Productivity is being debated anew with the overnight shift to remote work. Without all of the usual metrics managers use to gauge work effort—from specific performance metrics to “bums in seats”—it’s getting harder and harder to tell what the output of our workforce is.
That’s not going away.
Thanks to COVID, we’ve run a nearly year-long experiment to determine the effectiveness of a remote workforce, and, by and large, that workforce has passed with flying colors. According to BCG, “a surprisingly large number of employees said they have been able to maintain or even improve their productivity during the pandemic.”
That’s great when you’re surveying 12,000 workers, but what about you, the manager with your handful of direct reports?
As we look toward how we judge performance in the future, jobs are likely to be measured along two lines: productivity and value.
Productive workers will be those who master their craft. They’ll be able to churn out high-quality work product regardless of circumstance. These individuals will likely gravitate to jobs that allow for specific measurables and enough flexibility to meet their quality of life needs. It’s not that these workers will lack ambition, but instead, they will know how to use their skills and maximize their impact within the boundaries they set.
Workers who drive value will likely look beyond productivity to bring something new and useful to the table. These folks will answer their own questions and provide solutions to problems you might not have yet considered. Value-focused employees can be productive, but they also long to be part of the big decisions the organization makes.
You’re likely rethinking how to measure performance when the standard yardsticks—many of which are subjective—aren’t available. Thinking of productivity and value as different scales of success will help you zero in on your organization’s A-players.