As a COO, managing sales and technical resources across 11 states and 22 locations, having insight into how people are spending their time and the technology they use is critical.  With the recent work from home mandates, the ability to have insights into activity levels and linkages within the company was especially important.  As I worked with my team to ensure they were using the 365 Productivity Insights tool by MessageOps with their departments, it became immediately apparent that the right setup of the systems is paramount.

Having Active Directory Updated is Paramount

If an organization’s Active Directory is not up to date, accurate and current, using the tool will be more difficult and provide substantially less value.  Ensuring the proper departments and reporting structures are loaded into Active Directory allows for quick and easy views into individuals and departments.  If Active Directory is not properly updated and accurate, the same data can be accessed but it takes considerably more time and effort.  At the same time, security can be enhanced by limiting views to only those that require access, limiting managers to only their teams.  The tool will then allow for quick sorting of an individual’s department by numerous criteria to help identify areas for improvement or a simple ranking of workloads.

Another Perspective on How our People are Spending their Time

For most of us running sales and services organizations we have defined metrics to measure performance.  Whether we set specific sales goals and quotas for people, or measure based on activity levels and billable hours we typically have metrics to measure on.  But do these really show the entire picture?  Are there people that are working harder and doing all the right things but simply not getting the same results of others that maybe are not putting in as much time and effort?  Using the Microsoft activity report, 365 Productivity Insights, gives us another perspective on how people within an organization are spending their time.

Pull complimentary Teams and Outlook reports with 365 Productivity Insights

Our Top Performers have the Most Activity

In our case, we found it very interesting that (in most cases) a Client Manager’s ranking in terms of number of the use of technology including emails, Teams meetings and chats correlated closely to their overall sales performance.  In other words, those reps that sent and received the most emails, and had the most meetings, were the top performers.  Those that had the fewest meetings and sent the fewest emails fell toward the bottom.  So at first glance it might not seem surprising and as if there is not a lot to learn overall.  However, there were certain anomalies within the rankings that called for additional investigation.  In some cases you had individuals that appear to be sending a lot of emails and holding meetings but their numbers don’t reflect this effort.  We view this as an opportunity to coach and educate those individuals.  Are they sending the right emails, are they spending their time in the right places, are the meetings as productive as they should be?  Effort doesn’t always lead to results, but it certainly can be one predictor of success.

Are Employees Using the Technology Investments our Company has Made?

Another area that 365 Productivity Insights helped was seeing which people were actually using the technology provided by the organization and which were not.  This is a huge opportunity for education and training around the tools that the company has invested in.  Some individuals or groups might not be using all of the functions that teams offers.  The tool quickly shows which functions they use and how often.  Clearly if you have an entire department that is not using the Chat function, but you know they have to be communicating with others in the organization, how are they communicating?  Why are they not using Teams Chat?

In other cases it was even more glaring to see which people were not using Teams on their phones.  The Teams phone app has been very well received, freeing people up from their desks and offering them better sound quality for calls and meetings.  The ability to reach these individuals when away from their desks has great increased productivity.  Clearly those not using the phone app could be more productive and more readily accessible to others in the organization .   The tool offers tremendous insight into how individuals operate and are spending their time.  This allows managers to work with them during weekly one-on-one sessions to increase their productivity.

How to Get Started

Start using 365 Productivity Insights today to get a Microsoft activity report for your organization. This tool is complimentary for all companies with Office 365 to use. Office 365 Global Administrators can simply log in to get started.

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