As much as large amounts of time and effort can be invested in the initial training and orientation of a new employee, if not followed up upon consistently, it can be a waste of everyone's time. It is crucial to continually train and coach at all levels of the team to ensure constant growth in a company, as well as to ensure the satisfaction of associates in their roles.
Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to succeed. Without constant feedback and correction when necessary, we do others a disservice and can allow them to fall into a cycle of poor production that can lead to resentment on both ends, as well as the loss of a potentially strong team member.
What can take as little as two minutes can literally make or break an organization. I use what is called the "Two Minute Challenge" day in and day out to address concerns, or even behaviours I fear could become issues down the road. Four simple steps that not only correct behaviour in a respectful manner that will satisfy both parties, but will enourage increased communication in your team.
Step 1: State what you saw. It is very important that emotions are left out of any conversation in regards to corrections. Sometimes managers can take their business very personally and can thereby take someone's lack of motivation, or poor behaviours, personally as well. Simply state what you saw, and stick with the facts. For example, say punctuality is the concern. "I noticed you were 15 minutes late the morning". Then wait for the response. It can be very tempting to be the one to speak first, but you must resist this urge. When you first begin to use this technique, it will be new to both parties, so it could be a long silent pause before they say something, and can feel quite awkward. Don't get thrown off track! Wait for a response, then move onto Step 2.
Step 2:Review the standard. Again, leave your personal feelings aside. This can be especially hard on Step 2 as you not only need to separate yourself from the situation you are addressing, but must now put aside whatever reasoning for their tardiness they have pulled out of the bag! After they have finished their reply (ie there was traffic, an accident, my car broke down, etc.), review the standard. "I can appreciate that, but you know that is it company standard that you be here 10 minutes prior to the start of your shift. Again, wait for the response. In my experience, they will usually reply with the same reasoning as after your first step. Whatever it is they say, dont get thrown off track. As soon as you stray from the steps, the effectiveness will be lost.
Step 3:Ask for a solution. In a managerial role, it is very tempting to solve the problem for your employees, but you must stay away from this. Giving the answer as opposed to getting their solution is the difference between a Manager, and a Leader. It will also train your team to take more initiative to solve problems without having to come to you everytime. Make sure that when you word this, you put the owness on them to come up with a solution. "What are YOU going to do to make sure this doesn't happen again?". If they come up with the solution they have personally committed to an ation, and are more likely to take ownership in this solution and follow through. Again, wait for their solution.
Step 4: Agree on the solution and leave on a positive note. You want to ensure that you repeat their idea to show you have heard it and will remember they have committed to it, and state your confidence in the fact that you will not have to address this again. "Great! So we agree you will leave 15 minutes earlier each morning to ensure you will be on time, even if there is traffic! I think that's a great idea, and I'm confident that we wont have to speak about this again."
As I said, the first few times you do this, it will feel very awkward, and they will sometimes succeed at getting you off track and distracting you from the focus of your conversation. The key is to recognize when this is happenening and get back on track ASAP! Stick with this and it will become second nature to you, and will open the lines of communication, while addressing issues in an effective, concise, and non-confrontational manner.
Would love to hear from anyone who can use this and share their experience with it! Good Luck!