# Decoding Differences: Productivity vs. Efficiency

Productivity and Efficiency! We hear these words a lot while some even try to achieve them. These words are related. However, their meanings are mistaken. Both the terms have a separate meaning and significance of their own. While one focuses on quantity, the other focuses on quality. Today we will try to understand the difference between productivity vs efficiency.

### What is Productivity?

So, what is productivity? Productivity is basically completing or finishing work. It can be as simple as finishing the allotted task by the end of the day. It computes the outcome produced in a defined amount of time. It measures the quantity of production generated over time. Henceforth, Productivity is the rate of completing a task.

Productivity = Quantity of Output

How to enhance productivity?

A person can enhance productivity if they can generate more outcomes within the same time. It aims at increasing output production. So, the more a person can achieve in a particular defined time, the more is productivity. Productivity is measured as:

Output Generated/ Input Consumed

For instance: A company hires ten employees to operate its business. The total value of output generated is \$6500. The aggregate working hours of employees is 2400 hours in a month. So, the labor productivity of the company is \$2.7. Here we compared the value of output with input.

Labor Productivity = 6500/ 2400 = \$2.7

Productivity increases when the overall outcome increases either by:

1. increasing efforts,
2. increasing inputs, or

### What is Efficiency?

Efficiency is the measure of the quality of output. It aims at achieving an outcome that fulfills the motive of production. If a task completed does not offer desired quality or is not operational, the work lacks efficiency. Existing quality standards set a parameter for determining efficiency.

Let us take a closer look at an example.

Ritesh and Meenal work in a company. By EOD, Ritesh can file two projects while Meenal six projects. Meenal is more productive because the total outcome given by Meenal is more.

Meenal is more productive for sure, but is she efficient?

Projects compiled by Meenal require thorough reading and have many errors. She had to work on those projects for another day. The original project was of poor quality. Also, it took her more time to finish those projects. This reveals that Ritesh is more efficient.

If we understand precisely, We realize that efficiency is a comparison measure of input and output. Efficiency focuses on both- input quantity and output quality. We analyze the costs of input and output produced. Hence, Efficiency aims to get the best quality output with minimum input required. It is a measure of profit and waste generated. True efficiency is achieving high-quality outcomes with minimum inputs used.

Efficiency = Input costs + Output Quality

How to improve efficiency?

Reduced Input costs and Increased Output quality make up total efficiency. The main agenda is to reduce overall production costs to produce an optimal level of output. Decreased inputs such as – efforts, time, or tools and good quality outcomes enhance efficiency. Therefore, planning the production process, inputs, and setting quality standards help increase efficiency.

### What should one focus on- Productivity vs Efficiency?

We just acknowledged the difference between the two terms. However, they are closely related. An organization needs to focus on both to sustain the business. A company can not survive without Productivity or efficiency. All the institutions aim to increase productivity and efficiency.

We learned that productivity focuses on the quantity of output. But, is a bad quality output an output?

A man makes five earthen pots in an hour. Later, he discovered that the pots were weak and were not fit for sale. Will we still consider the man productive?

Another man produced three earthen pots in an hour. They were sturdy and surpassed basic quality standards. Though the man created fewer pots, he was productive and efficient. He achieved the output of desired quality at reduced costs.

If a task completed does not provide quality results, we consider it unaccomplished. Not only the task remained unaccomplished, but there was wastage of raw material and efforts. Hence, the man was neither productive nor efficient.

Productivity measures the output quantity, while efficiency measures the performance of the output produced. Productivity and efficiency go hand in hand. Hence, We need to focus on both to achieve the best results.

We can achieve both by:

1. modifying our methods of production/ work,
2. focusing on quality> quantity,
3. reduce input wastage, and
4. Using tools and applications

For Example, An employee receives 73 emails in a day. S/he can modify their approach towards email management. They can make several tweaks to spend less time in email management. Also, They can use an email management tool for assistance. For instance, Mailman!

Mailman is an email management software that helps in decluttering our inboxes. It allows you to

1. schedule messages,
2. create templates,
3. block unimportant emails,
4. segregate crucial emails and junk, and reach Inbox Zero.

We can focus on quality over quantity by concentrating on critical emails and reducing effort and time. This leads to increased efficiency and productivity.

### Conclusion

We explored the difference in terms of Productivity vs Efficiency. We understood these terms in depth. There is a difference, but they can not act without each other. Efficiency without productivity or vice-versa is not beneficial. A business organization/ institution needs to focus on both and ensure a constant increase in both.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

• Mobilising young people between the age of 18-35 to become ‘Eco-Period Champions’ by making the switch to a sustainable menstrual alternative and becoming advocates for the project
• All existing and upcoming public institutions (pink toilets, washrooms, schools, colleges, government offices, government buildings) across East Delhi to have affordable provisions for sustainable menstrual product options

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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