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Gainsharing Inc.

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It's Time to Get Personal
By Charles DeBettignies, Ph.D.

Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of urgency in your company to achieve goals? There doesn't seem to be passion and commitment to make them happen. The goals just seem to lay there. Like achieving them is optional.

What's wrong?

It's not as though achieving the goals really is optional. All kinds of bad things happen if we don't hit them: profits suffer, competitors get ahead of us, people want raises, but the company can't afford them

How do we get people on fire about the goals we need to achieve?

Own It
We have to make to goals personal. Once a goal is personal, you'll do something about it. Once it's personal you own it. If you don't own it, it doesn't matter to you.

To get 100% buy in, people also need to know the "reason why." Why are these goals so important? How do they fit into the big picture?

In Gainsharing meetings, we talk both about the overall system performance goals for the week, and the breakdown of what has to happen where for this plan to come together.

Both elements are essential. People need to see the overall plan, but also they need to know specifically what they need to do to be doing their part to achieve the goal.

Pull Their Weight
It's also essential that they see that if they don't do their part, it will be noticed. They can't just "coast" and blend in. If they don't "pull their weight" others will know.

Now their performance is personal. It's theirs. If they don't do their part, everyone will know.

They will also know that their "coasting" cost their co-workers money by reducing the Gainsharing shared by all workers.

Psychologists know that people will go to extreme lengths to protect their self-esteem. Also, in terms of peer pressure, the fear of what others might say can be even more influential that what others actually say.

How to Make It Happen
To get the passionate attention and follow through on goals that we want, we need to:

(1) Lay out the big picture, overall system goals
(2) Break these big goals into specific, measurable goals, to answer the question "What do I need to do to be doing my part to achieve the overall goal?"
(3) Make it clear how the smaller goals fit into the bigger goal to answer the question "Why is my part in this process so important?"
(4) Have visible accountability for hitting the big picture and smaller goals.

When you do these things, as the Gainsharing process does, you make the goals "personal."

Goal achievement takes on much more meaning, in a teamwork sense. People can see that others are counting on them to hit their goals. The interdependence is clear.


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You can also learn more at our main website

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