One reason many workers feel that their jobs aren't appreciated or respected is because more emphasis is placed on how efficient they are at their jobs, not how effective they are. One secret to better, more fulfilling work is to focus on being effective at what you do, and let efficiency follow behind.
Photo by Beth Kanter.
Pick the Brain argues that too many workplaces reduce people and their work to simple numbers, like "total emails answered" or "number of tickets closed", as opposed to how well you've responded to those emails and tickets or how often your colleagues need to follow up or reopen old issues. They point out that if you're effective, and answer emails or close your assigned to-dos properly and cleanly, you'll have less work in the long run because you do it right the first time.
Similarly they point out that not every project or role can be reduced to a number, and therefore cannot be measured in terms of metrics. They also suggest that people who wind up focusing on making sure their numbers look good naturally shy away from challenging work that may offer growth because spending time learning something new will impact their numbers. They propose we all spend more time making sure we're effective at what we do, and let the metrics follow behind.
Of course, that's easier said than done when you have a manager who's more focused on numbers they can cite when they draw up your annual review. What do you think, is this feasible in your workplace, or would it only work out in a perfect world? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Why Efficiency is Overrated [Pick the Brain]