Jenner Ag, the Case IH Agriculture Application Equipment Distributor for the states of Illinois and Indiana—a consolidation of four different companies—has been serving its customers for 60 years and counting.
While the business, which operates out of three locations, has been successful over the long haul, it was looking for a system that would get everyone inside the company rowing in the same direction—during good times, and bad ones as with the continued downturn in the agriculture economy.
Embrace the various practices that make up The Great Game of Business® (GGOB)—financial literacy training, Huddles, MiniGames™, scoreboards, forecasting, and more—with the help of their coach, Jack O’Riley, and embed them in the organization’s DNA and culture.
Since implementing GGOB in 2010, the Jenner team has seen significant improvement in their forecasting accuracy—especially when it comes to their expenses. “We are consistently within 4-5% accuracy year over year on predicting expenses,” says CEO Steve Jones. “What has really taken us by surprise is the level of interest and enthusiasm from front line associates. The more we play The Game the more the associates want and believe they should know.” By working and playing The Game together, Jenner has truly created a culture where everyone is, “Working Together as One” (WTAO.)
“The Great Game of Business at Jenner creates a workplace culture where every employee is educated and trained to understand what they can do to make a difference. It drives employee engagement since all employees share in the success of our organization. Our associates have clearly defined roles yet understand how working as a team is imperative to achieving our goals which allow us to share in the outcome.”
~ Mark Hartman, Sales Director
Spotlight on the Pandemic
The Jenner Ag team says they were able to weather the worst of the COVID-19 storm. “I have added another experience to my resume’,” says Jones., Jenner Ag, like many companies, chose to send a few people home to work virtually. The good news is that the foundation of transparency and constant communication the team had built up helped them make a smooth transition to working remotely. “To some extent we were already a remote workforce,” says Jeremy McCammack, VP of IT. “We were already using Zoom for our Huddles, so we were able to get just about everyone in the company to join and participate every week. Our lines of communication were already in place to handle a crisis like this.”
Playing MiniGames is an integral part of how Jenner Ag plays GGOB. A prime example in 2020 was an all-company game called “BOOMOPOLY,” their version of Monopoly—which featured a huge 7ft. x 7ft. scoreboard. Associates formed teams across different departments and completed tasks and won prizes on a weekly basis based on rolling a giant pair of dice. “Our goal was to reach $10 million in sales in just a few short weeks,” says Autumn Pitman, who heads up Recruiting & Retention, “and we blew that goal right out of the water.” As a result, the team will enjoy a team-building company outing in 2021.
“This is the first company I have worked for that plays Great Game™ and it just makes sense. I think now that I can see the money, it makes me conscientious of my actions; using less paper, turning the lights off, ordering supplies, etc. It makes employees think like owners.”
~ Emily Rohrer, Office Coordinator
“After all these years of playing GGOB we will never get it all figured out,” says Jones. “Every year requires us to reinvent and tackle new challenges.” That’s why for 2021, their goal in leveling up is about getting back to the basics, especially when it comes to upskilling their newest associates. The team plans to accomplish that by investing in coaching, training, teaching financials, and leading by example. “We want every associate to ask themselves this question: What can I do to be better than I did last year?” says Jones. “As a company, we want to focus on slow measurable growth. We’re on track to have a great year as long as we don’t screw it up.”
“GGOB is our culture, and how we live our day to day. Employees stay engaged not only in their own duties, but in others as well, functioning as one unit towards a common goal. It makes responsibilities and daily tasks fun and turns everything into a learning experience.”
~ Jeff Reeter, Service Director