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Five Reasons Open-Book Companies Should Consider an ESOP

Oct 21, 2021 by Victor Aspengren 1 Comment
Liquidity options are plentiful for business owners: strategic sale, private equity, management buyout, family transfer, and leveraged recapitalization. Which path should you take? We know that 42% of the 2021 Great Game™ All-Star companies and many others walked a different path—implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Apart from the fact that ESOPs can be a great exit strategy for open-book companies, here are the top five reasons why open-book management companies should consider an ESOP.
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3 Principles to Retain Talent

Oct 19, 2021 by Great Game Team 0 Comments
3 Principles to Retain Talent 10.9 million. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, that is the number of job openings in the United States as of the end of July. To add fuel to the fire, there are 4.9 million more people than before the pandemic who are currently not working or even looking for work. Then consider that 3.6 million people retired during the pandemic, and 2 million more are expected to leap into retirement. No wonder nearly 90 percent of the 1,200 employers surveyed by SHRM reported a lack of people to fill open positions, and 73% stated the application rate is declining as well. At SRC, it is no different. We have hired more than 600 new employees across all divisions within the last few months, and we still need more people. But why the shortage? That is a head-scratcher for sure. More than likely, it is a combination of many things—a perfect storm. You really can’t point the finger at one specific thing that is causing it. One thing is for sure. It has caused businesses to think differently about their people. The Great Game of Business has said it for years - People are your greatest asset. Invest in your people, and they will invest in you. That’s easier said than done, right? Yes and no. It’s not always easy, but it is simple. Recently MITSloan Management Review analyzed a total of 1.4 million employee reviews. The purpose of this study was to determine what matters most to employees. They narrowed the reviews down to around 150 topics, with 10 bubbling to the top.
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To Overcome The Growing Skills Gap, Build A Business of Businesspeople

Oct 12, 2021 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
The real crisis organizations face is a shortage of employees capable of thinking critically and making tough decisions. The writing was on the wall for everyone to see. There’s a mass exodus underway in the workforce as some 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every single day. The result is that the number of Boomers in the workforce has dropped by 2.2 million every year since 2010—or an average of 5,900 people a day. That leak won’t stop anytime soon since by 2030, all Baby Boomers will be 65. The problem is that plenty of people missed the signs of this trend—and now they’re paying the price as the number of openings exceeds the number of available workers willing to apply for new jobs. The challenge is exacerbated for those companies looking to hire for specific skillsets.
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Why You Need to Connect Your People To Your Strategy

Oct 7, 2021 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
In 2018, the executives at banking giant Wells Fargo issued a new strategy for their business: the overall goal was to create long-term banking relationships with their customers. And to measure how well the company was executing on that strategy, they began tracking “cross-selling.” In other words, employees would be measured, and rewarded, based on the number of different accounts—from deposits and credit cards to auto loans and mortgages—a customer opened with the bank. The CEO at the time even coined a slogan: “eight is great” to illustrate the optimum number of accounts a customer might have with the bank.  On paper, you could argue that the more accounts a customer had would likely equate with a longer-term relationship with the bank. But, if you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past few years, you know that things went spectacularly wrong. 
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Ten Steps to Strategic Planning Success

Oct 5, 2021 by Great Game Team 0 Comments
For nearly four decades, SRC has been perfecting its approach to strategic planning, and every year it keeps getting better. Here’s the proven step-by-step approach to building good, accurate plans employees love to execute. People Support what they help to create. That is why at SRC and The Great Game of Business®, building a strategic plan is about involving ALL employees in the planning process. That means planning is a year-round event, and it begins with what’s happening in the real world. Twice a year, in June and October, SRC brings the marketplace to its people so they can accomplish two goals: Develop business-growth plans they can own. Help employees answer the questions: Are we confident and energized about the direction of the company? Having a strategic plan is more than putting on paper what you plan on doing over the next year. It is about setting a strategy, building a plan, dealing with market changes, and most importantly, enabling everybody to contribute. This is what we at The Great Game of Business call High-Involvement Planning™. Big picture — High-Involvement Planning can be broke down into clarifying your strategy and building your plan. If you zoom in, you will see that there are really ten steps to having a successful strategic plan.
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One Sentence Employee Engagement: 20 Words To Gain Emotional Commitment

Sep 14, 2021 by Kevin Kruse 1 Comment
One Sentence Engagement? Is it truly possible to condense the science of employee engagement into a single sentence? It is and I’m about to convince you of that. But first I need to explain why I’m taking this extreme exercise in reductionism. Studying leadership and employee engagement has been a passion of mine for the last couple of decades. As an entrepreneur, I used engagement to chase and eventually catch a Best Place to Work award. As an author, one book on engagement somehow turned into three. One speech turned into a global tour. And this article on engagement is number one hundred and something.   <> I know of no topic that is more important to the long-term success of a business than engagement.
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Building A Great Place to Work with the Help of The Great Game of Business

Sep 14, 2021 by Darren Dahl 5 Comments
  How The Jaybro Group is leveling up its culture by teaching their employees to think and act like owners. As the War for Talent continues to rage across the global workforce, a few companies have made bold moves to make themselves what we might call “employers of choice.” In other words, they’re building the kinds of organizational cultures that allow them to attract and retain world-class talent even in the face of tremendous competition. A prime example of a company leading the way in building a standout organizational culture is the Jaybro Group, a full-service supplier of consumables, safety, geosynthetic fabrics, temporary fencing, and barriers to the infrastructure and construction sector in Australia and New Zealand. In April 2021, Jaybro received an award that simply made official what everyone at Jaybro already believed. Jaybro was officially certified as a great workplace by the Global Authority, Great Place to Work®—an organization recognizing the best places to work in Australia for more than 14 years. “Being a Great Place to Work gives us an advantage as we continue to attract the best talent and build brand recognition in the civil and infrastructure supply sector,” says Alison Passey, Jaybro’s Group HR Manager. “The employees who are an excellent fit for our culture remain with us for longer, are happier, and are more engaged in their work because they have found their ‘tribe.’”
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“It’s not my fault!” A Poisonous Employee Mentality

Aug 18, 2021 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
How many times have you been a customer and heard that line? It usually happens right after you bring a product or service defect to the attention of someone at an establishment where you’re spending your hard-earned money. I was on the receiving end of this statement recently. It was tempting to give a customer service lecture to the person in front of me, faultless as he may have been.
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Funding Your Employer Brand Plan—A Numbers Game You Need to Win

Aug 16, 2021 by Kathy Steele 0 Comments
In almost every business, the cost of human capital is one of the biggest expenses, sometimes as much as 70% of a company's annual budget. Despite this fact, many organizations don't invest in an employer brand plan. Similar to lead generation campaigns that target new customers, this brand communication plan focuses on the talent audience. With unemployment continuing to trend under 4%, and companies' focus on employee recruitment and retention as we all fight in the war for talent, savvy leaders are starting to invest in employer brand strategies as part of their growth plan and competitive advantage. Here's How to Play by the Numbers:
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How Malco Products is Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back To The U.S.

Jul 27, 2021 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
Inspired to diversify their employee-owned business, Malco Products has revived an abandoned factory and its iconic brand from the bottom up. The U.S. has been bleeding manufacturing jobs for decades. Back in 1980, for example, more than one-third of men with a high school degree worked in the manufacturing sector . But those numbers soon began a rapid decline fueled by a combination of factors ranging from the rise in automation and rising competition with nations like China to an increase in the so-called “skills gap” that left many manufacturing jobs unfilled due to a lack of workers qualified to fill those openings. That’s why, today,  manufacturing jobs make up about 8% of total employment , according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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10 Easy Ways Leader Can Express Appreciation in the Workplace

Jul 22, 2021 by Donna Coppock 2 Comments
Individuals in the workplace need to feel appreciated in order to enjoy their job, do their best work, have positive work relationships, and stay with their organization long-term. The key ingredient in meaningful, significant, and effective appreciation is individualization—expressing appreciation in the recipient’s preferred “language.” Varying the ways company leadership communicates appreciation will improve chances of hitting the mark, so we've compiled 10 ways leaders can express appreciation in the workplace and foster positive work relationships in order to establish a recognition culture:
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It’s Going To Take More Than Sign-On Bonuses To Win The War For Talent

Jul 13, 2021 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The War for Talent is now in full swing. As the economy continues to reopen, companies have begun hiring again in earnest—driving the unemployment rate closer to pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, the number of open jobs in the U.S.—an estimated 9.2 million—is now breaking records. It’s one of those rare times in recent history where the number of job openings exceeds the number of unemployed people actually looking for a job.
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.