Employee Monitoring

How to Increase Employee Productivity in the Workplace

Monitor Windows, Mac, and BlackBerry Devices

Employee Productivity im-ˌplȯ(i)-prō-dək-ˈti-və-tēn. The quality or state of employees’ work and how well it produces results, generally desired to have a positive impact on the business.

When it comes down to it, productive employees are focused and efficient workers that are generating revenue. But employee productivity can be negatively impacted by distractions, a lack of training, or inefficiencies, all reducing the bottom line. There are several obvious enemies of employee productivity that every business faces:

  • Social Media—According to a recent study, Social Media costs businesses $4,452 per employee each year, with the biggest culprit being Facebook.
  • Chat/Instant Messaging—The average employee is interrupted every 10.5 minutes with an IM, tweet or Facebook message.
  • Personal Activities—A recent Salary.com survey showed that employees waste an average of about 6% of their time performing personal activities on the Internet.
  • Poor Training—An improper understanding of how to use software designed to get the job done can result in slower response time, and additional work to correct problems.

What to do to improve Employee Productivity?

Let’s start with poor training. The best way to address an employee that takes too long to get their job done is by recording the employee actions and replaying those actions like a DVR and see where employees need help to be more productive.

Distractions like Facebook, Chatting and personal activities are a tougher challenge and are a larger culprit to lowering employee productivity.

Most businesses take the approach to simply blocking websites like Facebook. But given that employees can use Internet proxy servers to access Facebook and with studies showing employees that take mental breaks are actually more productive overall, it may not be the best approach.

The method that yields the greatest positive result is to monitor employee behavior when on their work computer, determine acceptable levels of personal use, and be alerted when employees exceed those levels, allowing you to address the problem employees and allowing those that are within tolerances remain productive.

So why not just use the firewall you already have to do this? Because it will only show you the full amount of time an employee’s web browser was connected to a given website. What businesses need is intelligence into what employees are actually doing.

To gain a true understanding of what employees are doing on the Internet, businesses need to be able to see three aspects:

  • Focused Time—the amount of time the application or web browser was in the foreground. This indicates no other application was in use.
  • Active Time—the amount of time the user was interacting with the application or browser. This indicates whether they were truly using the application or was it left open.
  • Total Time—the amount of time the application or browser was running.

By using these three aspects of application use, businesses can determine if someone is not productive due to watching a video (youtube.com with a high Focused and Total Time, but low Active Time since the employee isn’t interactive with the video), chatting on Facebook (high values for all three times), or actually focused on work (Facebook has a high Total Time, but very low Focused and Active Time).

By implementing employee monitoring, businesses have a window into employee activities with enough detail and context to make intelligent decisions that will improve employee productivity.