A recent reassignment has allowed me some new adventures and time to consider life, at least while I'm driving.
Many things come to mind as I travel from location to location. I've been thinking a lot about these three management concepts: one-minute goal setting, one-minute praise and one-minute reprimand. Which got me to thinking: How much do we really know about our jobs and the real goals and objectives of the day, week, month and year? Do we ever try to catch someone doing something right? Do our reprimands go so far that they are like a beat-down of sorts?
The fact is, goals, praise and reprimand should be a part of our everyday lives, not just in our business lives but our home lives as well. The question is: how do we put all that to work?
In the book “Putting the One Minute Manager to Work,” authors Kenneth H. Blanchard and Robert Lorber discuss utilizing the “ACHIEVE” method to accomplish our goals.
The “ACHIEVE” model is this:
Ability: Does the person have the skills and abilities required to do what you are asking him to do? If not, you must train them before you give them goals.
Clarity: Make sure expectations are clear and know exactly what is expected of them.
Help: Am I giving the support, training and resources they need to do an excellent job?
Incentive: What’s in it for the person to reach the goal and perform at the required standard?
Environment: Am I providing the environment they need to perform at peak levels? Validity: Do you know why you are asking them to do what you are asking them to do?
Evaluation: Do they know how they are going to be evaluated?
In order to get the best from people we have to give them goals to “ACHIEVE.” However, the goal has to be realistic and measurable. Although evaluation is the last thing in the model, it actually has to occur up-front as well because you have to know if the skills are in place and if they are not, a training “goal” will be necessary to accomplish the overall goal being considered.
Clarity is something that is often very blurry to those who work for us. We say this week’s goals and objectives are “blah, blah, blah” and there is no real clarity. There’s a saying, “If it is not written down, it did not happen.” That holds very true with goals and objectives as well, as without recording the goal, there is no way to track it. Also, when it is written the employee will take it more seriously because it is documented.
“Heeelllllp!” is what most people are screaming. If you are in a management position it is your job to help. We have to help those around us with those clear-cut goals, while understanding the ability of those individuals in our tutelage.
Our industry will struggle if we are unable to adequately reward our people. But, still what is the incentive for them to work toward the future and work hard and sacrifice if there is no incentive? The incentive has to be more than just the mere hourly wage or salary being earned; our customers expect more and so should our employees.
Gerald Wheelus is general manager of Edgewood Auto Parts, Edgewood, Texas.