Jenner Sales Corp. is the Case IH Agriculture Application Equipment Distributor for the states of Illinois and Indiana serving its customers for 54 years and counting. While the business has been successful over the long haul, it was looking for a system that would get everyone inside the company growing in the same direction.
The Jenner Team began playing the GGOB in earnest back in 2011 and they saw immediate results including year-over-year growth spiking from 2% to 10%. Perhaps just as importantly, the agriculture equipment market sales slumped in the second half of 2014, which hit many of Jenner's competitors hard. But thanks to playing the GGOB and integrating the forecasting component of High Involvement Planning, the company continued to grow by adjusting to the changing market conditions. "Sitting here in the middle of 2015 we can't overlook that what did last year is a great accomplishment," says CEO Steve Jones.
Ownership started to feel like employees were taking the profit-sharing program for granted instead of viewing it as an earned reward. It seemed employees really didn’t understand how the company arrived at the pool of money and what employees needed to contribute to earn their share of it.
Great Game Solutions
Implement financial literacy training and open the books to the associates and educate them on what the numbers mean as a way to create shared accountability. At the same time, introduce a refreshed profit-sharing program as a way to give associates a way to leverage their new knowledge to gain a greater Stake in the Outcome.
Playing the Game Together
Everyone at Jenner Sales now actively participates in their financial literacy "boot camp" and uses a range of scorecards, which now encompass both Following the Action and Keeping Score, as a way for the company’s associates to learn more about how they impact the numbers. Jenner has also had great success in rolling a variety of MiniGames that continue to help break down
big issues into small, understandable goals that tie back to improved finacial performance. Interestingly, after Jenner acquired another company last year, it opened the books to the people working there. That led to a comment from a longtime manager who said, “I had no idea that it took that much to keep the doors open on this place each month.”
Rapid Financial Results & Lasting Cultural Change
Jenner continues to have great success as its associates continue to become more knowledgeable about how to think and act like owners. The company has also implemented what they call a weekly "Performance Point" scorecard that tracks a metric of each associate's choosing that measures how he or she is doing in the job is then tied to a Stake in the Outcome. As a result, associates have become more accountable and engaged in their work, which is evidenced by the firm's annual employee satification survey scores of 4.3 to 4.5 out of a possible 5. That kind of engaged culture hasn’t gone unnoticed. By building a culture around playing the GGOB, the company has become a magnet for talent in the industry. “We’re quickly becoming a destination employer, somewhere employees refer only their most capable friends and family for job openings," says Jones.
- Revenues and profits are both up – which has been great news for the company’s associates.
- Since Jenner Sales began playing the GGOB in 2011, they have paid out more than $2.1 million in cash and 401(k) contributions – which amounts to 36% of EBITDA for that time period.