In the business world, companies want to utilize efficiency and effectiveness when training new employees. But these two words mean very different things. An efficient employee produces work quickly and with a good quality by using the least amount of time and resources possible. The effective employee produces high quality work over a consistent period of time. Ultimately, employers would want their employees to embody both of these qualities, however they don’t always go hand-in-hand. Luckily, there are ways to train or identify these qualities in all of your hires.

What is Efficiency

Efficiency is an employee’s ability to complete a task in the least amount of time possible while also conserving resources and ensuring that the work is good quality. Without a high standard of quality, efficiency is useless. It’s important for members of a company to recognize various ways to be efficient, such as avoiding unnecessary meetings or spending time on tasks that could be delegated. Efficiency allows employees to be more productive, though it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll also be effective.

How You Can Improve

Fortunately, efficiency can be taught to employees and colleagues. By learning different ways to be more efficient with work, you can hold workshops to teach employees certain skills and tactics to use when trying to be more efficient. If someone’s inefficient, it’s usually possible to teach them efficiency by giving them the resources or skills that they lack. You accomplish this goal by asking employees what they need to be more efficient and then trying to provide those resources in the office, either in the form of training and brainstorming sessions, or tangible objects that improve productivity.


Effectiveness occurs when employees in a company are able to consistently produce high quality work that furthers the company’s mission. Having effective employees is incredibly important because it means that you don’t have to worry about time and money being wasted when they’re completing their work. They accomplish what needs to be done and it reflects well on the business as a whole. An example of an effective employee is a salesperson who consistently persuades people to purchase the company’s product.

How You Can Improve

Employers can improve effectiveness through performance reviews and constructive criticism. By focusing on an individual employee’s effectiveness to the company as a whole, employers can help encourage new avenues of growth. Where’s the best place to find this super skill? Unlike efficiency, effectiveness is harder to teach, so choosing applicants carefully in the interview process can be a great way to arm your office with motivated hires. How can you test the effectiveness of an applicant? Utilize any and all references provided. This is useful because you’ll speak with people who’ve worked with the applicant in the past.

As the leader of your company, it’s always beneficial to take stock in the qualities that your employees exhibit. Where can you improve as a company? How will those changes impact your bottom line? To truly thrive in today’s market, an employer must ask and answer those two questions early and often.