In the competitive business world, the performance of a company in relation to its work process is decisive. If the company can produce using lesser resources and getting the most out of what they have, they are said to be efficient. Productivity controls are essential to the success of any business. Companies are choosing productivity over efficiency as nowadays technological advancements in production and manufacturing are almost on the peak of progress and the next wave of growth seems to be scaling up the production and reaching out to customers through technology tools. Efficiency focuses on the input of the process while effectiveness deals with output.
The meaning and relationship between these components must be at the core of business strategies. These terms can be explained as follows:
Efficiency is a measure of how good someone is in doing the things. If he/she is able to get more outputs from the inputs, they are said to have increased the efficiency. Efficiency is about ‘doing the same with less’.
Productivity is seen as a degree of outputs divided by inputs. If the activity done in a day is considered the output then the time required for it is the input. Productivity is about ‘doing more with the same’.
Effectiveness is a measure of ‘doing the right thing – doing more with less’. Companies or persons are effective when they keep forwarding their priorities on in a balanced way.
Productivity remains a distinguishing factor between the winners and others from the long-term perspective. This is exactly the reason why exceptional companies focus more on productivity than efficiency nowadays. Productivity is the measurement of the work done and value generated over a fixed period of time. Efficiency represents the capacity to produce a certain desired outcome by utilizing the minimum time, resources and efforts. Selection of the measures to use and collecting the necessary data requires a thorough understanding of the industry.
Balancing Effectiveness and Efficiency
There are techniques to achieve a balance between effectiveness and efficiency which is the key to success of any business. Regular assessment of the business process has to be carried out to make sure that the company has in place the most effective methods for achieving the desired goals. Listening to employees and identifying any common obstacles encountered while doing their duties is essential. Human efforts are ultimately one of the primary factors for productivity followed by technological advancements.
Top performing companies are capable of understanding the market conditions and build products for customer segments accordingly. Markets in which customers demand high-end products and are willing to pay the high price for it are favorable for increasing investment on efficiency and quality. Markets with demand for the inexpensive products need more focus on productivity to increase output without the high cost of production.
At a time when so many companies are struggling for growth, management must bring a productivity approach to the business and avoid organizational obstacles to workforce productivity. Current meanings prevalent for productivity are almost exclusively denoting it in terms of people. Workplace changes as simple as the ambiance of work can contribute to increasing the productivity. According to a research was done in psychology, an empowered office environment with decorative and creative ideas can significantly improve worker productivity on intellectual tasks by at least 25% and possibly more depending upon other factors like teamwork and process orientation. Companies are realizing the importance of productivity measurement tools which monitor employee activity and manage projects across the whole team in an intuitive way.
Plato rightly comments on the productivity of a person as – “All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.”