Productivity or Efficiency: What Really Matters?


Efficiency is a quality many companies and employees are proud to tout. From making 2,000 widgets a day to processing several dozen emails within an hour, being efficient is badge of honor in the working world.

The benefit of efficiency is that it can be relatively easy to measure. As management expert Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” So finding something you can measure – whether it’s email messages  or widgets – makes it easier to improve your efficiency by making more of the output while using less money, less time, or both.

The problem is focusing on efficiency to the omission of everything else can mean that you’re focusing on the wrong things. Is it useful to generate more email messages if people aren’t clicking on them? Is it a good use of your time to write more and bigger reports if people don’t read them?

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