6 minute read

Embracing digital transformation and integrating automation into daily business practices can bring many benefits to an organisation. Automation helps streamline procedures and drive down costs, but, more importantly, can help boost employee productivity and satisfaction.

What is employee productivity?

In essence, employee productivity is the measurement of work achieved within a given period of time. One of the biggest productivity blockers is having to complete repetitive tasks that could be carried out by a computer or an automated process

Delegating mundane activities to your employees is not an effective use of time and resources. Instead, you could automate mundane processes to give employees free time to focus on more valuable areas of work. 

When you motivate and empower your staff with greater responsibilities, they inherently work smarter and harder. A productive and conscientious team helps reduce costs and promotes a higher standard of quality. 

Assessing employee productivity is vital to the growth, stability, and profitability of your organisation. Higher productivity levels result in greater outputs over shorter time frames, in any cost-effective environment.

How to measure employee productivity

Learning how to measure productivity of employees accurately is the first step toward improving operational efficiency in the workplace. 

Before you begin to calculate employee productivity, you will need to establish a reference point that sets the precedent for each role’s expected output and performance.

group of colleagues working on laptops in a co-working space

In other words, what is the rate of employee productivity you aim to achieve? Once you have your baseline, you can start collecting your data. 

  1. Start by determining your input. This refers to the aspect of productivity you wish to assess. For example, the number of units produced, or hours of productive work carried out. 
  2. Next, you will need to determine your output. This refers to the end goal which shows the job was completed. For example, hitting revenue targets, completing a project, or successfully acquiring a new client.
  3. Once you’ve determined the metrics and collated your data, you can apply the formula for employee productivity: output/input = productivity. 
  4. Finally, you can use your reference point to compare your expectations of employee productivity with the results.

To help illustrate this concept, let’s look at how Datagraphic’s Aceni helps thinkmoney save an impressive 54 hours per month

Despite a preference for online banking methods, thinkmoney’s customers still require a sizeable volume of printed communications: around 40,000 per month to be exact. thinkmoney considered the management of these outbound documents to be time-consuming and labour-intensive. 

More specifically, Aceni addressed the need to re-print account statements after a customer request. On average, this manual process set the team back around six minutes every time they searched the banking system, printed the document, and mailed the envelope. 

After enlisting the help of Aceni’s print management service, thinkmoney created a system in which statements were auto-generated, produced, and distributed by Datagraphic’s UK production service. 

Since then, thinkmoney experiences a 75% reduction in re-print account statement processing time and an impressive 54 hours of monthly time savings. Not only was this easy to deploy thanks to minimal disruptions in staff workflows, but it also improved employee morale as they no longer had to conduct repetitive tasks. 

What is the average productivity of an employee?

Each industry calculates employee productivity differently. 

Figures produced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show an average increase of 0.6% in the public sector’s productivity rate from the years of 2010 to 2018. 

Capita statistics, on the other hand, say a third of the increase in productivity also correlated with a better quality of services. 

ONS data shows that the average output per hour worked in the public sector from January to March of 2022 was 1.7% higher than pre-pandemic levels. The ONS also suggests that the health crisis forced organisations to quickly accelerate their digital strategies, which, in turn, may have elevated the rate of productivity.

We use a range of metrics to help clients assess productivity improvements by implementing our document automation software. So whilst the formula to determine productivity is simple, the variables and factors that influence them are incredibly complex. 

happy female employee

Six ways automation boosts employee productivity

No matter the industry, advances in automation, such as robotics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and computerisation can boost employee productivity in several ways.

1. Employees can focus on more valuable tasks

Employees achieve higher rates of employee engagement and productivity when they can focus on more valuable tasks.

After all, repetitive manual tasks can lead to overall dissatisfaction. Automation therefore eliminates these monotonous tasks.

Instead, staff can concentrate on jobs that require innovation and skill. As a result, employee productivity increases in line with more interesting, engaging and empowering job roles. 

2. Leads to positive role changes and upskilling

As automation takes over the tedious side of operations, an employee’s job role can change significantly. Because of this, teams can be restructured to better benefit an organisation.

This can allow teams the opportunity to focus on employee development, upskilling and training for new roles with greater responsibilities.

Improving employee motivation and productivity is an essential part of creating a successful organisation, as this can improve retention rates and the quality of work produced.

With more streamlined procedures and an increasingly sophisticated workforce, your organisation can also gain a competitive edge within its sector.

3. Employees feel more empowered 

Feeling more empowered at work increases employee happiness and productivity. Fewer repetitive tasks and greater responsibilities in the workplace are catalysts for improving employee performance and motivation.

productive brainstorming session with diagrams and post it notes

Rather than conducting monotonous tasks, employees can truly contribute to the overall success of the organisation. Not only can this inspire them to take on new challenges, but it can also provide more value to the team.

4. Employees feel safer in their role 

When digital concepts, like automation and AI, are introduced into the workplace there is a recurring fear that machines will replace the need for human employees.

In reality, most business automation practices complement and facilitate daily operations. When adopted correctly, the computerisation of manual tasks can provide reassurance by boosting employee morale and productivity.  

5. Streamlines processes and saves money 

As organisations adopt automated practices, they reduce the likelihood of human errors and streamline business procedures. Fewer errors can lead to better customer service, greater operational work efficiency and fewer unnecessary costs.

The amount of time and money saved by automation can then be reinvested in more valuable areas of the business, such as recruitment, training, and tools – leading to higher levels of employee wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. 

6. Improved security and accuracy 

Last but not least, automation can lead to improved security and accuracy. Organisations can use technology to apply specific rules and logic to their business practices.

These pre-set rules and automated processes can drastically downsize cycle times whilst simultaneously improving the rate of compliance.

Refining your security practices can lead to fewer breaches and disruptions in the workflow, which allows even more time for employee productivity. 

Final thoughts 

In order to strive for success, it’s vital to keep up with technological trends and improve your employee productivity. Datagraphic’s multichannel communication platform, Aceni, is a great example of the power that document automation holds. 

Our centralised platform operates a digital-first approach designed to boost productivity levels and enhance the role of employees – without replacing them. 

Automated print and post services reduce the need for employees to conduct manual and time-consuming tasks, such as printing, collating, and posting mail. Instead, they are free to spend their time on more valuable areas of the organisation, such as supporting clients.  

Switching to a cloud-based storage system can guarantee document security whilst allowing users to access vital information, on any network or device. Apart from streamlining business operations, automation reduces the margin for human error, increases employee productivity, and helps lower costs.

All in all, automation provides a powerful and scalable solution to your organisational needs.  

We hope you have found this blog about employee productivity useful. If you have any questions about Aceni, or you simply need some advice in regards to automated document management solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and request a demo.