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Last Update: Tuesday June 18, 2019

Key Idea: Require Every Employee To Be Accountable

Every person worth having on your payroll wants desperately to know if they are doing good or if they are doing bad. This is because great employees thrive when they have something to measure that will show the personal contribution they make to the process. 

Key Question:


Give every employee a way to measure their work.

Q:  What did one employee at Texas Nameplate say about the measuring techniques?

He said that measuring, "has improved our processes."

Why don't more employees have specific ways to measure their productivity?

A:  Because finguring out what to measure and how to measure takes time and effort on the part of leadership.

Q: What happens to an employee who is given a specific goal to manage?

A: In most every case, the employee will improve performance. There are so many books on the subject of employee productivity it is depressing. Obviously leaders just aren't learning because the books keep coming out and they say so much of the same thing. Jim wants you to find a key indicator that every employee can own then step back and watch them improve.

Tom Gegax started a business from scratch and built it into a multi-million dollar company with 2,000 employees. Here is his advise for building an effective team of people. Notice it starts with making each person aware of your expectations and that should begin with establishing a key indicator that an employee can track.

Tom believes that employees can contribute to the team success most effectively if they are:

1. Fully aware of his expectations of them,

2. Motivated

3. Educated, and

4. Provided with constant feedback.

Set Expectations Provide each employee with a written job description and a copy of your company's organizational chart as part of his or her first day's orientation. In addition to increasing the employee's productivity, setting expectations very clearly and in writing provides the employee with a level of comfort and knowledge of his or her role in the business.

Motivate Employees Every employee in the organization should meet with the person to whom he or she reports at least annually. This meeting should include a historical evaluation of performance since the last meeting as well as goal and objective setting for the next period. The employee should be made aware of how his or her individual goals are part of the overall goals of the business. Finally, the anticipated award, e.g., promotion or bonus, for successfully achieving those goals should be clearly stated. Both the evaluation and prospective goal setting should be in writing and signed by both the employee and supervisor. Subsequent years' evaluations should include a review of goals set the previous year.

Educate Employees Every position in a company requires a certain minimum skill set. That skill set should be included in the written job description. Improving the skill set with additional training for the current position or for a position in the company that the employee is working toward should be discussed in the annual evaluation and goal setting session. Every employee in the organization should benefit from training each year.

Provide Feedback Annual evaluations and goal setting, formalized and documented, are an outstanding way for even a small business to effectively manage its human resources. However, once a year is just too infrequently to provide employees with the constructive feedback they need. Positive feedback should be provided publicly, with recognition given to the employee throughout the company. Negative feedback should be provided privately, behind closed doors, and documented if it is considered to be grounds for dismissal if not corrected.

Think about it

Do your employees know if they are doing well or not doing well?  Should you give them some specific goals to measure?

Clip from: Texas Nameplate


Dallas, Texas: Dale Crownover took Texas Nameplate from being just another print shop to become the first small business to be given the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You will find their nameplates are on virtually everything. They print those specialized labels that out last the item to which it is attached. And because of quality controls, this group is the international supplier to the world's largest companies.

When he went to Washington to receive the Baldrige, the other two winners, Boeing and Solar Turbines, and all DC bureaucrats listened in awe; this man talked about the essence of quality, family and this nation's charter to achieve and to always do better.

We can all learn from Dale and his people. Yet, they did not stop working at it;  and six years later, they received the award again!
You will quickly see that this is an extraordinary work force. When we first taped this episode of the show, nobody including Dale had a college degree and some employees had just received their high school diploma. Notwithstanding, here you learn how they make world-class products and reap plenty of profits.

Oh yes, today, Dale and others have earned a college degree.

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Texas Nameplate

Dale Crownover, Owner

1900 E. Ervay
Dallas, TX 75215

Visit our web site:

Office: 2144288341

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Require Every Employee To Be Accountable

VERDIE JONES: I made a Paducah on it.

HATTIE: What's a Paducah?

VERDIE JONES: That's a plan, do, act and check. That's a Paducah.

HATTIE: Plan, do, act and check.

VERDIE JONES: Plan, do, act and check. And so what I've done to this here like in this compartment here, what I did to make this finer film long...

HATTIE: Oh! So you can find them faster.

VERDIE JONES: We can find them faster, and I put this number on there. OK, we go from A to B. We put 100 films in A, 100 films in B, and, therefore, that means that it would take less time to look up a film, where it normally would take us, like, oh, 20 to 30 minutes, and so now sometime we can look up a film in less than 15 seconds.

HATTIE: And you're--you came up with the idea.

VERDIE JONES: And I come up with the idea.

HATTIE: Smart. That's why you're still here.

VERDIE JONES: Yeah, that's why I been here for 30 years.

DALE: Our rejects started decreasing, our on-time deliveries started increasing, morale started picking up. We got the people involved with these processes we're talking about. We learned in our processes what--your upper and lower limit. And as you do something, make sure it's in this limit. And if it is not, it's OK, but stop the process. Don't wait till it gets to the customer to find out that you did something wrong.

HATTIE: And so this is what you're not happy with because it has bumps.

DALE: Right, it's just a rigid texture.

HATTIE: Did you have a customer complain?

Unidentified Man #1: No.

Unidentified Man #2: Not yet.

Man #1: Not yet.

HATTIE: But you think they might.

Man #1: We think they may, so we're going to rerun it on a different type of material.

HATTIE: When you say, `I think this is gonna be a problem,' that must really impress them.

Man #1: It does. They are impressed that we are concerned about the product that we're making for them. And if we see any way that we can improve it, they're very interested and appreciative of that fact.

Man #2: That's a lot of information that he gives to me, and vice versa, so that we can make sure we get the proper information down so that these people in the shop can make the part right the first time.

HATTIE: So going through the process is a lot of effort and--but has it been worth this?

Man #1: It's definitely been worth it. Of course, our business has increased. But what we've also found through all of our measuring techniques that we've done through this journey, that it has improved our processes, which has made our product a better product.

HATTIE: So it's a fun place to be if you're always getting better, right?

Man #1: Definitely.

Man #2: Sure.

Man #1: And it's kinda unique to work at a place that the customers are so satisfied and overwhelmed with what we're trying to do for them.

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