What is the difference between effectiveness and efficiency? There are a variety of subtle differences as well as some basic ideas to consider. The definition of effective reads “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” The word efficient is defined as “productive of desired effects and productive without waste.” In business the two terms tend to be used interchangeably.
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
The efficient person may move rapidly, checking off things to do in a hurried fashion. After all, the motivation is to perform the job quickly and with minimal waste. This attitude, however, may not give the proper attention to details. There are many benefits to being an efficient thinker. Efficient thinkers are organized. They operate quickly and don’t have time for procrastination or laziness. They are on time and respect the company’s resources. In other words, efficient thinkers work well according to established systems. They take a robotic approach towards many situations, which is appreciated for certain tasks.
An effective thinker still wants the results, but focuses on getting results in the realm of their responsibilities. There is more of a personal touch when one strives to be effective. Clients and employees want the personal touch and want assurances that their money and their efforts are not all in vain. Very often these people need guidance, the specialty of an effective thinker. People skills come more naturally for an effective thinker than an efficient thinker. The efficient thinker is more concerned with the overall process, while the effective thinker empathizes with every person involved. In order to teach others effectively, you have to reach out to them and deliver that “human factor” that efficient systems don’t provide.
A proper balance of effectiveness and efficiency will be required in practically every avenue of life, from the work office, to the customer service desk to even the family unit. You want to effectively communicate and deliver a result, but you want to organize your activities so that you make the most of your time. Being effective and efficient allows you to be even more productive so you can get more done in less time and enjoy more time to do what you really want to do in your life.