By Ranjit Singh Malhi, Ph.D.
Superior work performance is work that is done in an effective and efficient manner (see Figure 1). Being effective means choosing the appropriate goals and attaining them. Effectiveness measures the degree to which predetermined goals are attained. It is essentially “doing the right things”. An important element of effectiveness is quality which is essentially “meeting or exceeding customers’ requirements consistently”.
FIGURE 1: Dimensions of Superior Work Performance
Being efficient means minimizing the cost or resources utilized in attaining predetermined goals. Efficiency measures the ratio of outputs such as products and services to inputs such as labour, materials and capital. It is essentially “doing things right”. Simply put, superior work performance is doing the right things right. It encompasses primarily producing quality work within deadlines, accomplishing work objectives with minimum utilization of resources, and making effective and timely decisions.
Basics of Quality
To enhance work performance, every employee should clearly understand the meaning and basic principles of Quality (see Figure 2). Take heed that quality is not merely an attribute of a product or service. It is also a mindset. Quality must become a way of life for every employee. Without employees exhibiting the right attitudes in their daily work, quality improvement efforts are doomed to fail. All employees should strive to do the right things right the first time and all the time. Problems should be viewed as opportunities for improvement and mistakes as valuable lessons learned.
|What Quality Is||What Quality Is Not|
|1. Meeting customers' requirements consistently||1. Meeting technical requirements|
|2. Preventing defects from occurring.||2. Detecting or rectifying errors.|
|3. Doing things right the first time.||Tolerating errors.|
|4. Focusing on total employee involvement.||4. Focusing on the Quality Control Department or the front-line employees.|
|5. Being customer-driven (both internal and external).||Being process-driven|
|6. Promoting teamwork||6. Focusing on individual effort.|
|7. Practising and open and honest communication||7. Sweeping problems under the carpet.|
|8. Leading by Example.||8. Delegating to subordinates.|
|9. Making decisions based on facts.||9. Making decisions based on hearsay or gut feeling|
|10. Continuous improvement or a moving target.||10. One best level of performance or a fixed target.|
FIGURE 2: Meaning of Quality
25 Tips on Improving Your Work Performance
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