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Cost of Optimum Productivity Level (OPL)


It measures the total cost of getting an employee up to the optimum productivity level.



This metric is influenced by the time necessary to achieve optimum productivity (performance).

The time to reach optimum productivity is influenced by:

  • Job types/level
  • Direct managers
  • Onboarding process
  • Quality of hire
  • Training of new hires
  • Resources


 According to Oxford Economics the average time for a new employee to reach their OPL is 28 weeks. If the employee is form the same industry it will take less. 32 weeks is the average for an employee from another industry. A fresh graduate will achieve OPL in around 40 weeks and a school drop out in around 53 weeks. This values can fluctuate quite a lot depending on the industry, firm size, if the new employee comes from a similar or different type of role or even if he was for a long time in unemployment.


Costs that can be factored in this metric can be:

  1. Onboarding cost
  2. Training cost
  3. Cost of managers and colleagues involved in on the job training
  4. Employee salary: Until a certain point of employee productivity you are investing, meaning that your costs are higher than what the employee produces. It is up to you to calculate the break even point. Based on this you can determine the percentage of the salary that needs to be factored in the cost of OPL. Note that OPL should be considered the level of performance expected from the employee and not the break even point or what is expected from a high performer. So, in a few words the OPL means that the employee covers his own salary and brings a capital surplus.


This metric should not be confused with cost of turnover, cost of recruitment or cost of a bad hire. 

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