The Right Combination for Success: Effectiveness and Efficiency

Efficient people get the job done right. Effective people get the right job done.

I am all for efficiency. Being efficient is at the heart of process and quality improvement. Efficiency must be monitored continuously. And, people who are efficient get the job done right. They are looking at the short game and at ways to improve and increase service delivery. That’s a great thing.

But, efficiency for its own sake should not be the end game. If effectiveness has been left out of the planning, the execution, and the evaluation of the work, then the end game is lost.

Here at Fedcap, for example, our mission is create opportunities for people with barriers to economic well being. In the area of workforce development, if one of the people we serve gets a job, we’ve done our job, right? Yes, that’s a good thing. But what if that person loses that job, or what if she decides she wants to do a different sort of job, or that she wants to be promoted, or she wants to become a manager? Have we equipped her with the skillset she needs, or just helped her get a job? As we consider the outcomes for our training, we need to look at the long game and incorporate essential skills for considering a career ladder that will ultimately help our client with cumulative skillsets that will build on each other. This is how she will grow, and how she will enjoy a number of different choices for her work and life.

The chart below comes from a company called Insight Squared. It is a great tool for measuring our ideas, plans, and our effectiveness. Keeping in mind why we are doing the work we are doing—every single day—will help remind us of the long game and it will keep us effective in our work.
What do you do every day to ensure that you are not only working efficiently, but also effectively?