Thursday, November 15, 2018

What is the Difference Between Preferences in Work Style and Performance?

Managers should be aware that there are differences between work style and work performance. Not all people will work the same, have the same personalities, or have the same approaches to problems. Diversity of approaches is an advantage to organizations but sometimes managers may want to stifle differences without being truly aware of why they are doing it.

Performance is the ability to completed items, conduct work, and finish projects. It is the total completion of the end product (at least for that work function) and its value to the organization. If the workers is completing what is required of them and doing well then they are "doing their job" as far as an contractual obligations are concerned.

Work style is how they do that work. Unless you are in manufacturing where there is one major way to complete tasks people of high intelligence and capacity prefer to use their own abilities and methods to get things done. Pushing them down specific paths limits their potential, output and motivation.

Over our professional lives we learn what works and doesn't work. Work style gets developed in ways that enhance strengths gets things done. When we try and narrow that into a style that isn't innate in the worker we may end up inadvertently damaging their performance. In essence, we take our own personal styles and micro manage them onto others.

This stifles creativity and performance in the long run. Seasoned managers hire the right people, give them the task and then let them get it done their own way. They may give advice when it is helpful but they trust the professional to know when the advice is valid or not. The higher you go in education and experience the more freedom from work style requirements you should have. This ensures you are a creative, capable person, versus a blind worker.

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