It’s not new information that the economy is in turmoil across the globe right now. People are unsure of what will happen in the future, and more volatility is potentially coming. With this volatility, sometimes financial, sales, and other metrics can fail us when identifying areas for our teams to improve their productivity, performance, and engagement.
Business leaders need collaboration insights that are critical to operating an efficient company. Time is Ltd. has developed hundreds of metrics that aim to improve the workforce and employee engagement & productivity, but to narrow it down, we have picked seven that are best suited for understanding how to effectively operate a company during tumultuous economic times.
Metrics to Analyze and Act Upon
1. Amount of Focus Time per day
Time is Ltd. was the first company to bring proper focus time metrics to the market of collaboration. By analyzing the implications focus rate has across an organization, leaders can have clarity which parts of the company to reinforce, and which to help refocus. The lack of focus spreads around the company. If you let focus rate fester, it will infect the entire company and productivity will take a nose-dive.
There are more distractions, and things to do than ever before. Slack overload became the new email overload, and when combined with remote working - it drives us too easily to distraction. Working time is fragmenting to such a degree that it is negatively affecting the ability to deliver high-quality work and meet deadlines.
A good start is to set up regular 1:1’s with employees. This enables employees to catch up with their manager, set priorities, and align on goals that have an impact on the greater organization.
2. Importance of 1:1’s with Managers
As noted above, the 1:1 time spent between manager and employee is crucial. It is a time for employees and managers to coordinate their efforts, but also work on employee development. With almost 35% of the workforce working from home, it is essential to stay connected via 1:1 meetings with managers. These specialized meetings help prioritize tasks and keep projects moving across the department and company. Managers have a view into the day to day of an employee during these meetings, showing what distractions might be arising, but also where they excel in collaboration. Additional benefits to 1:1 meetings are better employee engagement and retention.
3. Total time spent collaborating in meetings
The optimal intensity of collaboration in meetings depends on the nature of work. Some teams need to spend time internally collaborating, while others, such as Sales or Customer Success, should be spending the majority of their collaboration time with external partners. Meeting other people from inside and/or outside the company is a basic means of how employees coordinate and align themselves, generate new ideas, solve problems and conflicts, interact with clients and/or external partners, etc. Given this collaboration method’s importance and time-consuming nature, organizations should try to ensure that employees don't over/underutilize it and that they use it effectively.
4. Time spent in team, cross-team, externally - and why
For communication with external partners to be effective, it is important to know if people are spending the right amount of time with the right external partners and prospects. By leveraging collaboration data, you can look at how much time is spent on each external partner via meetings, emails and messages. It’s important to note that not all external partners bring equal value to the company. Sometimes, teams spend a large amount of time on a partner that has low potential while other contacts do not receive the same attention.
Evaluating how a sales team operates helps increase revenue in the future by limiting the meetings with partners that are not bringing in as much value. Time is Ltd. metrics enable sales and customer success leaders to correlate external collaboration to potential or actualized revenue by partners. These metrics allow you to reallocate resources towards the prospects or clients with the greatest revenue potential.
5. Network size and set up
Network of contacts inside and outside the company is an important metric for ensuring employees are empowered with the right contacts to fulfill their objectives to the best of their ability. Teams build their network using different platforms, which enable them to create shallow contacts (for example, from email communication) but also to build deeper relationships (for example, via meetings). The optimal mix depends on the team. Additionally, the optimal number of people to interact with depends on teams' nature of work.
For some teams, a greater intensity of networking within the team (think Product and Marketing), across other internal teams (again Product, Marketing, and HR) or outside the company (Sales & Customer Success) is fundamental for their work. For others, such a practice may be an inefficient way of spending their work time (think Engineering). You should consider where individual teams lie on this continuum and whether the current intensity and type of collaboration meets the teams' needs or whether it should be changed.
6. Silos and the Negative Impact on Employee Engagement
Networks play a large piece in how we sometimes unintentionally put our employees in a silo. The silo effect makes company collaboration more difficult. Siloed teams don't share crucial information, which leads to duplication of work, time wasted, tensions rising and an atmosphere of mistrust in the company.
As a result, it negatively impacts the efficiency of operations, employee morale and in the end also the bottom line. When engagement drops and we don’t catch it, we risk our attrition rate going up and more work being put on other employees. Reversing a silo can save a company the struggle of engaging a disinterested employee. But most importantly, eliminating information silos will have a huge positive impact on overall company productivity.
7. Effective Onboarding to Reduce Attrition
Onboarding can be a difficult process, especially if people work from home. It is important to watch how the network of new employees is growing and be aware of how long it takes them to grow their network size. Companies should aim for an onboarding effectiveness of at least 50%, meaning that after 3 months, new people know at least half of people their more experienced colleagues know. Managers should keep in contact with their new hires to ensure they are meeting the right people and building effective networks to help them perform their job tasks appropriately.
Every generation will face a struggle, it's finding the way out of that struggle that is the key. We are armed and ready to help companies figure out what their pain points are and alleviate the suffering of redundant tasks and wasted time. Let’s work together to take back some of the time in your day and decrease those costs hitting your bottom line.
To learn more about how Time is Ltd. can improve your team’s productivity and effectiveness, the contact firstname.lastname@example.org.