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Slippage: Sliding From Good to Great
by Lorna Riley

I once met a small, 200-employee medical device organization that reported losing six customers each month due to poor service.

After adding employee turnover, bottlenecks, and a few of the other usual suspects, and the number quickly grew to 15 million. They wanted to grow by 25% each year, but had missed this goal by a landslide. I call this slippage—the amount of profit that organizations lose each year from performance problems.

Ask any employee and they will tell you that they want to do a good job, even a great job, but obstacles stand in the way. It may be a lack of knowledge, or poor communication, or lack of appropriate leadership. The list is seemingly endless, but not hopeless.

The way from being good to great, or what I call “off-the-chart results,” is through training. Organizations pay for training whether they invest in it or not. They pay for it in employee turnover, lost sales, lost customers, lost time, and lost opportunities.

For organizations to reach peak capacity however, the entire system must be diagnosed and treated. If sales people are provided with the skills they need to sell more, the impact on customer service must be addressed as well. If customer service is trained to manage increased sales, managers need to know their role in motivating, sustaining, and rewarding performance.

Those organizations that rest on their laurels will soon be replaced by those that do not. Good organizations stick with training core competencies of each individual against performance goals. Great organizations examine new connections for synergistic alliances, and develop skills through training in order to be different.

Prevent slippage and slide from good to great by providing on-going training.

"Even if you’re on the right track, if you sit there too long, you’ll get run over."
Will Rogers

Copyright © 2002 by Lorna Riley. All rights reserved.

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