At ACHIEVE, one of our core values is Productivity – We work hard and get things done. We believe core values are those things that truly define and differentiate one’s organization. On the surface, productivity may seem like an obvious attribute that all organizations should strive for, even something that should be expected and need not be said. However, we have chosen to intentionally name productivity as something that differentiates us and makes us unique.
Obviously, we are not alone. There are many great examples of organizations that are highly productive, but there are also many examples of mediocre organizations – organizations that move at a “snail’s pace”, are indifferent about productivity, and don’t value increased efficiency.
One person I met recently described how, in his workplace, if you are too fast or efficient in your role, both co-workers and supervisors will look disapprovingly on your work effort and resulting productivity. Co-workers get upset because it makes them look bad, and supervisors are frustrated because it means they have to figure out a way to justify the variance in efficiency among employees. Most people prefer that things stay the same, and for no one to “rock the boat” with a strong work ethic or new ideas for efficiency. This is an organization where mediocrity is preferred to productivity.
While this may be an extreme case, the point is that some organizations are all too comfortable to plod along as they always have. They don’t push boundaries or explore ways of doing things differently, faster, or better. There is a culture of accepting and even valuing complacency.
At ACHIEVE, we get an enormous amount of work done in a short period of time, but this is not something that happens organically. It is intentional, focused, and methodical. Year after year, we are pushing and producing innovative and quality products and services. Naming productivity as one of our values keeps us accountable to living out this value in results, not just words.
Productivity is important to us not only because more good work gets done, but because we have seen that employees want to work in an organization that gets things done. Secondly, I have witnessed how highly productive organizations have increased employee happiness at work.
New staff who come into our organization are surprised at the pace at which we make decisions and implement new ideas. This pace inspires them, and they are excited and motivated to work in an organization that gets things done. It is part of what makes our organization a great place to work.