Have you ever heard of discretionary effort?

It’s the level of effort people could give if they really wanted to, above and beyond the minimum required.

Let’s face it, every organization has star performers. Those people I like to call, rainmakers.

You probably have a few rainmakers in your organization. They come in all different forms. Some are blessed with lots of talent. They make the job look easy. They’re revered. Accomplishments are effortless.

Photo courtesy of heyadam

Photo courtesy of heyadam

Then there’s the other class of rainmakers who lack natural talent. What they do have, as Mr. Grant use to say, is “spunk.” They’re driven with a can do attitude. They’re the first ones to volunteer for the ugly projects. They get down into the dirt, mud, and grime and just make things happen!

Rainmakers are exceeding quotas when it comes to discretionary effort.

The majority of the team are, at best, average performers. Others who are disengaged  doing the minimum. That’s if you’re lucky.

In a case study published by my behavioral assessment company,TTI, an engineering firm was struggling with low productivity. They aimed to hire the best and the brightest yet they were trailing behind the competition as far as revenues and productivity.

Evaluations of the company’s workforce revealed only 17 percent of the team were considered rainmakers. These folks were crushing discretionary effort.

On the other hand, only 77 percent were average performers and six percent were found to be low or underperforming.

What if we could tap into this discretionary effort and increase the performance of the other 83%? What would this mean to this company’s customer base? What would be the impact on morale? What would happen to their bottom line?

As the leader, you’re probably asking “How can I increase our discretionary effort?”

Glad you asked.

Do what this company did and perform a Job Benchmark.

In a job benchmark we ask, “What if the job could talk”? What are the skills, motivators, behaviors also known as DISC, and acumen required to be successful in the job?

A gap report was created, comparing each team member to their own job benchmark.

Then, a coaching report was tailored for each person showing how to leverage their strengths and develop those challenge areas so they could increase their discretionary effort as it pertained to the job.

The job benchmark delivered the following results:

  • 20% moved from average to superior performance
  • Billable hours increased 30%
  • Profit increased 25%

Job benchmarks can be used to develop the talent of those already on your team as well as to screen new hire candidates.

We can perform a job benchmark for your organization regardless of where you are in the world. The systematic process can be done on site or remotely.

For more information how a job benchmark can increase the discretionary effort of your team, call End Game Business.

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