By Jeff Davidson,
In the early 1990s, the tractor-trailer drivers nationwide who delivered food and non-food supplies to all of the Domino’s pizza stores collectively earned the top annual award for safety from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. Collectively, these drivers had the fewest accidents and traffic citations, as well as the most miles of accident-free highway driving.
Understandably, Domino’s maintained its own internal records indicating which drivers had been on the road the longest, logged the most miles, had the fewest accidents and citations, and had the best overall driving records.
The Best of the Best
It stands to reason that the single best driver among all of the company’s truck drivers, in a company that won the national award for safe driving, would be among the best commercial drivers in the country. However, the key company office — the Vice President of Domino’s Pizza Distribution Company — realized that he didn’t know the name of this individual, or, for that matter, the names of any of the company’s top 10 drivers. He concluded that he needed to start rewarding these top performers.
He realized as well that he didn’t know the names of the top pizza dough-makers in the company or the top 10 in any other department. As such, he wasn’t in a position to 1) create a profile of the best drivers or dough-makers, 2) identify the best rewards or incentives for these people, and 3) hire others like them.
The insight here is valuable for everyone in businesses or in a career.
Identify, Reward, and Repeat
If your front line is the face of your brand, how important is it to protect your brand? If your front line can either put you out of business or help you achieve a record-breaking year, doesn’t it make sense to know all you can about the top performers?
Domino’s decided to embark on a completely different approach to identifying, rewarding, and assessing its top performers. The company began giving rewards on a regular basis and publicizing such recognition. They did all they could to learn from their top performers and used that knowledge to create profiles, thus attracting other potential top performers.
Your mission: Review the data that you’ve already collected, and contemplate what other types of data you need to collect. Identifying your top performers is not hard, but it’s not all managing from your desk either. Walk the floor and make first-person observations. Meet and greet the people who are doing a good job for you, and it will help enormously in finding more of the same.
Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert®” and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management.