The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

In our most recent blog post, I talked about strategic planning and the annual, quarterly disciplines to get and keep people on the same page. If you haven’t read it, please check it out.

Once you have a good rhythm of setting clear goals, the best way to cascade them to everyone in the company is to do quarterly or annual campaigns with a theme – to rally the entire company behind achieving one goal. Obviously, one goal that is part of your strategic plan, and interesting and engaging for people.

You define a clear goal and time frame and how the team will celebrate different levels of achievement. A weekly scoreboard is useful to know exactly where you stand, and to prompt ideas of how to reach the goal.

Example: High 5

We rolled out this theme with a retail organization with many stores, all within a one-hour flight of head office. Our goal was to achieve five items per customer transaction.

They were getting two to three items per transaction, in their stores, comparable to similar businesses, around the world.

We knew we couldn’t achieve five for every transaction, but people could aspire to five, celebrate spectacular transactions and shift their mindset to bring up their average score. Every store had a different specific target, depending on their base number but, on average, we wanted people to increase about 15% from wherever they started.

First, we identified the key variables we could control to increase times per transaction, which would lead to higher sales:

  • Have the right stock on the floor
  • Get all staff on the floor during peak hours (not in the back or in meetings offsite)
  • Suggest other items the customer might like, when they are in the fitting room.

The team created posters, a launch event to get people engaged, a scoreboard in every stock room and education by store managers about what could improve items per transaction, without negatively affecting the customer experience.

As the campaign rolled out, the operations team sent weekly reminders, updated scoreboards to show who improved the most, and highlighted the most amazing transactions with commentary from the person to say how they did it.

The store with the greatest improvement, every week, won a free lunch (not a lot of cost) to celebrate, build camaraderie and the desire to do it again.

Thirteen weeks later, at the end of quarter, the High 5 campaign was incredibly successful. Staff got well over three items per transaction – which had never been achieved by the team or any other related stores around the world – and built a new habit to improve and master the variables they could control.

As a bonus, customers were better off, too, because most people appreciated the suggestions from attentive staff, especially when they were already in the fitting room.

Some Winning Campaigns

We’ve done hundreds of these over the years, and, while they do take a fair amount of energy, the results in improved business performance, and creating a culture of competition, winning and celebrating are absolutely amazing when you do it right.

We’ve done campaigns to recruit new team members and customers, drive sales, improve cash flow and customer satisfaction levels and almost anything else you can think of that improves the performance of a business.

Here’s a list of some of the planning campaign themes we’ve been a part of. These were created in many sectors including manufacturing, business and professional services, and real estate:

  • Club 35 – Reduce Extra Inventory
  • Route 66 – Decrease CCC by 30 Days
  • All for 1 – Increase IPT (items per transaction) by One Unit & Integrate Two Teams
  • 1,000 Little Pieces – Units Sold, Built and Shipped
  • 57 New Friends – New Customers
  • R.A.V.E. – Ratio of Tickets to Other Services Sold
  • 500 Club – Achieve $500k GP/Employee
  • I Luv the 90’s – Mystery Shopping Scores of 90%+
  • Above the Line – Team Members Achieving Productivity Goals
  • 2750 Lives – Employ 600 Additional People
  • Crazy 8’s – Driving NPS to a Score of 80%
  • Rapid Response – Calling NPS (net promoter score/system) Detractors within 24 Hours
  • Gone in 30 minutes – Make Meetings under 30 minutes
  • 50 Days of Grey – 50 Projects that are Late
  • A Team – Get to 60% A Players
  • 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Eliminate 30,000 hours of waste
  • Bin-It – Eliminate 845 wasteful actions
  • 600 – 600 referrals.

The Challenge

  • What one number would you want most people in your organization to focus?
  • How could you pull off your own theme? 

If you want guidance to put your own theme together, please reach out. We’d be happy to help.