Effective 

You don’t have to pay the agency or a contractor a salary. Depending on your arrangement, it’s likely that you’ll be paying them on a case-by-case, contract-by-contract basis or as a retainer.

So, you get all the benefits of a specialist team without the invested resources and financial drawbacks of training new team members.

You’ll also be able to skip the HR requirements that come with onboarding new employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment statistics consistently categorize outsourced employees with their outsourced peers. 

1. Time tracking and project management for remote teams

Remote teams can struggle to maintain transparency and visibility on projects. These factors affect employee productivity and can impact decision-making and result in exceeding deadlines and creating a bottleneck of inefficiencies within a team. 

A screenshot of Hubstaff's desktop client

Coordinating efforts across different time zones can hinder real-time collaboration, making it challenging to ensure everyone is on the same page and working seamlessly together. 

Outsourcing your project management with Hubstaff and Hubstaff Tasks can help your remote teams improve employee productivity with:

  • Time tracking. Create timesheets in real time with intuitive time tracking. Then, delve into individual contributions with detailed reporting.
  • Productivity and monitoring features. Identify areas for improvement and encourage employees with a suite of features. Celebrate the wins with engagement scores, activity, and achievements. 
  • Automated payments. Streamline your finances with Hubstaff Pay or pay teams on their favorite platform from one central location. 
  • Invoices and expense reporting. Create custom invoices, expense reports, and more. Then, deploy them right from the app. 

Finding new tools like Hubstaff helps facilitate effective resource allocation, breaking tasks into manageable sprints and ensuring a structured workflow to minimize confusion and miscommunication. This helps many employers improve performance, find new growth opportunities, and see a positive impact on their bottom line. 

The flexibility of outsourcing your project management to tools like Hubstaff ensures projects stay on course despite unforeseeable challenges. It provides an organized framework and adaptability. These are all important factors for improved company culture, a more positive work environment, and increased workforce productivity.

Hubstaff + Tasks

2. Digital PR

Outsourcing your digital PR to a specialist agency will help support your internal marketing department when improving employee productivity. 

Whether you have a single person juggling multiple strategies and channels or an established team of marketing professionals, it can get overwhelming. Outsourcing to an agency can help you execute your vision and allow more time for internal strategy planning and creative ideation.

Reputable agencies like Hive19 have proven experience working closely with global brands and refer to themselves as “The missing link to your marketing or SEO team.” Outsourcing brings many benefits when it comes to marketing, including utilizing their ‘black book’ of industry contacts, media databases, industry software, and best practices when pitching to journalists and media outlets. 

3. Workforce productivity with artificial intelligence

AI adoption has become necessary for businesses to ensure scalability and employee productivity.

Brandwatch 2024 Digital Marketing Trends referenced AI as “a seismic trend,” with 92% of professionals looking to integrate AI into their workflow. Supporting the notion that this trend will be redefining strategies for internal teams going forward.

OpenAI

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Here are a few areas where AI outsourcing can be adopted to improve workforce productivity

  • AI content creation with Snov.io or ChatGPT
  • Conducting new research
  • Learning new skills or techniques
  • Improving report analysis on the performance of campaigns and strategies
  • Standardize SOPs and training manuals
  • Chatbots like Tidio automate your sales, support, and customer service
Tidio

Image Source: Tidio.com

What’s this got to do with outsourcing and improving workplace productivity?

Investing in AI (even AI as a subscription service) can be pricey. By outsourcing to an agency or contractor that specializes in AI, your business can access the agency’s AI tech stack as part of the package, as well as its specialist skillset.

It’s important to remember that AI is no silver bullet. However, by automating repetitive tasks for your internal team and streamlining personalized workflows with data insights from AI applications, you’ll gain countless hours back for your internal team to reinvest into more creative, bigger-picture strategies that will not only help increase employee productivity but also your bottom line. 

Outsourcing: a growth sector

Outsourcing will help you see greater results in improving overall workplace productivity. With higher levels of efficiency and expertise on your side, these results, in turn, will improve your team’s output with greater accuracy and work towards accelerating growth for your business.

It’s important to pick the right contractor, agency, or software to outsource to. Ensure whoever you decide to outsource to is familiar with your specific industry and has proven results supporting teams like yours, whether fully remote or office-based. 

The impact of improved workforce productivity 

Measuring workplace productivity goes beyond employee output. In this guide, we’ve looked at how you can better understand the success of your projects based on the performance of your team.

From cost-cutting and staying competitive in your market to retaining staff and combating feelings of burnout and employee disengagement, a productive workforce is key for a business to scale sustainably.

Hopefully, this guide has provided a range of strategies worth implementing as you look to improve labor productivity and streamline your workflow for a more successful and efficient year ahead.

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If you’re interested in learning more about how to measure employee productivity, take a look at the following resources:

9 Ways to Boost Employee Morale – Nice strategies that can help you improve employee engagement and boost morale within your business.

Outsourcing vs. In-house: Which is Better? – Understand whether outsourcing or keeping work in-house is the right choice for your business.

The Top 16 Task Management Tools You Can Use – Get inspired by our list of the best task management tools and find the perfect fit for your team.

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Author: Niamh O’Reilly specializes in productivity, technology, and SaaS and is curious about how productivity tools and strategies can be adopted in more traditional businesses to help improve efficiencies and scale operations. Connect with Niamh on LinkedIn.

Category: Employee Productivity