The first step to becoming more productive at work

The first step to becoming more productive at work is to know how your company (and your boss) measures productivity. Each manager has her own idiosyncrasies for how she evaluates her employees’ work.

Some common benchmarks are easily measured:

  • How early you show up to work
  • How late you stay at work
  • How many hours you work a week
  • How many meetings you attend

Other benchmarks are more difficult to measure:

  • How much profit your work generates for the company
  • How much closer the company is to reaching its mission statement because of your work
  • How much better your team functions when you are there to help
  • How much happier the company’s customers are because of your work

As you can see, the first set doesn’t help your company as directly as the second, but since they’re easy to measure, the first set of metrics is what a lot of manager rely on.  If that’s the case, the person who’s at the office the most will be the star employee.

If you are fortunate enough to have a manager who uses the second set of metrics and measures your work based on your actual value to the company’s goals, then it helps to recognize that working until 10pm every night is not the best way to excel at your job. You’ll need to help your company fulfill its mission statement. That’s more difficult for you, but at least promotions will be based on merit.

Before you can go about becoming more productive, and working toward a promotion, you need to know which of these metrics your manager values. The employee who fulfills those metrics is in the running for the next promotion.

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