One Minute Manager

One of the lectures in my Labor Costing class focuses on some thoughts by two men named Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard.  They wrote a book called “The One Minute Manager.”

In this book, (lookout, here comes my cliff notes version) the authors discuss the reasons managers are often ineffective, and how that ineffectiveness leads to high employee turnover.  These themes are universal, not just in the hospitality business, but at any place that has employees and bosses.

Labor Turnover

I have written about labor turnover and how to combat it in the past, and I would now like to add a couple of other ideas to keep that turnover down. “No one told me what I was supposed to do,” “No one told me how I was supposed to do it,” or “I got little or no feedback on my performance,” are generally the things that most employees complain about.

This goes back to one of my main themes:  Train!  How can any boss expect good production out of their employees without giving them a fair shot at doing so?  And yet they do…

The Ideal Manager

In the book they search for the ideal manager.  Because they found that managers are either liked by their employees but ineffective, or effective, but not liked by their employees.  And they want to find one who is both.

They finally find one and talk to him and his employees about why he is a good manager.  This ‘good’ manager has three main reasons why he and his employees feel he is effective.

First, he practices one minute goal setting.  He gets together with each employee three or four times a year and has the employee set obtainable goals.  Then he practices what he calls one minute praising.  This is very powerful, I used to use it quite a bit in my management days.  If you see an employee doing something the right way, go up and tell them so!

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I used to love to go up to an employee and say, “That’s exactly what I’m talking about, way to go…”  The other side of this coin, however, is the one minute reprimand.  Don’t be afraid to zip over to an employee and let them know that they are doing things differently than they were trained.  I have worked for so many people in this industry who would rather let it fester, than go up to the employee and tell them how they want it done.  There is no room in this business (or any) for the passive-aggressive approach that is so often the story.

Practice these three little tips and you will have better employees, who will stay around longer, and probably give you a whole bunch more respect.


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