Change before you have to. – Jack Welch
Former GE chairman and CEO Jack Welch was famous for his 10% rule, which basically meant the people in the bottom 10% of the company in terms of productivity and volume were asked to leave every year. New people were brought in to replace this group and it constantly pushed everybody to be better. Nobody wanted to be in the bottom 10% and as the bottom was filtered out, the levels of productivity and success continued to rise each year.
Now, to be honest, I think that’s a terrible way to treat people and have since heard Jack Welch admit that it wasn’t a great idea either, but it does illustrate an opportunity to always evaluate what works and what doesn’t. It seems Jack’s principle may be better suited for practices and not people. So, at the beginning of each year, I think it is important to analyze what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to keeping your strategies fresh. This is especially true for wellness and engagement.
As an organization, you have to look around and be honest regarding your engagement strategies. Even if you love something, you have to remember that everything in this world has a season and certain practices simply don’t work in every season. Over the last few years, our team focused a lot on healthy food choices and personal coaching when it comes to wellness. This year, it’s clear that many team members are going through a new season of life whether it’s buying a house or planning for retirement or preparing for a new baby. Because finances play a huge role in each of these life steps, we are focusing this year on financial literacy. While these choices will differ depending on where individual team members are at in life, financial literacy is a shared need and includes lessons we can learn together.
Now, you may look at this and think, “That’s not wellness.” But, we look wellness as a holistic approach for our team members. Other than serious health issues, financial struggles can bring the greatest amounts of stress to your family. The goal with our wellness and engagement initiatives is to eliminate stress from our team members so they can be healthy, thriving and productive.
Finances weren’t on our radar last year as a priority, but they are this year because that’s what the team or “the marketplace” told me. As leaders, we have to always be looking at relevancy and know that nothing is supposed to last forever. Not a program. Not an institution. It all has to change and be active to stay relevant in the future. For us, change is just a matter of course, and it’s a matter of sustainability.
Question: How do you evaluate your engagement practices – or any strategies – year over year? Are you continuing with the status quo or finding new ways to make an impact?