Importance of measurement in the workplace

work measurement in operations

Who killed productivity measurement?

I have come across more and more organizations in the small to medium size business that is totally ignorant when it comes to the importance of measurement.

All the focus is on the money with very little focus on what generates the money. I call this the “GOLLUM EFFECT” and most owners spend all their time counting what is there and not what could be there. If you don’t measure don’t bother having a Vision and Mission statement.

Why measure productivity if we are making money?

It is the manager’s responsibility to monitor how the organization is performing against expected targets. There are many work measurement techniques you can adapt to your workplace. If you cannot establish your position against targets and goals set it will affect business operations severely. Not measuring will impact on other functions of business such as:

  • Budget control 
  • Decision making 
  • Efficiency in the workplace 
  • Morale and motivation 
  • Corrective action 
  • Long-term planning and strategic goals 

Not measuring processes and performance impacts directly on the quality of the business. Money is lost through these inefficiencies and it becomes impossible to establish or maintain a budget. Not having measurements in place often is the main cause of incorrect budgeting and managers are left to deal with the imbalances.

Measuring delivers most of the input required when important decisions are to be made. Not having a history of performance to refer to leads to incorrect decisions that can destroy your business.

Without measurement efficiency in the business will decline over a period of time and eventually catch up with you. So many businesses are content not to measure and when the ceiling is splattered with the dark brown matter the first reaction is how come this happened so suddenly. It is merely a matter of build up over a period of time and warning signals went undetected because there is no measurement in place.

How does not measuring performance affect my workplace?

With no work measurement procedures in place, it becomes very difficult for the manager to motivate his team. There is a total lack of direction and the goal post seems to move around all the time. In cases like this, you will normally find that morale and staff turnover is very high.

It is difficult for management to take corrective action on important matters and 90% of the time it will end up in killing fires. With no clear standard established through measurement, nobody will know if the action taken is an improvement on the current situation and all that is left is the hope that things will improve.

Long-term strategies and goal setting are totally dependable on history and the standards that were established within the organization. Without these standards-setting strategies in place becomes very difficult.

How can I benefit from performance management?

There is only one benefit of measuring and that is that you always know what you are doing and where you are standing in relation to targets and goals.

At the end of the day business is about money and if poor decisions are taken it will lead to some form of revenue loss. Thumb sucking is for newborns and not for experienced businessmen.

Noticeable in the workplace is the complacency of workers who feels that they must slog through the same process every day and their job will be secured. If management is content with this then it must be alright.


Without measurement, you will never be able to control productivity or your cash flow.

Question: What do you find most difficult about measuring productivity?

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