HOT Tips for Success #4: HOT checks you can bank on.


How does your business share success with your teams? 

Each January, with the holidays just behind us, we schedule a New Year’s celebration to go over the numbers of the past year’s accomplishments and pass out nearly 200 hot checks.

Yes, we admit it. We give out hot checks. And in fact, we love doing it. These checks are not hot because of insufficient funds in the company bank account; rather, they are HOT because they are the HOT
Plan’s strategy for sharing success.

Success is earned in common; therefore, success should be shared in common.

What is a HOT Plan HOT check?

Throughout the year, our teams work hard to hit the HOT Targets they’ve created to help reach Pitsco’s Key Initiatives. Every time a team hits a target, a small part of one of Pitsco’s key business initiatives is accomplished. This creates a steady progress across the board that insures profitability. But something deeper is at work.

Our teams also write HOT targets to help achieve other company priorities. For example, teams write HOT Targets to carry out projects that enhance the company culture. They write HOT Targets to capture above-and-beyond ideas in their departments. They even write HOT Targets to improve efficiency at day-to-day tasks.

When teams hit their targets by deadline, they gain points for the annual bonus fund. Points come in from teams across all divisions of the company, and the numbers soon multiply. As the points multiply, excitement grows. Why? Because accumulated points convert into a cash bonus at the end of the year – a bonus based on the composite point total and divided equally among employees. That bonus is the basis of our HOT check, and we give it out at the company annual meeting in January.

From my perspective, the HOT Point total gives a quantitative value to those aspects of business that are difficult to measure. We can measure profitability in product sales and dollar amounts or increases in our company’s annual bottom line. But how do we measure the success of our culture? HOT Targets and HOT points form a metric that helps us measure and encourage employee engagement and organizational health.

It didn’t take long for us to discover that the HOT Check is more than a nice gesture – it is a driver of success. The HOT Check keeps things realistic and in focus. All eyes are on the targets, from the beginning of the year through the final quarter, and teams work together to push the point total as high as possible before year-end.  Since targets are tied to Key Initiatives and Must-Win Challenges, the unified team efforts to complete as many targets as possible drives Pitsco’s success across the finish line.

HOT Tip 4. Share the rewards of success to ignite your employees’ engagement.

For more information about HOT Checks and  other practical ways to foster a highly-engaged employee culture, pick up a copy of my new book, The HOT Plan, available here in eBook, softcover, and color hardback versions. For special bulk pricing (10 or more books), please visit Follow us on Twitter (@thehotplan) and Facebook, or visit for more details about The HOT Plan.

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