Blog | 07.10.2012

Effort Versus Ability

When you talk to an employee regarding his poor performance, what is it that you expect to hear? They will typically say that “I’ll try harder” or that “the task was too difficult or inadequately defined to complete in time”. If you an employee, you expect the stock suggestion that “you need to work harder.”

Employee and team performance is critical to customer satisfaction and the company’s financial performance. There is a lot of debate on ways to get the best performance from team members.  One critical aspect is learning to distinguish between Effort and Ability, and being able to pinpoint root cause on why an individual or team is not delivering.

Effort creates Ability

One aspect of Japanese work culture is that they work very hard, and strongly believe that their intense effort can do wonders. Irrespective of our ability, clearly our work output is directly linked to the ‘Time spent on Tasks”. More interestingly, the harder you work, the faster you learn, which in turn drives up your ability. But most of us tend to focus on intrinsic capability; and ignore the fact that ability can improve as an outcome of effort. You will rarely have an all-star team, but you can definitely end up with more and more stars after intense effort. Hence, this important concept has to be subtly communicated to the Employees by their Managers so that they feel themselves motivated to meet their challenges.

Getting optimal effort in a Business Setting

In a business setting, you need tools to assess the quantum and quality of effort that is being put in by tam members and across functions and projects. Where effort is relatively lower, you need to identify the root cause, and ensure that it picks up. This can mean providing more work, giving inputs when the team is stuck, moving people from less busy teams to stressed out ones, and so on.

That is why you need Sapience. It is the only product available today that delivers automated visibility into enterprise effort. The work insight is available to the individual employee as well as managers at each level of the business. If interested, Please contact us at sales@sapienceanalytics.com