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Productivity vs. Efficiency – What Are the Differences?

In any given organisation, productivity and efficiency are highly regarded. Most managers and employees get their feedback based on these two factors. But what exactly do we mean when we say productivity or efficiency? Apparently there are some questions around this topic that haven’t been answered yet.

In order to explain the differences between productivity and efficiency, we must first understand what they exactly mean. To put it in simpler terms, we are talking about differences between quantity and quality. It is nearly impossible to obtain 100% quality, while having productivity levels up at maximum. There should be a middle ground in order to optimise your results.

Both productivity and efficiency are absolutely crucial for building a fantastic work ethic. If you manage to learn how to handle both of them and what makes them distinctly important, you and your business will thrive. As a beginner, you may be tempted to focus too much on efficiency and although this isn’t a bad thing to do, understanding the key variables between efficiency and productivity is imperative.

Given the complexity of this issue, insight is required on what these two factors actually are.

Productivity

At its very core, productivity shows you the rate at which products are being developed or a task is being completed.  When you are measuring productivity things get a little more complex than that. You have to take into account whether it’s physical or office work, if the job requires a certain quality factor or the impact a specific industry’s requirements may have on its workers. Nonetheless, productivity is an integral part of any successful company.

Efficiency

Efficiency is all about the comparison between what is really being produced or performed with what can be produced taking into account the same amount of resources, such as: money, time and labour. In simpler terms, efficiency measures whether there is any waste in your company. Depending on the industry you work in, efficiency may be more desirable than productivity, but usually their importance is proportionate.

Efficiency vs. Productivity

Everyone wants to be as productive as possible, but there are always problems of various sorts that keep us from getting the job done. Firstly, don’t waste more time than necessary when completing a task. Try and set your own rhythm and pace and stick to it. Try and write down every step necessary in order to complete a certain task and follow that process religiously. Once you have the whole process set in stone, you will see that the amount of time you require will steadily decrease.

Many people ask if it is possible to be productive and efficient at the same time and the answer is yes. All you have to do is analyse the task at hand and try and find out what it requires more; whether it is quantity or quality.

It all comes down to the importance of the task. As an example, let’s talk about employee enquiries towards the HR department. We all know they must be dealt with in a respectable amount of time. This type of task is considered to be more on the productive side, due to the fact that it is the same process over and over again, with the same forms and documentation that need to be filled out every time. You can finish all the enquiries quickly and with complete certainty that their quality is top notch as long as you deal with them in the correct manner.

With efficiency tasks, most often than not they do not have a precise and by the book approach. These tasks obviously require more time and a high level of due diligence. In this scenario, quality trumps quantity. Of course, every task has a deadline. But if you happen to have the misfortune of dealing with it poorly, it doesn’t necessarily matter too much. You should always work at your full potential, but given the fact that the assignment doesn’t have a methodological way of dealing with it, you have some wiggle room and the possibility to improve it.

As mentioned earlier in the article, it is very important for both productivity and efficiency to be part of your workflow. It provides you with time, expertise and discipline in order to handle distinct assignments. Balancing productivity and efficiency may seem troublesome at first, but once you find it, certain tasks will stop being such a burden on you.

In conclusion, one more idea that is important to remember is this: never sacrifice your work. If you need to do good, solid work then don’t rush it by any means, and when you are looking for quantity don’t get yourself lost in too many details. With this in mind, you can accomplish anything you want. Do the work you have to do the way it was meant to be done and never compromise. It is essential you know and understand the differences between these two practices in order to ensure your work never has to suffer again.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 Productivity Gap tool is excellent at showcasing the evolution of any given employee over time. By contrasting two assessments made before and after training, it allows you to analyse both your employees’ development and their involvement in the process as well.

 

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Sources:

www.smallbusiness.chron.com

www.doityourself.com

www.differencebetween.info

www.selfthrive.com

Maximising Your Chances of Getting the Job AFTER the Interview

You’ve just finished your job interview. Time to relax and mind yourself with other business until you get a response, right? Well, this is definitely everybody’s first reaction, but it is not the right one.  Given today’s competitive job market, you must keep in mind that you should also do a follow-up; otherwise you may risk losing the position to other candidates. You also have to be careful not to look desperate, but rather look persistent and prove your willingness to land the job.

There is no certain way to know if you got the job until you receive an actual offer. Don’t forget, they may genuinely think you were absolutely fantastic, but someone else could end up being better. Generally, there is more than one strong candidate for a job position, especially in the current marketplace.

These are a few tips that could prove valuable to you after the interview, in order to maximise your chances of getting the job:

 

  1. Follow the instructions given – After the interview, the recruiter may tell you to contact them by email. If so, do not contact them by phone. Listen to their instructions precisely and act accordingly. If you somehow forgot to ask during the interview what the next steps are, write an email asking for clarification. It shows that you care about the job and that you are ready for the next phase
  2. Provide documentation to prove your job abilities – If possible, when you do a follow-up by email, also include documents that show just how good you are at your job. Of course, these documents have to be non-confidential samples, press mentions or some public statistics in order to prove your worth. It’s an excellent way to show your professionalism and work ethic.
  3. Don’t become a stalker – It is quite understandable that you are nervous and anxious about the outcome of the interview. However, try not to bother the employer too much. After following their exact instructions, you have to wait. If you haven’t heard from them in a couple of days, it is probably time to move on. Also, don’t go out sending LinkedIn invites to the people who have interviewed you before the hiring process ends. It comes off as being a bit desperate. Try and remain calm.
  4. Start preparing for the next set of interviews – Life can surprise you and you never know when you can receive an email announcing you about another upcoming interview, or if you’re asked to come in for a second interview. It’s absolutely vital that you be prepared at a moment’s notice, Also, if you wish to set yourself apart from other candidates, (and I assume you do) try and find interesting facts and/or figures about the company where you applied for the job. It could be anything ranging from an award they have just won to a recent environmental initiative they have started. It’s best when you introduce this information naturally into the conversation at the interview and it will definitely leave a good impression with the recruiters and it will also increase your chances of landing the job.
  5. Analyse your interview performance – After an interview it’s also important that you relax for a couple of hours. Once you managed to distance yourself from the subject, analyse your performance. Think about what you said and how the interviewer reacted, what you could have said better and keep that in mind if you get called in for a second interview. Furthermore, pay attention to the recruiter and what he says, it is possible that of the things he or she said to have annoyed you one way or another. This helps you determine whether this company suits your principles and values.

Last but not least, try to make good use of the experience of the interview. Regardless of how it went, you’ve still won something: if it went well, you’ve got the job, if not, you’ve gained the experience necessary to land the next one.

 

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com

http://www.businessinsider.com

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The Workplace of 2020 : A Different Experience Altogether

In the course of the next  few years, the workforce will be comprised of no less than five generations, starting from Traditionalists and Baby Boomers and ending with the all new “Generation 2020” – these being represented by people born after 1997. Given this situation, employers around the world will face numerous challenges in order to recruit, motivate and develop all of these different types of employees. It is believed that by 2020, the office will become mobile in order to accommodate employees worldwide. The best talents will claim imaginative, ingenious new contracts. Organisations unwilling or unable to provide such a shift in their business will suffer greatly in their mission of recruiting the best candidates.

HR departments face an uphill battle in preparing for 2020 and beyond. Large corporations are required to organise themselves globally in order to deal appropriately with employees, consumers, supply chain partners and shareholders who are dispersed worldwide. CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) is on top of their list, followed closely by learning in terms of wikis, social media and blogs in order to extend their connectivity. Companies must adopt a series of changes ranging from operating processes to employee benefits – and everything must be done with complete transparency.

HR professionals are people too; hence they must continue to develop their skills and social awareness. They should know what is going on in their local communities, and understand its nuances, be aware of global issues and be open-minded in order to use new procedures such as crowd sourcing. By 2020, HR professionals should be proficient in everything digital and here is a list of a few things worth mentioning: video uploads, social networking, blogs, instant messaging, tagging etc.

The example given above isn’t the only change employers will have to face. By 2020, there will be 10 forces that will shape how employers think and act:

 

  1. Shifting workforce demographics” –In comparison to the 2010 workforce data, the predictions for 2020 show that US employees will comprise of even more people older than 55, more women and more Latinos. In Europe and Asia for example, due to a drop in fertility rates, the workforce will consist of even more aging individuals.
  2. The knowledge economy” –As mentioned in a previous article, the skill gap has started to represent a problem and will continue to be one in the foreseeable future. Work is becoming more technically demanding, and it will require skills such as: listening, relationship building, judgement, communicating with colleagues and problem solving.
  3. Globalisation” –For various reasons, a great number of companies included in the Financial Times Global 500, have their headquarters located in the following countries: Brazil, Russia, India or China. In just a few short years, the BRIC countries are said to become economic powerhouses. The workforce is becoming ‘virtual’, with less people on-site and with integrated headquarters operations.
  4. The digital workplace” – The digital space is growing at an increasingly high rate. Companies now require people who can cope with the sheer amount of information, whilst keeping it secure and private. Organisations are also looking for candidates who can generate new and exciting digital content.
  5. The omnipresence of mobile technology” –At a global scale, the number of mobile phones outnumber that of people. Consequently, there are countries where phones trump people.There are over 7,200 education apps already for the iPhone, some of them made by financial institutions, such as Wachovia and Bank of America, who use them for online performance support, sales training, product knowledge and sales training.
  6. The culture of connectivity” –Given the fact that we are always a few clicks away from social media, most people have become ‘ hyper connected’ and that is disrupting the balance and boundaries between home and office.
  7. Participation society” –Consumers are getting involved in improving any type of product, service and business. An example would be Best Buy’s Blue Shirt Nation, which amasses 24,000 employee users. They have gathered online via various social networks, in order to improve company operations.
  8. Social learning decade” –The period of time between 2010 and 2020 will become known as the time of ‘social networking, social learning and social media’.
  9. Corporate social responsibility” –By 2020, CSR will have become even more important than it is today. At present, 88% of people graduating university wish to work for companies that have CSR ideals complementary to their own. A great example for this is IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. They place members of their staff to work on CSR projects in developing countries where the organisation is expected to grow within the next years.
  10. Millennials in the workforce” – This group of people expect companies to use the same tools they have been using since they’ve become digitally active. Technology dominates every aspect of their lives and it comes as no surprise that 41% of millennials choose to communicate electronically at the office rather than on the phone or face to face. Millennials tend to use their own technology in the office and 75% of them think that access to technology makes them more efficient workers. Nonetheless, technology can be problematic and lead to inter-generational conflict in the workplace. This tension makes millennials feel held back by outdated working styles.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

“The 2020 Workplace” – Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd

Forbes.com

Skill Gap: Why is it still a Major Concern (Part 2)

This article is part of a series. For part 1 click here.

There is a steady decline in the U.S. system’s possibility of nurturing these midlevel skills, due to the fact that automation is cutting down the need for low-skilled workers. Luckily, there are local initiatives which are trying to address the respective skill gap in their areas.

A good example on how to narrow the skill gap is represented by internships specifically tailored to college graduates in order to meet the more evolving needs of today’s employers. Some university programs include the so-called “cooperative degree programs” also known as co-ops. This type of approach will allow both employers and future graduates to assess the market and their specific place in the world of work. Employers have the chance to evaluate skills such as: employee attitude and work ethic, but also offering their training to their temporary recruits, specifically tailored to the organisation’s needs. These co-ops and internships help students earn their necessary credit in order to graduate, earn proper work experience, and best of all getting them to apply classroom studies in the real business world.

For over 20 years, there has been a shortage of “transferable” workplace skills, and although there have been many initiatives in terms of laws, guidelines and goals, not many problems have been resolved.

These “transferable” workplace skills have represented a real problem for the private sector for the past 20 years. HR managers have stopped putting too much emphasis on skills such as reading literacy and computational aptitude. In today’s workplace, soft skills are dominating the office needs, and they are as follows: interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge, time management, ethics, teamwork, personal organisation, interpersonal communication, problem solving, anger management and reasoning.

At a global scale, Millennials display unique attributes that conflict with society and the idea of work as it currently stands. This group of people have spent their entire or nearly entire life connected to technology, rapid accessibility of information and a permanent connection with family and friends. Straight from birth, Millennials have been told they are special and they were rewarded nearly instantaneously for even the smallest of accomplishments.

Millennials are much better equipped to handle active learning that can teach them metacognitive skills. Such operating systems are being beta-tested as we speak, in order to assure the teaching of a higher-order and analytical skills. In the United States, the successful applications of e-learning for workplace training are expected to be introduced into the K-12 curricula where they are foreseen to shrink the metacognitive skill gap in public schools. Games and simulations offer a great basis for education and training, with at least 45% of Millennials being active learners.

In approximately 10 years, companies everywhere will move all types of employee training programs towards the online. Nowadays, distance education done through e-learning is just a stepping stone towards a new structure of education.

The level of information a worker can acquire at the workplace takes half the time compared to the classical classroom delivery, thus retention can be increased by 30% and the cost of training can be reduced by 40%. There will be a quick and positive ROI because employee efficiency is substantially increased.

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Dealing With Stress, Step 5: Clinical Mode On

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Observing dispassionately allows control. Once you managed to take the previous step (dis-identifying Yourself from Mind) – or even at the same time – start observing yourself as you would an item in a museum.

Start by observing what happens inside your body. It is easier with the body, because it doesn’t play the identification trick. Scan your muscles, your gut, your heart, your face. Notice the tension in your arms and legs, notice the feeling of a solid rock in your belly, notice the fast-paced, shallow breathing, notice the sensation of heat in your cheeks.

Once you noticed those sensations, stop. Don’t take it further, don’t judge “I shouldn’t feel that, I shouldn’t be red-faced”. Just take the information in and file it without tagging it “good” or “bad”. Go back to scanning and do it as many times as you need to cool off.

After you get familiar with observing your body, you can take the next step and do the same with your mind. Observe what feelings it puts out. Name them as exactly as you can: “my mind is making me feel ashamed“, “my mind is making me feel furious“. It is good information. It is not something you should believe or act upon. If you can trace the source you’re even better off: “my mind makes me feel ashamed I made a mistake because in the first grade the teacher always made crude fun of me because I wasn’t talented at math“. Seeing the source is valuable, because it shows you that your mood has less to do with Now and more to do with The Past. The link is emotional, not rational.

If you have ever been in a negotiation with an used-cars salesman (or any slick, fast-talking sales guy), you know how you look at him working his number, recognize the tricks in his book and smile inwardly “You won’t catch me this time, dude!

The same goes with your mind. It won’t catch you again, because you will recognize its trick, see right through them and take appropriate action, as opposed to the hasty things It wants you to do.

“Response” is the name of the game. “Reaction” is a thing of the past.

Continue with steps 6 and 7 by clicking here
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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here

Dealing With Stress, Step 4: You Are Not Your Mood

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Your Mind and You are two different things. Any other part of your body hurting, you would say “my body part is hurting”. It is only with the mind that you say “I am hurting”.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by a feeling of dread, only to scan the near future and find nothing to explain that? It happens to me in the morning, usually. This is one of the many tricks in the mind’s arsenal. What happens is we surrender to the mood without questioning its validity.

But a bad mood is just that: a transient state of the mind. Brains have a way of taking over that other organs don’t. You just have to identify that for what it is: a state of one organ. Important, powerful, useful, but an organ nonetheless.

You can start by dis-identifying Yourself from Mind. Instead of simply surrendering and saying “I am anxious / furious / stressed out” switch to naming your feeling: “I feel anxiety / fury / stress“. This trick helps putting some distance between The Whole You and whatever happens inside.

Next, start calling out the perpetrator: “My mind is making me feel anxiety / fury / stress“. If you can, take a step back mentally and “see” your mind playing its little tricks.

Stop identifying yourself with the workings of your mind. Take a step back. Cool down. It is the most direct way of replacing reaction with response.

Read part 5

 

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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here

Great People Inside Conference: The New World of Work – 12,13 October Brasov, Romania

Registration for the Great People Inside Conference: “The New World of Work” has started!

The event taking place between 12th and 13th October 2016, at Kronwell Hotel, Brasov, Romania,  is an unique concept bringing together business representatives, entrepreneurs, managers, specialists and researchers in the field of human resources from all industries, psychologists, representatives of central and local authorities, large consulting companies, as well as internationally renowned experts from the United States of America, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Spain, United Arab Emirates.

“The New World of Work” conference will generate exciting and challenging discussions on the changing nature of work, providing at the same time, practical strategies and insights about how these challenges can be harnessed as opportunities for innovation and development.

Event Partners: Polipol, Contempo Cars, Romanian Software, Tuborg, EximBank, ICF România, Wellington,  AON, BestSmart Consulting, Benefit, Oracle, Hațegan Attorneys, Exelo, Kirchhoff Automotive, MaxRelax, UP Romania, HTI Romania, PP Romania, AHK, Wine in Business.

Supported by: Steaua CSM EximBank, Daiana Stoicescu & YouAreMore.

Media Partners: Realitatea TV, KISS FM, Mix TV, Mix 2 TV, Revista Cariere, HR Manager, 4Career, Learn&Go, Stirea Zilei.com, Detectiveconomic.ro, Biztop.ro, Revista Metropola, Prețul Zilei, myTEX, Brașovultau.ro, Monitorul Expres, Radio Brașov, Jurnalul de Maine. 

For more details, you can access the website dedicated to the event here.

 

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