know which are the three Es of the administration and what is the difference between them – WAU

Often identified as synonyms, the three Es of management – efficiency, effectiveness and effectiveness – are, in fact, quite different concepts. Knowing what are the peculiarities of each one of them is very important for the proper functioning of your company!

In administration, many concepts, being similar, end up being confused and treated as synonyms. Efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness are examples of this. Although they have some similarities, they are terms with quite different meanings.

To do a good management job, however, it is necessary to understand exactly what each of these concepts means.

That way, with the right application in each case, you can really define whether an employee is efficient, effective or effective.

Want to know more? Continue reading to understand the importance of differentiating the three concepts, the real meaning of each of them, the differences and how to stimulate these characteristics within your company. Check out!

What is the importance of knowing how to differentiate the three concepts?

Regardless of your area of ​​expertise, knowing and understanding the meaning of the terms most used in your work routine is fundamental to the success of your organization, especially when setting up strategic planning.

Therefore, knowing how to differentiate the three Es from management can be fundamental when planning your team management strategies, for example.

How to determine the productivity of a team? Who needs to improve and who can already be considered an effective employee?

With these clear definitions within your organization, it is possible to conclude whether a particular team or employee is performing his role correctly or if any changes need to be made in order for the results to be more satisfactory.

To be successful in your actions, and make processes more sustainable in the long run, it is important to make this differentiation. If you want your team to deliver the best results, it is mandatory to know which employee is efficient, effective or effective.

What is the meaning of efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness?

In order for you to better understand the difference between the three Es and to be able to identify and encourage these characteristics in your company, we detail each of these concepts from the perspective of management and show its main indicators. Check out!


When a job is done in the best possible way, using only available resources and not generating costs beyond what is expected, it can be considered efficient.

That is, when managing to reduce costs, losses or any type of waste when carrying out a certain activity, an employee is being efficient.

The concept of efficiency is related to the cost-benefit of the operation and consists of the characteristic of a team that manages produce exactly what was expected of her, delivering quality work, within the required time and within the budget.

The less effort required to perform a task, the greater the efficiency of the work produced.

For example, a sign of efficiency is to improve and optimize the results of one sector from one month to another, using the same resources previously available.


While the previous concept is directly related to optimizing work processes, doing the same service and still managing to generate savings, effectiveness consists of use all available resources to present the best possible work and, consequently, generate positive results for your company – that is, to do what must be done.

An effective team is one that makes the best use of all available resources and deadlines. Let’s assume that your company makes a budget of R $ 10,000 available for a specific marketing project.

If the work is effective, the entire budget will be used to ensure that the end result is as satisfactory as possible.

The concern, in this case, is the quality of the delivery itself, and not the reduction of the costs of the operation. Here, the focus is to have a performance that achieves the objectives and goals set initially.


This concept reflects the best possible scenario for any company: a team that is effective. In administration, effectiveness is the ability to be efficient and effective at the same time, that is, to achieve the goals defined in the established deadline and budget and to be able to present a satisfactory final result for the company.

Effectiveness therefore represents the ability to reduce operating costs of a given project, but still ensure that the final product is the best possible.

In other words, to combine the two previous concepts so that, in the end, the work has saved resources and time for the organization, but without losing anything in terms of quality.

The ultimate goal of this concept is, therefore, the optimization of the resources made available, generating a positive impact for the company and enabling the achievement of the goals set initially – ensuring that the results achieved are, in fact, recognized.

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What is the relationship between these concepts in the daily life of a company?

In the day-to-day life of an organization, these three concepts are present at all times and are always related, so it is important to understand their differences to ensure that internal processes are done in the expected manner.

When performing a SWOT analysis, you try to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of your business so that outline the strategies most likely to generate positive results for your company, right?

Let’s assume that the analysis indicated, as the main challenge, to guarantee the delivery of the project with better numbers than the previous year, however, with the same resources.

When able to identify which professionals stand out for their efficiency, effectiveness or effectiveness, you can assemble a team focused exactly to perform the necessary function.

For example: can’t you increase the budget for the project and need even better results? What you are looking for is efficiency, that is, that employees make available resources even more useful, improving the cost-benefit of the operation.

To understand whether a job was done more efficiently or not, the most used resource is comparison with previous situations.

That is, it is necessary to measure whether the same work was done with less or more resources compared to the previous period. Presenting the same results – or better – and reducing costs is a clear sign of efficiency.

If the objective is to guarantee an important delivery and that exactly satisfies the customer’s wishes, the solution is to identify the most effective workers.

This means that, regardless of the resources and terms available, the goal set will be achieved by this team, guaranteeing the satisfactory delivery of the work.

In this situation, there will not always be a concern with the efficiency of this production, since the objective is to ensure that the work is, in fact, produced and delivered. Optimizing resources and reducing expenses will not be a priority in this case.

Now, if you seek to present a better result than expected without increasing the resources used or the time available, it is an effective team that you will need, that is, professionals who know how to optimize the tools available and reduce costs, but do not forget the goals set.

How to stimulate these characteristics in your company?

Understanding the differences between these concepts is the first step to improving results and performance within your organization. However, it is necessary to know how to encourage these characteristics to happen on a daily basis. For this, we have separated four tips for you to put into practice!

Encourage proactivity

Stimulate an environment in which all professionals seek new knowledge and learning it is constantly essential for the characteristics present in the three Es of management to be part of its business.

Encourage the quest for growth

Those who seek more knowledge are also looking for growth – personal and professional.

When the professionals involved in your organization aspire to new challenges, the tendency is that they seek more and more ways to carry out their functions in a more efficient, effective or effective way.

Create a sense of responsibility

By understanding that they also have their responsibilities and challenges in the business, professionals will always look for ways to use the characteristics of the management’s Es.

After all, however different they may be, all aim for the best for the company and the end customer. Therefore, creating a sense of responsibility is another way to encourage these characteristics within your company.

Understand leadership responsibility

All of the above are directly related to the leadership role within an organization.

Therefore, it is essential that the decision makers of the company are always attentive to the concepts of efficiency, effectiveness and effectiveness, aiming to ensure that the objectives set are achieved.

These concepts are very important in your company’s daily life. Knowing the differences between each of them is the first step for them to become increasingly present in your organization’s work routine. With some simple practices, it is already possible to stimulate this strengthening.

Now that you understand the three Es of management and the differences between these concepts, how about checking out other important content to make your company more productive? Do you know what Marketing 4.0 is? Read this article and understand what the impacts on your company may be!