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Why does time to productivity matter for HR teams?

How to track time to productivity

What factors affect time to productivity?

How to reduce time to productivity in your team

What is time to productivity

Time to productivity refers to the time it takes for a new hire to reach a level of competency and proficiency that allows them to contribute effectively to their role within an organization.

It's the period from the employee's start date until they become fully productive, independent, and capable of delivering their expected results and meeting job performance standards.

HR teams use this metric to evaluate the effectiveness of their onboarding and training processes and to measure how quickly new hires can integrate into the company's workflow and culture. A shorter time to productivity indicates a more efficient onboarding process and can lead to improved employee engagement and organizational performance.

Why does time to productivity matter for HR teams?

One of the reasons why companies aim to streamline their onboarding process is to enable new hires to reach their full productivity potential as soon as possible.

Measuring time to productivity helps HR teams understand if their recruiting and onboarding are optimized in a way that sets up new employees for success from the moment they join the company.

When HR specialists have insight into time to productivity, they can:

  • Allocate resources more efficiently, by identifying areas that need improvement in the onboarding process
  • Improve employee retention by proactively addressing issues caused by an extended time to productivity, such as employee dissatisfaction and increased turnover
  • Reduce the time to productivity for a faster time-to-market, increased customer satisfaction, and improved overall business outcomes

How to track time to productivity

HR teams must gather qualitative and quantitative data on the time it takes for employees to become fully productive, through employee surveys, feedback from managers, and performance evaluations.

Analyzing the onboarding process for new hires can help identify potential bottlenecks and areas that require improvement.

The first step is to establish KPIs and benchmarks related to productivity, such as project milestones or sales targets, which can help monitor an employee's progress and contribution to the company's goals.

For example, you can determine the number of particular tasks a new hire in the finance team should be able to complete within their first month, or the average response time for a new customer service representative.

What factors affect time to productivity?

The quality and comprehensiveness of training and onboarding significantly impact how quickly employees can adapt to their new roles. However, time to productivity doesn’t only depend on the onboarding process—several factors can affect how fast your new hire will become fully productive.

Here are some of them:

  • Remote work readiness: Remote work may present unique challenges such as limited access to mentors, communication barriers, and difficulty in integrating with the team, all of which can affect time to productivity.
  • Cultural and language differences: In global workforces, differences in culture and language can influence how well employees adapt to new roles and processes.
  • Technology and tools: Adequate access to necessary technology and tools can expedite the learning process and enhance productivity.
  • Trust and communication among team members: If the new hire feels welcome in their team and can ask their peers for help when needed, they will adapt and become productive faster.
  • Clarity of tasks, expectations, and goals: When team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and project goals clearly, they can work more efficiently towards achieving them.
  • Leadership and management: Effective leadership and management are crucial for remote teams, as their job is to provide clear guidance, set achievable goals, and support their team members in navigating challenges.

How to reduce time to productivity in your team

As an HR leader, you should aim to help new employees settle in as fast as possible. Here are best practices that can help you improve time to productivity for new team members:

  • Leverage HR automation tools such as Deel Engage to automate manual tasks and help both managers and new hires use their time efficiently.
  • Pair new employees with experienced mentors who can help them navigate challenges and integrate into the team more effectively, even in remote settings.
  • Invest time in creating extensive documentation, placing all policies, product training videos, internal processes, and more into a single knowledge base that all employees can access.
  • Facilitate open and transparent communication channels to address queries and concerns promptly, reducing potential roadblocks.
  • Promote cultural sensitivity and inclusion within your team, as DEIB initiatives can foster a welcoming environment and facilitate quicker adaptation in a diverse global workforce.
  • Provide timely feedback and organize performance review cycles to enable employees to understand their progress and make necessary improvements.
  • Offer ongoing upskilling and professional development opportunities to help employees plan out their career paths, stay relevant and perform optimally.
  • Ensure employees have access to appropriate tools and technology needed to fulfill their responsibilities efficiently.

Deel is a global-first HR platform that enables you to hire compliantly from 150+ countries, pay and manage direct employees, international workers, and contractors under one roof, from a single, user-friendly platform.

Find out how you can streamline onboarding and facilitate new hire integration with Deel.

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