The Difference Between Working Efficiently vs. Effectively (And Why It Matters)

Have you ever heard the saying work smarter, not harder? Well, the same holds true when it comes to working efficiently vs. effectively. We’re in an era where employers are facing a shortage of workers.

We saw this during the 2008 housing crisis.

Employees were being laid off in record numbers. Today, people are choosing to leave companies for better opportunities and flexibility. The shift can lead to more competitiveness in corporate positions.

In this article, we will explain the difference between being effective and efficient when it comes to professional growth. Keep reading to learn more to better evaluate your role, and why it’s important.

How to Tell the Difference Between Efficiently vs. Effectively?

To most people being effective and efficient goes hand-in-hand. They feel you need to do both to become a valued employee. Before we go any further, let’s look at the characteristics of both.

The words are similar in that both mean you are capable of performing the work being assigned. However, the way you go about performing tasks is what differentiates you from your colleagues.

Project managers strategically place team members in roles based on these traits when it comes to building a team. Click here to learn more about designing an impactful team.

Efficient Team Members

To work efficiently, you are focused on the task at hand. Your main goal is to get the job done using the methods you’ve been taught. Efficient workers stay within the lines and take few to no risks.

Have you seen employees that have been in the same position for years and rarely attempt to advance their career? They most likely are efficient team members. Even when they do apply for new positions, they sometimes get overlooked because they lack effectiveness.

Effective Team Members

Effective and efficient team members know the work routine and understand the desired effect. However, where they differ is that effective team members are forward-thinking. They are constantly looking for better ways to get the intended results.

Asking why doesn’t intimidate the effective team member. They also don’t shy away from looking outside of the department or organization for answers.

Effective team members are more likely to get asked to lead a project than someone seen as efficient.

They are Both Valuable

Both types of team members are valuable to organizations. In fact, they provide a system of checks and balances. Effective and efficient team players feed off of each other in different ways.

The effective player watches for efficiency to understand better how to make tasks more effective. In the fast-paced climate of evolving technology, leaders want individuals who can learn quickly and understand the intended effect of technology on the industry.

Which Role Do You Play?

Understanding the difference between efficiently vs. effectively matters a lot when it comes to growth within an organization. If you believe you’re an efficient team member but lack what it takes to advance, learn more about effective traits.

Start by following our business topics for the latest trends.

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