A common greeting by people to a colleague who has just earned a promotion, recognition or given additional responsibility is “more power to your elbow” or the more familiar pidgin rendition, “more grease to your elbow”. Essentially, that is to say the reward for hard work is more work. Expectedly, some people would have a contrary opinion, even if some would argue in favour due to their years of experience and understanding of the workplace. Whichever way one looks at it, it is like the two sides of a coin.
Just as we aspire to make progress and receive some recognition in other areas of life, it is not any different at work. Indeed, employers or team leads tend to give additional tasks to star performers or assign them to more important projects as a vote of confidence in their competencies. Now, that clearly is more work, isn’t it? Without a doubt, it is more work.
However, it is important to look out for learning points. Just like a coin, one must look at both sides. For what it’s worth, hard work provides room for overall development on the job and is an indicator of competence, commitment and character.
By doing more, one learns new skills and temperaments that will improve one’s self concept and worldview. You cannot compare a man who stayed in the same place for twenty years to one who has traveled to several locations during the same period. The experience in terms of exposure, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of other perspectives are immeasurable.
A key benefit of doing more is higher productivity. While it may be stressful at first, the employee who turns out more outputs- quantity and quality wise- will, in the final analysis, be the better for it. If one looks at hardworking people who are saddled with more work, they tend to be at the vanguard of good organization in other areas of life- social, family, religious, and so on.
The saying that ‘practice makes perfect’ holds true for hardworking people, considering that more work helps them hone their skills and expertise. Even when mistakes are made, in the process of correcting those mistakes, they learn more and do things better. Generally, they deliver better outputs than those who stay in their comfort zones.
The essence of this talking point is not to argue against specialization, but to say that any opportunity to expand one’s scope or width of learning has a long term benefit- to the employee, the organisation and the community at large.