Now that you have been practicing “catching people doing things right” for a few weeks you have probably come smack up against someone who isn’t doing things right. Now what do you do?
Pat is constantly standing by the entrance to the casino talking to other employees instead of greeting guests as they walk in. The next time you witness this behavior (which will probably be tomorrow since he seems to be doing this every day when you arrive) try this:
- Be Specific: Pull the employee aside and tell the person what they are doing that you want them to stop. Don’t say “Pat, you are driving me and everyone else crazy with all of your talking and ignoring customers!” Instead, pull Pat aside and say “Pat, I have seen you talking to coworkers and ignoring customers every day this week when I have come in. I expect you to limit your conversations with coworkers, especially when customers are around.”
- Be Immediate: Just like praising people, don’t save up your reprimands. When you see something going wrong, address it!
- Share How You Feel About It: Back to Pat and the front door, let him know how you feel about it by saying “Pat, it really makes me mad when our customers are being ignored while you have conversations with other employees at the front door. It also irritates me that you are keeping your coworkers from doing their jobs when you have long conversations with them.”
- Encourage the Individual: That’s right—just like praising someone you end a reprimand with encouragement. This may seem counterintuitive, but you want to make sure the employee leaves the conversation thinking about what they did wrong rather than thinking about what a mean boss you are. Focus on the behavior rather than the individual to reduce defensiveness. End your reprimand with a comment like “Pat, I wouldn’t even bring this to your attention if I didn’t know that you can do better and fix this. You are a valuable employee and the role you play in greeting our guests when they first arrive really sets the stage for the experience they will have at the casino. I know you can do it!”
So once again, here is the entire thing:
“Pat, can I talk with you for a minute? I have seen you talking to coworkers and ignoring customers every day this week when I have come into work. I get really irritated when you ignore guests and keep other employees from doing their jobs. Going forward, you need to limit your conversations with coworkers, especially when customers are around. Now Pat, you really know how to make our customers feel welcome, and I wouldn’t even bring this up to you unless I knew you could fix it. I know you can do it!”
That won’t take you long at all (that’s why it’s called a “One-Minute Reprimand”!) and the results are almost always instantaneous. People want to do the right thing, they just need a little direction from time-to-time and using a one-minute reprimand really works.
Same four steps as the praising. Easy. Problem solved!
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