Turns out productivity is measured very differently by managers and employees

• Employees and managers have very different definitions of productivity, according to a new survey.
• However, both parties agree that fair compensation can lead to more output.
• This could be helpful for businesses looking to get the most out of their workers.

Measuring productivity means different things to employees and managers, especially when it comes to motivational factors that can lead to better performance and better pay.

A new survey from Paychex aimed to give both parties an answer. The survey, which featured responses from nearly 1,000 employees and managers, found that employees and managers have different standards on what measures productivity, like using time efficiently and getting tasks done timely.

Understanding what’s expected by your bosses could be beneficial the next time evaluations come around.

Productivity differs depending on who you ask

Employees said that using time efficiently was the most important measurement of productivity, but that wasn’t the case for managers at all.

In fact, time management only placed thirds of importance, according to managers. Fifty-two percent of managers said they value teamwork the most, a response which didn’t feature in the top five amongst employee participants.

Additionally, employees said meeting deadlines was a key driver in productivity, but managers excluded it from their list, a surprising finding from the study.


How productivity leads to more money

The next time you’re about to have a sit-down with your boss, maybe make sure you’re on the same page on how productivity is being valued and how it can lead to a raise.

Overall, employees and managers viewed measures of productivity similarly when it comes time to negotiate more money. Things like having a good performance review, bringing unique skills to the company, and completing tasks on time were the three most shared views between both parties.

However, communication is valued more by managers than it is with employees. A quarter of managers said being able to communicate with all departments is a valuable tactic to have for negotiating a raise.


How to promote more productivity

The old pep-talk is a thing of the past. The way to get the most out of workers starts by giving out fair pay.

Nearly half of respondents said fair compensation is a top factor aiding in productivity, followed by good teamwork (44%), setting goals (42%), sharing meaningful work (40%), and show appreciation (34%).

More than a quarter of respondents said company culture is a factor in helping productivity, which coincides with a sense of belonging, a view that 21% of respondents shared together.

Not getting enough pay can make any job difficult — and it’s something employees and managers both agreed can harm productivity.


Getting the most out of everyone should be every company’s top priority especially when it’s now known that managers and employees have different definitions of productivity in the workplace. It’s important to increase communication and make sure everyone has the same views on what’s needed and how to get the most out of a workplace.