Productivity Monitoring

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What is Productivity Monitoring?

Knowing how productive your employees are is good. But being able to collect data and use it to optimize your production is nothing short of excellent.

Productivity monitoring helps people track their goals and understand the inner workings of their operations while empowering workers through engagement. This is done by:

Tracking task completion times
Providing avenues for employee feedback
Monitoring quality output
Observing resource usages
Tracking which workers perform which tasks
Keeping tabs on which employees are qualified for certain work
Monitoring how much time employees are spending on non-work-related websites
And a whole lot more!
Most of all, productivity monitoring removes the guesswork when it comes to understanding the key factors that contribute to and detract from productivity. With direct observation and the participation of your employees, you are on your way to making informed decisions with intelligence and purpose.


Productivity monitoring allows companies to gather key employee and production data through the unique lens of their operators.

This can be done through monitoring computer screens or recording performance, quality, and productivity data from an employee’s workstation.

It is often mistaken for ideas like surveillance.

Productivity monitoring can either empower or oppress workers. It depends on how it’s done and what system is used.

Productivity Monitoring and Manufacturing

Manufacturing carries its own unique set of strengths and challenges. This is especially true when it comes to productivity monitoring. Instead of making sure that workers are not browsing Facebook, productivity monitoring is used to gain a unique perspective of the operation through 2 key actions:

Finding flaws and improving
Observing success and improving
What’s interesting is that productivity monitoring can always be used to improve your processes, regardless of the data you find. This is because knowledge is power and every factor can be tracked and recorded.

Has quality been lower than usual? Perhaps an employee needs further guidance. Has there been confusion over some of the processes? Perhaps the work instructions need to be upgraded.

What does Productivity Monitoring Look Like?

Imagine you run a shoe factory where you make the most comfortable shoes in the world that feel like literal clouds. A lot of state-of-the-art top-secret cushioning and fluff goes into each and every sole. This requires some advanced techniques and practices.

Luckily, you are using our work instruction software to guide workers through these procedures. Additionally, you have an intelligent method of finding what your operation needs.

By looking at your productivity reports, you see that one of the workstations has been taking longer to complete a process. More specifically, the step where the operator retrieves the top-secret fluff materials is taking twice as long as other workstations. With this step in question, you go down to the shop floor to observe. You realize that these operators are walking a longer distance to retrieve their cushion materials. With this knowledge, you find a way to reorganize the floor so that these operators are closer to where they retrieve the required materials.

With productivity monitoring paired with your work instruction software, there are numerous ways for you and your employees to find problems, create solutions, and observe success.

The Dos and Don’ts of Productivity Monitoring

Productivity monitoring has a wide list of capabilities and benefits for both the employer and the employee. But that doesn’t mean it’s always perfectly executed. Employees can be wary of this type of monitoring, often thinking that the process is more about surveillance than optimization. And there can be some truth to that.

That’s why productivity monitoring needs to be carried out with intelligence by smart systems like VKS and the right attitude. Productivity monitoring should always be used to optimize your operation and empower your workers. Before you incorporate productivity monitoring into your operation, take a look at these dos and don’ts.

Do Get Rid of the Blame Game

When setting a goal, there is a certain time expectation for a job to be completed. But if the job isn’t completed in an expected time frame, you’ll want to know why.

Let’s expand this further and take an example where a task took longer than expected. It would be easy to blame the operator. It would be equally easy for the operator to blame the process, their tools, or the environment. But this “blame game” has never been productive.

**Productivity monitoring removes the guesswork, and more importantly, it removes the blame game. **

Through digital work instructions, managers and supervisors focus on finding solutions that benefit production. This is done by looking at empirical data and using this data to enhance their operation. If an operator does not have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, give them further training opportunities. If the process is unclear, find better ways of managing your work instructions.

Don’t Be Afraid of Failure

Any failure is a great opportunity to learn. When implementing productivity monitoring software, there is a high probability that you’ll see weak points in your process.

Always remember: **Finding weak points is better than not knowing about them. **

With this idea in mind, try to see failure as proof that your productivity monitoring is working. Use this data to continuously improve. If problems are quickly discovered then solutions will come quickly as well.

Do Engage Your Employees

Productivity monitoring also enables leaders to engage their teams with the data and knowledge they are gathering. This may be one of the best contributors to improving productivity.

A recent study found that when employees received feedback from their manager on a daily basis, they were 3 times more likely to be productive. This study shows that employees like to be engaged and know if they’re doing a good job.

If data is captured and used to help and reward employees, morale is likely to go up. Likewise, if the data is used to highlight areas to work on, involving employees in the improvement process also has a positive effect on morale.

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