Even in today’s constantly evolving world, there remains a truism. Those who are more successful produce better results than many of their peers. They do it better and faster than their counterparts. This is not intuitive for everyone. It has to be developed or redefined. 

Peter F. Drucker, the famed educator and management consultant, said, “There is nothing as useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” The trick is to determine what must be done, how to do it, do it right, and then do it efficiently.

The workplace continues to undergo significant change, even the number of hours in our workday. With the dawn of industrialization, the normal workday was 12-16 hours vs. today’s eight-hour day. 

However, the eight-hour day remains a myth. With illness, meetings, and other time away from work, the available daily work-time nets less than generally understood. Yet, it seems credible that knowing how long the average person works every day has little to do with how productive the person is. We all are given the same time in any day—but it is what we do with the time which counts.

Maybe more important for effectiveness and efficiency is workplace culture. As times change so must the culture, including the relationship between workers and managers. 

We must learn to be aware of one another from a cultural background before we can learn to work together effectively. We need to realize it is not so much what we say as much as the manner in which we express ourselves that can adversely affect mutual understanding. 

A lack of understanding and sensitivity can be injurious to the environment. There must be balance in the workforce just as there is in any other situation. We must learn to appreciate the differences between generations, and learn to adapt. 

Is the current culture helping to deliver value? Does your organization need to be more effective and efficient?

Employees must be given the incentive to want to come to work. Besides the tangible benefits, organizations must ensure employees, including management, are given appropriate compliments and other forms of recognition when warranted. As employees, we must do our best to produce work better and faster. 

The more ways we find to increase our productivity, the more our employees or employers will value the relationship that is being built. Management must stop micro-managing and increase trust. Make sure that everyone knows the expectations and give them freedom to feel comfortable in their environment. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the late quality management giant, said we must “drive out fear” in the workplace. Stop checking on workers every few minutes, which results in trust, cooperation, and generally higher levels of productivity. 

Consider these tips as a guideline to strengthen the employee-employer relationship. The result will include employees wanting to come to work so attendance improves as well as lower employee turnover and higher productivity levels. Workers are more content and produce quality work at more efficient rates. The result is increased sales and profitability. 

When we have a truly effective workplace, we know what is important; we manage time well; we communicate clearly; we are more sensitive to the needs of others; and we have a good attitude. Effective workers are often the most respected and the most productive in the workplace. Often these are the people who are the first to be considered for merit increases and promotions. So, it is a win-win for everyone. 

Every organization has a culture. It is up to management whether that culture supports a highly productive workplace. Management has to quantify their end objective. Will their current culture allow them to achieve that objective? Once this is done, they need to redefine the manner in which is best to achieve the end goal.

Redefining a culture is a long-term challenge and requires flexibility and understanding. Everyone must keep working together. In the final analysis, the culture is one of the most important factors for understanding and achievement.