In the workplace, it’s easy to feel busy but not see a whole lot of progress. Most of the time, both of those are true. Everyone feels busy, but nothing is getting done, why is that? It’s because your employees are working hard, but not efficiently. Early in my life, a mentor told me that there are three ways we can work. We can work hard, we can work effectively, or we can work efficiently.
Respectively, the latter is better than the previous option. It’s easy to feel like you’re working hard and constantly staying busy but feel like you’re not getting anything done. Most of the time, that’s because there isn’t a goal in mind. Someone can row a boat for hours but go absolutely nowhere if they’re only rowing on the left side. Once a goal is set in place, it gives your employees a destination in which they should row. Now effectivity will start to show. They’ll get closer and closer to their destination. Now, once progress begins to ensue, the next step is to catalyze that progress as much as possible. That is when effective work begins to become efficient work. There are a variety of catalysts that will promote efficient work, but today we’ll only talk about a couple.
1. Increase communication in the workplace. What we’re trying to do here is make sure that everyone knows their task and what they’re responsible for accomplishing. If you’re trying to lift a piano, and everyone is lifting at separate times, or all bunched on one half, you’ll never accomplish the task. However, if you communicate, spread out the weight evenly, and communicate when to lift; moving the piano becomes much easier. I know it’s hard during the pandemic, but if you can in any way bolster face to face contact and communication, that’s even better.
2. Make sure the employees feel valued. Human nature dictates that if a person doesn’t have a reason to accomplish a task, they’ll take the path with least resistance. If you’re trying to create more efficient employees, there will be more that is required of them. Because of this, their path just acquired a little more resistance. If you want them to become resilient and continue to push for the common goal, they will need to have a “why.” If your employees feel valued by management and the company, they will be more motivated to want to give back and support a cause that they feel a part of. Make sure your employees have a reason to become efficient before you tell them to change their work process.
Although we only discussed two helping factors, they are both proven to increase not only effectiveness but also efficiency. If you however feel that you’re not only missing out on effectiveness from your employees but also desire to work hard, start there and work your way forward. If employees aren’t willing to work hard, they won’t be able to work effectively or efficiently.