As business owners, we know there is a difference in our hired staff between those who just meet the basic requirements of the position—make do or get by to get paid—and those who maximize what they are capable of and “shine” to become the stars of the organization. The difference between the two is referred to as Discretionary Effort.

When we hire, it is with the expectation that that person will commit to the organization and their job, that they will do their best, that they will do what is asked of them to help the company succeed. Performance expectations state that the employee will voluntarily meet their potential to be their best. But, of course this is not typically the case at all.

Being able to achieve the maximum effort for a successful organization requires the management team to:


  • Give employees a reason to go the extra mile and keep going until it is a performance habit.
  • Remove barriers to success. Clear the path by providing the necessary tools, assets, and support to excel in the position.
  • Respect your choice in personnel. Treat employees like the adults they are. They were hired for a reason. If you ask for feedback, be willing to accept the responses. This will prove invaluable for building a sustainable culture within the organization.
  • Repeat performance requires continued recognition. When the extraordinary effort is commonplace, praise for the continued growth—validation—will result in the overall success of the organization.
  • From good to GREAT. Through this kind of confirmation and support, an organization also communicates to the other employees that discretionary effort is prized. In turn, this will promote collaboration throughout the team by creating peer stakeholders.


Rewarding behaviour in a consistent fashion involves looking at the benefit plan as a compensation tool.  Employee Group Benefits are a problem solver for an employee and their family by providing them with the ability to pay necessary expenses on a non-taxable basis. Coverage when they need it most, which adds value to day to day and the reason for choosing to work for you, rather than the competition.

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