Today we’re looking at the second part of our four post series on the fundamentals of management. We are going to talk about taking action. By taking action, we’re talking about two things:

#1 Have The Conversation

The first step to taking action is having a periodic, informal conversation with your employee or the people that you are managing. This needs to be one-on-one time to talk about three things. First of all, you want to talk about how they’re exemplifying or not exemplifying the culture, core values, attitudes, and core character that you have identified for your team. You want to make sure they understand that you’re seeing them do this by giving them specific examples. And if they’re not doing these things, show them some ways that they can. This is an informal coaching opportunity for you, it’s not a performance review. So not only look at what and how they represent the culture of the organization, but also how they’re UWC-ing their job.

Secondly, remember when we talked about UWC? This stands for how they understand what it is that they’re to do, talking about whether they want to do it, and whether they have the capability of doing this job. You are simply trying to identify some areas for improvement or areas to tell them they’re doing an outstanding job. This is a simple but important part of the conversation. They’re looking for direction from you so they understand what it is that they need to do. If they’re missing some of the tools or the ability to do their job, there should be this dialog going on between the two of you to discuss that.

The third part of the conversation is about KPIs, or key productive indicators. This is all about measuring and we measure what matters. With respect to the employee who is doing their job, there should be some very specific measures for that. You can talk about how the job is going and whether or not they are achieving those measurements. Again, this is not a performance review, but merely a mentoring or coaching opportunity. If you do this periodically throughout the year (whether it’s quarterly or every few months), when you get to the end of the year for the annual performance review, you already know how that will turn out because the two of you’ve been working on it throughout the year. This is a very worthwhile time. You can’t just expect people just to get exactly where you want them to be, you need to work together as a team. You are managing them effectively by taking action to have these conversations.

Reward and Acknowledge

The periodic talks are one of the two keys to taking action, and the second one is how you reward and acknowledge. Yes employees receive a paycheck for doing their job, but it is just as just as important to them to know whether or not you appreciate what they’re doing. Whenever you see an employee do something good or bad, you need to respond to it within 24 hours. Don’t let it sit! The sooner you can do it, the better. If you see them doing something good, praise them in public. Let others know about their accomplishments make your team member feel good and that you appreciate their hard work. The side benefit is that other people see what it is that’s important to you. An employee may have exemplified one of your core character traits or core attitudes that you want every employee to have, and when you praise them for that, everyone else sees it and that’s a big deal.

On the flip side, if the employee has failed in some way and you need to criticize what they’ve done or challenge them on what they’ve done, do it in private. Take them aside and do it in private. If you do it in public, you’re going to burn at least a year’s goodwill that you had with them. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Don’t criticize in public, do it in private.

Take Action

Having these periodic conversations and getting into the habit of rewarding and acknowledging people within 24 hours are the two vital parts of taking action. Do these things and you’ll be well on your way to being a great manager.

Thanks for much for visiting. Check out my other videos for more ideas on how to break through and reach the next level in your business. Stay tuned as we continue our discussion of the four fundamentals of good management. And, if you like this video, please subscribe.