Ari on Business

Natural Law #6: If you want great performance from your staff, you have to give them clear expectations and training tools

This concept is the core of Zingerman’s Training Compact, which we developed under the leadership of Maggie Bayless, managing partner at ZingTrain, back in the mid-’90s. We’ve been working to live up to it—if imperfectly—ever since. To run a great organization it’s very clear that we need to be clear about what we’re asking from the folks who work for us. And then we need to effectively teach them how to meet our expectations.

The validity of this natural law was confirmed in Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s book, First, Break All the Rules, in which the Gallup Organization surveyed 1,000,000 workers and 80,000 managers to determine which factors were most important for keeping the best workers in their jobs for the longest period of time. Their single most important element? Clear expectations. Second most critical? The tools to do their work, among which effective training figures at the top of the list.

Twelve Natural Laws of Business:
There are organizational principles that consistently work and, in the big scheme of things, follow a natural order. We call these “Natural Laws of Business.” Our experience here is that the natural laws are applicable for any business regardless of size, scale, age or product offering. Exceptions exist, but I’ll say up front I wouldn’t recommend expending much energy trying to prove these rules to be wrong.