Employee Productivity: Definition, Importance, Barriers, and More

Employee Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of a worker. It is calculated by dividing the number of goods or services produced by the number of hours worked. Workforce productivity is important because it determines how much output a worker can produce in a given amount of time.

Barriers to productivity in the workplace include unmotivated employees, poor working conditions, and lack of training. However, there are strategies to improve employee productivity by offering incentives for good performance, providing training and development opportunities, and creating a positive work environment.

Why is it important?

As it was mentioned before, when it comes to the workforce, nothing is more important than employee productivity. Indeed, measuring productivity is essential for any organization or business to succeed mainly because of three reasons:

A productive workforce is essential for economic growth.

High workplace productivity leads to the production of more goods and services, which leads to an increase in economic output and growth. In addition, employee productivity is also essential for creating jobs. By increasing economic output, businesses are able to hire more workers, which helps to reduce unemployment rates.

A productive workforce is important for competitiveness.

In today’s global economy, businesses must be able to compete with companies from all over the world. Being able to measure employee productivity as well as increase productivity allows businesses to produce more goods and services at a lower cost, making them more competitive in the global marketplace.

Employee productivity is important for social welfare.

Boosting employee productivity can help to improve standards of living and increase the overall quality of life for citizens. By producing more goods and services, a team’s productivity can help to increase economic prosperity and reduce poverty levels.

How do you determine employee productivity?

When it comes to measuring employee productivity, there are some factors that employers may look at:

  • To measure employee productivity companies need to track the number of sales or leads generated by each employee.
  • Employers may also review employee performance by registering how much time an employee spends on each task to get a sense of how efficient they are.
  • To determine employee productivity employers should analyze whether workers could meet past deadlines and also check the quality of the work done.

By tracking these factors, employers are able to ascertain ways of increasing employee productivity and find new paths to support those employees falling behind.

Tips to improve productivity rate

Measuring productivity and maintaining a good employee productivity rate can sometimes be challenging. However, two aspects can be considered to increase employees’ productivity.

1. Create an environment that is conducive to productivity.

This means having a clean and organized workspace, providing the necessary tools and equipment, and setting reasonable deadlines. You should also avoid distractions such as noise and clutter. Companies need to look at work-life balance to preserve their employees’ mental health.

2. Provide incentives for good work.

This could be anything from a bonus or a raise to time off or a gift card. Be sure to praise your employees for a job well done. A little recognition can go a long way in keeping employees motivated and productive.

The cost of low productivity

Low productivity can be costly for businesses in several ways. Companies that deal with low productivity rates usually face three common situations:

  • Low employee productivity means that time spent completing tasks is longer than necessary, which can lead to missed deadlines and lower-quality work.
  • Low overall productivity can lead to an increase in overtime hours, as workers attempt to make up for the lost time. This can result in higher costs for the business and decreased employee morale.
  • In some cases, low productivity can even lead to job loss.

How to increase employee productivity

Employees are the lifeblood of any company and without their work, the economy would fall to pieces. With this in mind, we listed 6 tips to increase employee productivity:

1. Set clear goals and expectations.

Employees need to know what they are supposed to be doing and what is expected of them. If they don’t know what their goals are, they will be less likely to be productive.

2. Establish a routine.

Employees work best when they have a routine. The results are better when they know what they need to do and when they need to do it. This helps them stay focused and on task. However, if your business belongs to the ICT sector you may need to keep in mind that some tasks require flexible schedules.

3. Provide feedback.

Employees need feedback to know how they are performing their job.  Becoming familiar with their strengths and weaknesses will help them improve productivity over time.

4. Encourage collaboration.

Encouraging employees to work together can help them come up with better ideas and be more productive.

5. Offer incentives.

Sometimes employees need a little motivation to be productive. Offering incentives, such as bonuses or paid time off, will surely get them motivated.

Barriers to employee productivity

1. Lack of clarity about expectations

Business owners must understand that some factors affect employees’ productivity. When people don’t know what is expected of them, they spend a lot of time guessing and trying to figure out what they need to do to meet their manager’s expectations. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and energy, as well as frustration on the part of the employee.

2. Lack of tools or resources

If employees don’t have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, they’ll be less productive. For example, if someone is constantly having to stop what they’re doing to track down a piece of information that’s needed for their work, that’s going to reduce their overall productivity.

3. Too much stress

When employees are stressed out, it can be difficult for them to focus on their work. Eventually, stress will diminish performance and will affect employee morale. A healthy work-life balance cannot be overly emphasized.


Employee productivity is an important factor in the success of any organization. To be productive, employees need the right tools and resources to do their jobs. They also need a positive work environment where they feel valued and appreciated. Organizations that invest in their employees and create a positive work culture will see a return on that investment in the form of increased productivity and profitability.

Is productivity an aspect that your company needs to work on? Do you find these tips useful? Leave a comment below!