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HR - The Human Touch

By Sudhir Dhar 20-Jan-2012 | 12:51

We may begin by comprehending the distinction between ‘efforts’ and ‘outcome’. In layman terms effort is regarded as an attempt or endeavour towards a task or job the final result or outcome of which may be desirable or undesirable. Furthermore one can say that there are no available means to measure the ‘effort’ as a quantifiable variable compared to outcome which can be quantified or easily measured; Example an increase in sales can be measured in actual figures.


When a management is faced with a situation where it has to decide on parameters such as effort or outcome to reward an employee it becomes most advisable to select an approach which incorporates both aspects i.e. effort and outcome in a balanced proportion. Similar to holding a weighing scale where one must avoid extreme cases.


What we can learn from the story of the ‘Hare and the Tortoise’ (project Gutenberg’s)is that in spite of putting greater efforts than the tortoise, the hare lost the race; suggestive of the fact that outcome is not dependent on the doer of the task as the tortoise is said to have won due to the negligence on the part of the hare. This in a way leads us to a conclusion that outcome is an independent event not entirely dependent on the labour of the employee but also dependent on external factors. For example in a game of cricket the outcome of win or lose is also dependent on the performance of the opponent team thus very wisely a Man-of-the-Match award is presented to the player who has shown exemplary performance (in a way, put in efforts) irrespective of him being from the winning side or losing side.


Some may argue that the above reasoning is indicative of a pessimistic mindset of a person who may want to avoid taking the blame on his shoulders. But it is easy to agree on the fact that effort will definitely lead to a better outcome. The theory which we have always tried to push into the minds of young students by delivering a gospel to them that: if you study (put in efforts) you will pass with good grades and if you do not study you will definitely fail!


This also suggests that we ourselves have been placing greater emphasis on Effort knowing that its outcome would be undeniably better that an outcome derived without employee’s efforts, which may be better sometimes due to chance or good fortune but not always. Thus we can conclude that employees who put in efforts should not be neglected while rewarding since in time their efforts are bound to give way to sweet returns.