Data Drives Better Decisions

Many managers often struggle to pinpoint factors that allow them to move further towards company success. They will often rewrite a strategy, focusing on new product development or at improving other marketing methods. However, one of factors they often turn a blind eye to is whether they are getting the most out of their employees. Collecting data on this could be the difference between success and failure. Jamie Rood is CEO of ClockWork, an app-based management tool aiming to drive efficiency and productivity. He explains just how important employee motivation is in allowing your company to reach its full potential.

Q: Why do companies focus more on other areas of the company and not on the performance of their staff?

A: “There are two main reasons. I think the main one is that managers underestimate the power of the employee. They don’t recognise just how valuable their staff can be for their company. However, more importantly, this is because they have no evidence. They have no proof that an improvement in staff productivity and performance can actually have a positive effect on their company.”

Q: How can we measure the overall effect of an improvement in staff productivity?

A: Workforce data is a great way to analyse this. “One way of looking at it is how a loss in the productivity of staff can act as a deficit between potential revenue and actual revenue. Through having an unproductive workforce, it is difficult to see how your company can reach its full potential. And, all said and done, that is what every manager is looking for.”

Q: What are the main factors holding back maximal staff productivity?

A: “The wage is often thought of as the biggest motivator for employees. Although this is not necessarily wrong, it is a complex phenomenon. Increasing wages is not a viable solution for companies already working with small margins and trying to reduce costs. Therefore, we have to look at the next biggest motivators. These are how exciting the work is, and the level of recognition/reward for performance. In many companies, not enough effort goes into recognising and acknowledging these factors. However, it is the difference between good and bad employee performance.

Q: So what methods can managers use to achieve this?

A: “Managers need to try and create a competitive, engaging and enjoyable environment for their staff. A culture where the performance of one member is pulling the team up with them is an environment destined to succeed. When people relish personal success alongside success for the team, we are looking at the ultimate company habitat. We need to create an ethos whereby working to your full potential day in day out becomes the norm.

Q: What is an example of a procedure or tool that could help make this happen?

A: “You don’t want to spend thousands on a solution to drive productivity, because that will outweigh what you’re trying to achieve. Even a simple tool which tracks staff performance and collects simple data will be good enough. Try measuring performance on tasks, or rating staff members on different attributes. As long as the measures are valid, this will breed competitive engagement among your employees. Use leader boards and go public about who is performing and who is not. Try to keep the competitiveness fun and don’t incentivise with overly expensive rewards. Otherwise, the result is a malicious workplace. The sheer performance based analysis and competition among staff should be enough. This should breed motivation, and ultimately drive productivity.

In conclusion, Jamie reflects upon the importance of your staff within your company. Your labour is so valuable in terms of maximising revenue and reaching full potential. He explains that using simple data points is crucial. Presenting them is the key to creating a competitive, enjoyable and engaging environment among employees. He suggests that by installing these methods, it will breed a healthy and successful workplace.