How can you measure the efficiency of employees?

I often struggle to get the best out of my team members or get the desired outcome out of them. I cannot always accurately measure and evaluate the workload they have which gives me little room to optimize it. With that in mind, I have realized that it is important for me to measure the efficiency of my team and keep track of productivity so that I can have more control over operations and also be able to fairly reward my employees.

To understand this issue better we first need to define what employee efficiency and productivity are and how to measure them. Employee efficiency is the state of being able to achieve more at work with minimal resources – which incorporates time and effort. It is important to hire efficient employees to increase profitability and improve the overall work environment. 

What is the difference between productivity and efficiency? 

Productivity and efficiency are often used interchangeably, while they actually have separate meanings. Productivity measures how much output is generated within a specific period of time. In short, productivity relates directly to quantity. Efficiency, on the other hand, relates to maintaining the same quality of work in less time spent.

There are two types of efficiency according to SesameHR:

  • Static efficiency: relates to the reshuffling of existing resources within an organization. Example: instead of hiring new people to complete tasks, you attempt to reallocate tasks between existing employees.
  • Dynamic efficiency: relates to being able to increase efficiency by utilizing external resources.

A business needs to have both, efficiency and productivity, to operate. I always keep that in mind, because employees are not machines. There is a maximum level of efficiency and productivity that they should attain. The ideal scenario is to maintain the balance between efficiency and productivity since focusing on just one might cause the other to suffer.

So, how do you measure the efficiency of your employees?

Measuring efficiency helps clear up a lot of misleading concepts in the workplace. For example, just because some team members produce more than others, it doesn’t mean that they produce higher quality than others.

According to Hubstaff, there are several ways you can measure efficiency:

  1. Establish standards

To create an efficiency measurement plan for your employees, the first step is to establish baseline standards. This involves setting goals and objectives and determining unique targets and metrics for each task. Data points to consider here include work hours, revision needs, email response times, and absenteeism rates.

  1. Measure Quantity

Tracking employee time can provide key performance indicators (KPIs) into employee efficiency. Metrics that can be gathered include clock in/out times, time spent on non-work activities, overtime hours worked, typical daily schedules, percentage of work completed within a target range, etc.

  1. Measure Quality

When measuring employee efficiency, we can also look at key qualitative measures. Since quality is subjective there is no universal formula that accurately measures business-specific targets. However, some metrics can help draw conclusions about quality levels, such as the number of products that pass QA inspection, the number of complaints filed against an individual, and other similar measures.

  1. Calculate efficiency over time

Calculating efficiency over time is crucial for identifying high-performing employees. Companies can use time tracking and efficiency ratios to improve efficiency in four ways: using digital timesheets and automatic time tracker tools, implementing quality control measures to identify and correct workflow inefficiencies, hiring managers that can engage and connect with employees to improve worker satisfaction, and others.

After discussing how you can measure employee efficiency, let us look at ways we can track this efficiency day-to-day and find ways to improve it.

Tracking and Improving Employee Efficiency

In modern times we have several apps that can be used to improve employee efficiency. Some of these include:

Time Doctor

This application can be used to track employee efficiency. It provides an insight into how and where your employees are spending their time. It also has metrics to help you see if your employees are being efficient. This can help in improving employee efficiency by removing redundant tasks and thereby improving employee wellbeing and workload. 


This one is an all-in-one time and task management tool for freelancers, remote workers, and company owners. It has 19 solutions for users to be able to track, record, and measure work being done and how much time is being used.

Focus Bear

This one was built by neurologists and helps improve focus to get things done without distractions. It helps you work on getting accustomed to good habits and enhancing concentration. It has a cross-device distraction-blocking feature. This habit tracker encourages its users to take breaks and is useful for people who have difficulty focusing, such as people who have ADHD. It is my personal favorite because it tells users how much has been accomplished over a given time and how much more/less needs to be done. Using this platform, you can figure out how efficient your staff is.

While these apps help to track efficiency or work output, they don’t necessarily help improve efficiency. So, now that you know how to track and monitor employees’ work, let’s talk about improving work efficiency.

How can you improve employee efficiency?

To improve employee efficiency you have to do some organizing and prioritizing of tasks. Tools like ClickUp, Trello, and Asana may exist, however, none of them really emphasize on increasing efficiency by incorporating mindful psychological and health-related techniques. 

They are amazing tools and they work very well, but they do not have the features to help improve the mind’s focus by dismissing distractions. 

If you wish to improve efficiency then Focus Bear is what you are looking for. It reminds your employees to take breaks, do meditation exercises, and removes distractions to improve focus at work. 

There are many things you can do as an employer to increase the efficiency of your staff. Apart from using tools like Focus Bear and others, you will also want to look into how your employees feel about working with you, what they are passionate about, when they are most productive, and what their strengths are. Depending on what product or service you provide, you will want to make sure your employees are incentivized to give you their best, are encouraged to rest when needed, are paid well, and feel valued. These things will make them give you their best because they know you are looking out for them.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.