The pile of work pretty much looked the same at the end of the shift as it did at the beginning of the shift, and everyone noticed.  It was has very hard work, so everyone pretty much just paced themselves.  They had no way of knowing how much work they had completed each day so there was no motivation to work faster or slower.

The production manager knew that they typically produced 5000-6000 units and maybe 7000-8000 on a good day.  He wondered out loud to me why they didn’t produce more.  As we walked the floor, we saw some people working, but also saw some people hanging out.   They were behind on orders and the crew knew it, but again, they didn’t know how far behind they were. 

So we told them.

We explained that they were thousands of units behind, but that they also typically produced 5000-6000 units in a day.  We also told them that we would show them how many units they produced each day.  We didn’t yell.  We didn’t push.  We simply reflected a number back to them.

The very next week, on Monday they produced 5000 units.  On Tuesday, 6000.  On Wednesday, 9000.  On Thursday, 13,000.  On Friday, 15,000.

What changed?

People perform better when they know how they are doing and start to understand what ‘winning’ looks like.  The really cool thing happened the following week when they only produced 5000 units on Monday.  The workers started talking to each other.  What happened?  What caused the slowdown?  What could they do to prevent it?

By reflecting the numbers, the workers went from an endless grind of futility, to knowing when they were winning or losing the day.  It’s time to help your people to get in the game! Join us at Leadership Mastermind next Friday to learn more about keeping score and how to know what winning looks like within your organization.

The Great Game of Business Audiobook Download