There is literally no other way to put it: reading Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager changed the entire way I think about and approach management. It’s that good.
The book is set up as a modern day parable where the narrator wants to figure out how to be the best manager in his business, so he finds the guy who is currently the best manager. This guy, nicknamed the One Minute Manager, teaches the narrator his three big secrets for increasing productivity and employee buy-in.
I will explain these three tricks on the blog this week, and that will lead nicely into our podcast on Friday where I will talk about all three in that episode. Even though I’m going to out all of these secrets, I still encourage you to buy the book (and preferably through the affiliate link above to help support the show and the blog) because the book goes into much more detail and explains why each secret works.
On to the first secret: One Minute Goal Setting.
The idea here is to create a concise goal for the day, week, or month and write it out on a single piece of paper in 250 words or less. The average person can read 250 words per minute, so that means it is easy to pull this paper out and reread the goal in less than a minute in case you need a brief minute to refocus yourself.
Now, in fast food, we all know that it is just not possible to meet with every employee prior to a shift and write a one-page goal summary of less than 250 words. But it is possible to set goals for the shift itself that can be communicated in, say, 50 words or less. In turn, these organizational goals translate into between one and four goals for each person on duty.
Let’s talk in more concrete terms. We have Susie on drive-thru, Chet on front register, and John, George, Seth, and Veronica in the kitchen. You’re the One Minute McManager, and you start your day by looking at the performance from the prior shift. You see that you are +5 hours on labor already (darn day shift never cuts), and that means that you’re going to have to cut on your shift. The day shift, despite the high labor usage, has also managed to screw up the service time, leaving it at an average of almost three and a half minutes.
So the first thing you have to do is organize for speed. At your first break, Chet and Susie are going to have to stock that drive thru and counter area up, plus Chet is going to have to clean up all of his tables before dinner. So grab Chet and Susie, and in one minute, talk them through that. Also mention the horrendous service time and let them know that, once again, “We have to show the day shift how it’s done.”
That’s what I like to say. Most fast food places where I’ve put on the gold manager pin have had a serious day shift vs. night shift mentality, so I play the competition up to get better results from people. It helps when one shift screws up labor or service time, because that way I can use that to motivate the next shift–to show ’em how it’s done.
Next, grab the kitchen staff and talk to them. Let them know about the horrendous service time, and that it’s time to school the day people on how a shift is supposed to be run. Meanwhile, it’s time to stock the raw food products so that no one has to go anywhere during the big rush. Assuming that Seth and Veronica are your closers, I’d also let them know that they’re likely going to have to take a break, as well as deal with others getting sent home early.
In all of these conversations, keep them as brief as possible–less than a minute, if you can. And make all of the expectations crystal clear: the service time, having to cut labor, and making all of the usual rush preparations.
During the course of the shift, it is important to remind people of the goals. I like to yell out the service time, and if it is bad, I don’t say anything. But, if it’s good, I tell everyone that they’re doing great and offer some encouragement to keep it up.
This is the secret to One Minute Goal Setting in fast food.