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Do You Tell the Truth?
Or Hide It?

Often, managers are hesitant to post workers' performance numbers. "We shouldn't single them out."

If it's the truth, we shouldn't shy away from showing it.

Giving feedback is essential to managing performance and making work more like a game.

Accountability - Visibility
Your good performers want their numbers shown. Your worst performers are hiding behind their knowledge that you won't show individual performance numbers.

If they thought their numbers would be shown in the bright light of day, they'd make sure the numbers (their performance) didn't look so bad. But being that they're confident that you won't single them out in public, they don't worry about it.

You think they would be upset if you show the numbers, but actually they're upset that you don't.

Bring on the Danger
It's boring not knowing how they're doing.

People need some danger, some unpredictability in their lives to keep things exciting. They want to be treated like adults. They want to be treated like they can handle the truth. Not some watered down version that doesn't reflect reality.

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

-- Benjamin Franklin

Your best workers want accountability and visibility. Your worst workers don't.

If you thought that your worst workers would probably try and find some other place to work where they can do the minimum and lurk in the darkness if you insisted on accountability and visibility, that alone might convince you to pursue it in a big way. Right?

Posting Numbers and Taking Names
Personally, I'm in favor of providing the names with the performance numbers.

Everyone knows who is high and low on the performance list already!
They already know. Not showing the data doesn't conceal anything. It doesn't make anything better, and makes many things worse.

When we show the performance numbers and focus on the gap between where we are and need to be, it brings the system problems to the surface - which is the source of most of our problems.

--> "I can't hit my numbers because my supervisor doesn't give me my work instructions until 40 minutes into my shift."

--> "I need to search for parts before I can start working."

--> "I have to grind an 18th inch off the part because they aren't fabbed right and won't fit together or don't match the print."

When I pressure the workers, I finally get down to the repetitive issues that need to be fixed before we can hit the productivity numbers.

Here is the kicker - without the data and the pressure to hit the numbers, these issues don't get out into the "bright light of day".

People just live with them, muddle through them, accommodate them . . . and that's where your profits are, that's where their bonuses go, that's how your competition underbids you and steals your customers . . . and it's such a simple thing really!

Driving Accountability
Companies with Gainsharing systems specify the performance needed to "be in the hunt" for a bonus at the end of the month. The needed performance (the "Plan") is calculated (for the week, day, and shift). Performance is broken down in terms of "what is and isn't happening" in terms of performance against the "Plan."

Their Gainsharing process puts a discipline to this, so it happens week in and week out - without fail.

This analysis, accountability, visibility, and the fixes we put in place are the main engine that drives the gains.

But, this starts with an emphasis on visibility and accountability. Once we have this, the performance improvements start almost as if by magic.

We may think we're doing the right thing not showing the numbers. But your employees/colleagues would probably prefer that we brought the truth out into the "bright light of day" and put teeth into making performance happen.

So, tell the truth, and let "the gains begin."

Your Assignment
(1) Select a type of performance that you would like to highlight or improve. I suggest you consider the following question "What one area of performance, if we could truly achieve excellence, would provide the the greatest positive impact on our overall Company performance?"

(2) Give the measurements of performance in this area strong, public visibility. No hiding. No excuses.

(3) Get the appropriate people together (you and your colleagues decide who that is) and have a focused discussion regarding what the performance numbers are telling us.

(4) Develop action plans or "fixes" to the issues the group deems to be "highest leverage."

(5) Build a review of performance, progress and a way to renew the improvement process into your regular performance review disciplines. For example, incorporate these measures into the information that your management Team reviews monthly, etc.

Every time I've done this simple process, I've had great results. Give it a try and you'll be impressed by the "fire" and enthusiasm that emerges comes from your peoples' desire for truth, accountability, visibility, and "getting into the fight."

Whenever you’re ready . . . here are six ways we can help you:

1. Gainsharing Executive Briefing DVD
This free DVD gives a quick primer on Gainsharing and its “must have” features. It was created by a television producer and includes on-site interviews with actual Gainsharing users. Click here to request your free copy.

2. Gainsharing BluePrint
Answers the question “How could this be applied in my Company?” Outlines both the formula and “Boots on the Ground” connection fundamentals required for an effective Gainsharing system. Click here to request more info.

3. “40 Minutes to a 5 to 15% Productivity Improvement” Webinar
Learn how to motivate employees and give them “skin in the game” to drive results. Click here for direct access.

4. Invite me to speak for your group or trade organization
I would be pleased to serve your trade organization or other groups as a speaker. Click here to email me about your opportunity.

5. In-person, on-site presentation at your company
Let’s put a presentation together for your Management Team and others. It’s an ideal way to explore how Gainsharing applies to your specific circumstances without the cost or inconvenience of travel for your people. Click here to email me to discuss customizing the presentation for your Company.

6. Webinar for your company
We can also develop a custom webinar presentation for your company. This makes it easy to get a quick overview using technology to maximize convenience. Click here to email me to request more info.

You can also send your questions to or call 317-371-1021.

About the Author:

Dr. Charles (Chuck) DeBettignies is an author, speaker, seminar leader, Gainsharing expert, and founder of Gainsharing Inc.

His company implements Gainsharing processes to motivate employees to pursue great performance with a performance-based pay reward system that leads to an improved bottom-line at the same time.

Many companies say it's the single best thing they ever implemented for both their company and employees.

Gainsharing Inc. specializes in Gainsharing Systems, and offers design, implementation, and assistance to drive impressive, lasting success.

Gainsharing Inc.
P.O. Box 501548
Indianapolis, IN 46250

© 1997-2017 Gainsharing Inc. All rights reserved.

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