4 Key Insights You’ll Find in Your Work Reports Today
EVERY COMPANY’S success depends on its employees.
But what does your employees’ success depend on? And could work reports help?
The engagement and productivity of your team members is a mix of interesting tasks, the right level of challenge, sufficient feedback, pleasant work environment, helpful tools, and many other factors.
Here’s the bad news:
Research company Gallup found that only 30% of U.S. employees feel engaged at work.
Disengaged workers showed 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. Not exactly the results you’d like to see from your team, right?
Read On: What is a KPI? (The Complete Guide)
As you can see, keeping your employees engaged is the key to growing your company and reaching higher profits.
Which leads us to a question: How to evaluate your team’s engagement and work results?
In Scoro, we’ve seen great success by regularly reviewing our team’s work reports. But it’s not just our own team – many of our partners and clients also believe in tracking and evaluating their team’s work.
Up next, you’ll find four key insights that can be learned from analyzing your team’s work reports.
By going through a 2-hour review each month, you’ll be able to reduce the inefficiencies, and ensure that everyone’s highly engaged in their daily work.
1. Completed work
Goes without saying that work reports include data about everyone’s completed work. But what exactly can you learn from reviewing your team’s work?
If your team’s logging time with a time-tracking tools, you’ll be able to see where most of your time is spent. By setting up activity types, you’ll get a quick overview of how much time was spent on meetings, product developments, answering emails, etc.
If you track the right activity types, you’ll get tons of insight on the percentage of proactive vs. reactive work.
See how much time you spend on these three activities:
- Proactive vs. reactive work – how much time is spent on planned projects and tasks vs. how much time is spent on urgencies with no long-term benefits?
- Meetings and email – how much of your team’s time is spent at meetings and handling emails?
- Collaboration – how much time was spent working together vs. spending time working alone?
By understanding where you spend most of your time at work, you’ll be able to make changes and set the right priorities for the next month.
2. Uncompleted & postponed work
No matter how well you plan your monthly work, you can’t foresee all the urgent tasks that arise. Which means that some of your planned work will go uncompleted.
When assessing your team’s work reports, look for tasks planned for the previous month, and see which ones were left undone.
There are two important questions to ask:
- Were the right tasks left undone? – Did your team prioritize their work efficiently, and leave the least important projects waiting?
- Why did these tasks get postponed? – Is there something you can do to prioritize your work more efficiently or should you leave more time for unplanned urgencies?
Remember this: “Busy isn’t bad as long as what you’re busy doing is moving you forward.”
Sometimes, the changes in your work plan are completely justified by new opportunities that you couldn’t have anticipated. It is up to you as a team leader to decide whether you’ve set the right priorities and acted upon them.
If you notice lots of crossed deadlines, it might be time to gather your team and reassess your next month’s work plan.
3. The value and outcome of tasks
If you’re planning to grow your business and focus your time and energy on highly rewarding projects, keep this in mind:
Make your work less about the urgencies and more about the long-term goals.
A brain-imaging study found that when employees recalled an un-empathetic boss, they showed increased activation in areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotion while the opposite was true when they recalled an empathic boss.
It is important that you also include your team to some parts of the work report review process.
When reviewing your team’s work report, ask people to answer these questions:
- How much time they spend on each task?
- How central is the task to their role?
- How much value each task yields?
Also, ask whether someone feels like they spend too much time on tasks that undermine their ability to perform well.
If over 40% of the completed tasks are evaluated as high-value, you’re on the right path. Most companies struggle to achieve their anticipated results as their teams spend too much time at meetings and handling their inbox, having insufficient time for working on long-term projects.
Planning your time in advance helps to spend your time and resources on important projects and tasks.
If you’re working in a company that bills their clients based on time worked, check how many hours of your completed work is billable. You might discover that your team spends lots of time at client meetings that go unpaid for.
4. How much time are you dedicating to specific goals?
Every business has both short-term and long-term goals.
By analyzing your kpi report, you’ll get a better overview of how much time you really spend on reaching each business goal.
You could create a new project for each big business objective, and link your tasks and meetings with the projects. This way, your work reports will give you a timely overview of everyone’s contribution.
If you notice that an important goal is getting disproportionately low attention, look for ways to assign more project-related tasks to your team members.
How to be more efficient in reviewing your work reports?
When evaluating your work, hour-by-hour, sooner or later you’ll run into the question: “I’m spending 2 hours every month on reviewing my team’s work, maybe I should dedicate myself to another long-term goal instead?”
To become more efficient in assessing work reports and extracting helpful insights, follow these three rules:
1. Review frequently – especially in the starting phase, your time-tracking progress needs to be reviewed at least once a week. Check whether everyone’s logging their time and if they’re doing it correctly. It will save you lots of time in the future.
2. Provide explanations – getting used to a new work tracking framework might be difficult for your team. Ensure that they understand your reasons for assessing their work.
3. Ask for help – You don’t have to review the entire team’s work reports alone. Include project managers and other team leaders to help you understand the nature of their work, and work together on finding new solutions.
Research company Gallup has measured the engagement of 27 million employees and more than 2.5 million work units over the past two decades. No matter the industry, size, or location, executives struggle to unlock the mystery of why performance varies so immensely from one workgroup to the next.
It is your job as a manager to grasp the differences in various teams’ performance and help them improve the way they work.