Productivity: What it means in L&D in 2019 and how to enhance it

Libby Webb suggests simple ways to encourage a culture of productivity in your workforce.

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Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. Hurts a little, doesn’t it? I hate to shatter that illusion folks, but there’s a lot of truth to this statement, especially when it comes to L&D.

Before we go any further, let’s first take a look at what we mean by ​productivity ​in an L&D context. According to the ​Oxford Dictionary​, productivity is ​“the effectiveness of effort, especially in an industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input”.

From an L&D perspective, the input and output components of productivity are loosely twofold; with one relating to day-to-day job performance and the other to skills development.

Both require consistent attention and effort to produce a desirable output, leaving you with the simple task of harmoniously balancing the two and enjoying an exceptional career trajectory as a result.

According to research, L&D departments are the key to resolving lagging productivity in the workplace, with the Office for National Statistics stating that ​productivity levels in UK employers continue to stagnate​.

The survey carried out found that 79% of managers said skills shortages were impacting productivity, and 63% expressed that productivity was a key priority to them over the next 12 months.

The enemy of productivity

This should come as no surprise to most of you, but L&D opportunities in the workplace are the key to unlocking the potential of employees within any organisation.

Employers instinctively know a skilled workforce is a more productive one, yet Towards Maturity’s 2019 ​benchmark study indicates that while 94% of organisations are seeking to increase on-the-job productivity, 29% of leaders are overwhelmed and under-skilled.

Project management software equips employees with the tools they need to better prioritise their deadlines and workload

In response to this, modern organisations are now seeing a need for responsive, agile and iterative learning, with L&D opportunities helping to bridge the gaps in the skills of their workforce in order to enhance performance within specific roles.

Productivity is a valued, key metric for high-performing organisations, but one that is often overlooked by SMEs.

And due to its subjective nature, the productivity of your workforce is sometimes hard to track and measure, creating even more of a barrier for organisations implementing formal training.

Boosting productivity

Let’s face it, boosting productivity among your workforce is often easier said than done. Especially as a lack of motivation is still among the biggest problems faced by L&D departments when encouraging learners to engage in developmental training.

But today, next-generation e-learning tools utilising data, analytics and adaptive learning offer a far more effective approach to cultivating a productive workforce than previously available.

Let’s take a look at a few simple ways you can proactively encourage a culture of productivity within your workforce using some of the best next-generation learning tools on the market:

Time tracking tools

Generally, productivity refers to how efficiently a person accomplishes their job-specific tasks. Time tracking tools can be used to monitor the time spent on certain tasks, making employees more aware of where their time is spent.

Time tracking tools can be used to help empower employees to become more efficient by measuring and documenting the hours worked. They offer one of the best metrics for measuring productivity by logging employees’ working hours, breaks, attendances and leave.

Project management tools

Using visual enhancers, such as Gantt charts, as well as time and resource tracking tools, project management tools allow employees to commit to project delivery, ensuring a more efficient process.

Enabling employees to set more realistic milestones and deadlines, as well as keeping all your team’s members focused on your deliverables, project management software equips employees with the tools they need to better prioritise their deadlines and workload.

Team communication tools

Communication is vital to ensuring the smooth running of day-to-day business. By implementing a communication tool between teams and departments, employers make it possible for team members to easily exchange data and discuss corporate operations in real-time.

They ensure the seamless and effective running of all systems and projects, with the additional benefit of file sharing and collaborative working for a more efficient day-to-day.



They ensure everything is running seamlessly and as effectively as it should, with the ability to file share and collaborate more efficiently on certain projects.


Last, but certainly not least (and perhaps our favourite – I wonder why!) is the implementation of a learning management system (LMS) or learning experience platform (LXP).

The LXP centres on professional development which aims to bridge the gaps in the skills of your workforce, ensuring their skillset is as refined as possible so they better perform within their current role.

The LXP facilitates a continued learning and development plan for all employees, and uses data and analytics integrations, such as a learning record store, to help organisations evaluate learning performance with metrics and skill gap analytics.

For both business needs and the career development of your workforce, an effective learning solution plays an integral part in promoting a culture of productivity within your organisation.

Providing access to these opportunities is the first step you can take in ensuring your workforce is as skilled and as efficient as they can be.


About the author

Libby Webb is a content writer for HT2 Labs: a Learning Pool company.


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