Intensity and consistency are both important factors in the workplace. While intensity drives more innovation and efficiency, consistency fuels reliability and keeps the deadlines in check. How does one decide which is required or which one to go for? How is one better than the other or why should one be preferred to the other?
“The choice between intense workers and consistent workers depends on the specific context and requirements of the situation,” points out Praveen Purohit, deputy CHRO, Vedanta Resources. He explains “Coming from a large manufacturer involved in various projects such as Capex — where speed and precision are crucial for milestone-based and timeline-driven projects— I would opt for intense workers who are adept at meeting project requirements”.
“The choice between intense workers and consistent workers depends on the specific context and requirements of the situation.”
Praveen Purohit, deputy CHRO, Vedanta Resources
On the other hand, for routine operation production lines, where maintaining consistency is vital to avoid disruptions, consistent workers with a proven track record would be preferred. This distinction allows for optimal execution in both project-based and operational scenarios.
Stating reliability as another important aspect of choosing between a consistent or intense worker, Anil Mohanty, senior HR leader, opines, “I prefer consistent workers because they are highly dependable and one can rely on them without any worries. They consistently deliver as per expectations and their track record reflects their reliability.”
Consistent workers always remain steady in their performance and output delivery, and hence, are seen as highly reliable and trustworthy. They are sure to consistently meet the set expectations.
Sharad Verma, VP&CHRO, Iris Software, concurs, “Consistent workers are predictable, reliable and long-term players. They tend to be loyal and help the company to progress and maintain the status quo.”
Intense workers sometimes lack consistency when it comes to delivering high-quality output. They might be exceptional at times, but their performance chart tends to fluctuate, and reflects inconsistency. Therefore, for complete dependability and steady performance, consistent workers are the top choice.
“Intense workers need to be inspired by the challenge of the project which demands their emotional and intellectual energies. They are motivated by a short- term goal and critical assignments.”
Sharad Verma, VP&CHRO, Iris Software
The dedication and innovation to do any task at hand is also one of the factors that make intense workers more preferable than the consistent ones. “Intense workers are those who work in energy bursts —putting in more than hundred percent efforts, dedicatedly, for projects. Additionally, they are ideal for innovation and disruptive improvements as they challenge the status quo and help the company to innovate and progress further,” believes Verma.
Urgency to deliver a project is another important factor where intense workers are more preferred than consistent workers. “Intense workers bring a sense of urgency and dedication to their work and prioritise the tasks at hand. They effectively manage their time to meet the project’s deadline even while maintaining the budget,” asserts Purohit.
For instance, if a software-development company is creating a new mobile application for a client, the project would have a strict deadline, a predefined budget and specific performance targets. In such a scenario, intense workers would be instrumental in ensuring the success of the project. They would bring the urgency required to meet the deadline, and would also carefully analyse the resources available, identifying cost-effective solutions to optimise the allocation of funds.
Another distinguishing factor between intense and consistent workers is their adaptability and flexibility. “When it comes to adaptability and flexibility in handling changes or shifting work requirements, intense workers tend to be more adaptable. They quickly adjust to new environments and embrace changes,” observes Mohanty.
“Consistent workers are preferable in a company in terms of long-term sustainability. They maintain their own benchmarks and strive to achieve them without comparing themselves to others.”
Anil Mohanty, senior HR leader
Consistent workers generally struggle with adaptability as they are more focused on their own goals rather than the changing environment. However, on the contrary, intense workers exhibit greater flexibility, as they are more responsive to the surrounding environment. Furthermore, they may also feel compelled to outperform others if they encounter competition or someone better than them.
They strive to surpass their counterparts. In contrast, consistent workers focus on themselves and maintain their established level of performance. They are less influenced by external factors and tend to maintain their consistent output.
Agreeing to the same, Verma also opines, “Intense workers need to be inspired by the challenge of the project which demands their emotional and intellectual energies. They are motivated by a short- term goal and critical assignments.”
Another important factor to consider while opting between intensity or consistency is long-term sustainability. “Consistent workers are preferable in a company in terms of long-term sustainability. They maintain their own benchmarks and strive to achieve them without comparing themselves to others,” asserts Mohanty.
Consistent workers usually have a steady mindset and continuously deliver at their established level. On the other hand, intense workers tend to be more competitive and look at their peers for motivation. They may go beyond their current level only when there is competition or a benchmark set by others. If there is no competition, they may become complacent or experience fluctuations in their performance.
However, intense workers can also be guided and coached to raise their performance bar. With proper guidance and support, such as periodical coaching, mentoring and motivation, they can develop consistency in their work.
“Consistent workers are more essential for a company to conduct its business,” states Verma, because “they are process driven, diligent and ensure that the wheels of the business keep turning”. They are important for continuous improvements and process enhancements.
While Mohanty highly advocates having more consistent workers in the organisation, Purohit and Verma believe that a combination of both will be more beneficial for the organisation.
In Purohit’s words, “At the end of the day, it is essential to have a mix of intense and consistent workers in any organisation. Not everyone can be constantly running at high speed. There is a need for individuals who can take a step back, engage in thoughtful planning and work on strategic aspects. The beauty of management lies in identifying the skills and strengths of each individual and assigning them to the right roles. This is the key to success in business. This synergy leads to improved performance, higher-quality outcomes and a positive work environment, benefiting both individuals and teams.”