2 ways to improve productivity

Focus on work

In most organizations, one person does not do one thing at the same time, but it does many things at the same time. Particularly, those who are in charge of various tasks in knowledge work will not be able to create real value in their work due to the extra work that is far from their basic work.

For example, salespeople in department stores are spending a lot of time on various things and have absolutely no time to serve customers. In addition, field sales representatives take more than a third of their working time to write reports instead of serving customers.

These things do not make knowledge workers faithful to their jobs. It is merely an act of exploitation by the organization. Exploitation of jobs destroys productivity and lowers workers’ motivation and morale.

So what do you need to do to increase the productivity of knowledge workers? To increase the productivity of knowledge workers, you should ask the following questions about all knowledge work.

“What are we paying for?”

“What value should be created in this job?”

Focus on performance

The production or transport of goods focuses on the productivity of the “work” itself. However, knowledge work should focus on “achievement”. In order to focus on “performance,” we have to think in three categories.

First, it is knowledge work that means quality. A “new drug” that dominates the market for 10 years and generates annual revenues of $ 500 million is even more valuable than 20 copy drugs that generate annual sales of $ 20 million to $ 30 million.

Second, knowledge work consists of two things: quality and quantity. In the case of department store salesmen, “customer satisfaction” is not easy to measure due to the quality results. But quantitative performance, such as total sales, is also important. Whether you are an engineer, a medical technician, a bank manager, or an auto insurance salesperson, you can measure performance in both quality and quantity. In the end, in order to improve the productivity of knowledge labor, which consists of both quality and quantity, it is necessary to carry out research on both aspects.

Third, it is knowledge work that means quantity. Similar to physical labor, such as producing or transporting goods, jobs are quantitative in performance. In most cases, performance is measured by the amount of work, but the “qualitative aspect” must also be included in the workflow.

In order to improve the productivity of knowledge labor, it is necessary to first determine which category the specific job belongs to. Only after we know which category a particular job belongs to can we know what we have to “do”.

Also need to decide what you need to analyze, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be changed. This is because you can see what productivity means in certain knowledge work.

Continuous learning and training is required to maintain increased productivity. The greatest benefit we can gain from training is not learning something new. The biggest benefit is that you are doing much better than you already are doing well.

To be good at something, you must be able to teach yourself. Knowledge workers can learn best when they themselves teach themselves.

To teach yourself is to share your own knowhows. When you share something you have, it can be an opportunity for you to further develop yourself. Modern organizations must be all learning institutions. But being a teaching institution is also very important and valuable.


This content is based on Professor Peter Drucker’s book “The Essential Drucker on Individuals”.

This article refers to the following article.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008CM8EI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=attrest-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008CM8EI8&linkId=d08664572facb5bb944da9b00ec670fa#The Essential Drucker on Individuals

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