Great managers do 5 things: 1) they keep expectations clear; 2) they communicate well; 3) they include their people in the right meeting pulse; 4) they have a one-on-one quarterly conversation with each direct report and 5) they reward and recognize their direct reports appropriately.
Recognition involves noticing the good things your people do AND the things they do that aren’t so good for the team and the cause. This means you have to be aware. You can’t be an absentee manager that isn’t keeping an eye on things.
So, presuming you are an observant manager, what do you do when you observe good and not so good behavior. There are four main points to emphasize here:
- Give positive and negative feedback quickly – within 24 hours as a rule. Waiting too long after something has occurred to give the pat on the back or the kick in the rear will greatly reduce the impact of your feedback. If you need some suggestions for ways to say “Good job” to your people, get 1001 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson.
- Always criticize in private; praise in public. Criticizing one of your people in front of others will wipe out a year of effort to build trust. Praising privately will be appreciated by your direct reports, but praising publicly will almost always be appreciated more and will usually produce better performance.
- Be their boss, not their buddy. Trying to get your direct reports to like you isn’t the goal. Give them reasons to respect you and appreciate your role as their manager.
- Use the three-strike rule. When a direct report violates your company core values in a way that negatively impacts your team or relationships with customers or vendors, you need to address the issue. Obviously, if it’s a total breach of trust, they must go. If not, document it – that’s one strike. Let them know they’re on “probation” for 30 days to see if they violate again. If they do, address it and document it – that’s the second strike. If it happens again, remove them. In most instances, they will leave before you have to fire them. That’s when you know you are becoming a great manager.
Takeaway point for this week:
- Answer this question: I am rewarding and recognizing every one of my direct reports appropriately – yes or no? If your answer is yes to 6 out of 7, it’s no. Plan now to make it a yes.
Encouragement: Rewarding and recognizing appropriately produces a team with great chemistry that consistently displays your company core values. That’s your reward.