When it comes to work, we’ve all been faced with the question: which is more important, quality or quantity? Is it more important to cross off everything on your to-do-list, or to finish only half of the work and feel confident that those things were done correctly? There are many different approaches to this argument. However there are some facts employers and employees should know alike in order to optimize productivity in the workplace. Understanding the relationship between quality and quantity will also help employers to better approach task allocation to their employees in order to receive the best results and to avoid problems down the line.
A lower workload for better quality: When to say “enough is enough”
It is not always possible to produce high-quality work in a short timeframe. On one hand, if one task is to be completed in one hour, the quality can be expected to be quite high. On the other hand, if ten tasks are to be completed in the same amount of time, the quality will more than likely be cut down drastically. This is what happens in call centers where employees are expected to make as many calls as possible in a given work day. You can’t expect sales representatives to build relationships with their prospects so rapidly. The calls might lead to nothing and they have to start again, meaning an increase in the quantity of calls needed in order to result in a sale. In the end, you’ve spent the same amount of time on the phone and have almost the same amount of sales as other businesses who make less calls, yet focus on the quality rather than the amount of calls made in total.
That being said, time must be prioritized for the most important things. It is important, as an employee, to be able to look at the big picture and to take a step back. At the end of the day, what’s going to give you the best results? Focus on that. Target more. And dare to create a lower workload if you feel that you have reached the point where the quality of your work is starting to suffer.
If there are too many things to do that cannot be accomplished of high quality under the time constraints that we all know, you are left dissatisfied and you become more and more frustrated. People work all day, yet don’t have the feeling that they’ve advanced in their tasks or that they’ve come closer to reaching their goals. If you already feel like that, maybe it is time to say “no”. Actually, “yes’s” are a source of problems contrary to “no’s”. You have to learn to refuse requests and likewise, to be ready to face refusals. It is impossible to always say “yes” to everything without losing efficiency in your work or in your personal life. Remember: “Yes’s” take more time and are binding.
A good working environment affects the quality of your work
Employees are, above all, human beings. More than 9 employees out of 10 think that the quality of life at work has a strong impact on their engagement and performance. Offering a good working environment also means giving your employees the time they need to relax and and take care of themselves. People who are stressed by the amount of work waiting for them are less likely to be able to separate their private lives from work. Don’t forget to remind your employees to take a break. Their mind will remain sharp and they will be more efficient for sure.
Likewise, concentration can be fostered by granting your employees some private space, where they can focus on their tasks and achieve more in the same amount of time. For example, it is true that an open-space stimulates the creativity and boosts the communication. However, some isolation (like an undedicated office available for whoever wants to concentrate) would definitely help your company to enhance its productivity. Who has ever felt the need, at some point, to just shut the door?
We have to bare in mind that fulfilled employees will always be more motivated to concentrate on their tasks and produce quality work.
Because we, as human beings, exist through the eye of someone; we need some recognition. This is even more true when it comes to business and being part of a company. Acknowledgement + encouragement = Increased productivity. If we feel we matter in the company, we are more motivated.
Author: Priscilla Condette