The second secret of the One Minute Manager is the One Minute Praising. Praise of any kind is, in my experience, very rare in fast food. Managers in fast food seem keen to point out anything you do wrong, but never seem to care when you get it right.
If you want to set yourself apart as a great manager in the minds of those you supervise, master this, and then do it often and well.
One Minute Praisings work like this:
- Tell people up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
- Praise people immediately.
- Tell people what they did right—be specific.
- Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there.
- Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel.
- Encourage them to do more of the same.
- Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization. (One Minute Manager, p. 44)
The real tricks to a One Minute Praising are 2 and 3: immediate, specific feedback. Wendy’s used to call it “laser-specific feedback.” It was one part of a long-forgotten acronym.
“You did a good job today.” That isn’t a feel-good praising.
“You made all of the sandwiches according to procedure today, and I didn’t get a single callback or customer complaint at the counter. It’s good to know that I can count on you–thank you.” Short pause, then: “I trust I’ll see even more of the same from you tomorrow.”
The second one feels better because at least this time, the employee knows exactly what he did right. That’s what’s important: that the employee knows why he’s being praised so that he can continue the same behaviors in the future.
These are good to use at the beginning of a new store assignment because the crew isn’t going to know you, and they are not going to know what you’re looking for–unless you tell them. Through the magic of One Minute Praisings, you will be able to communicate to your new crew what behavior you want to see from them.
If you’re generous with the praisings, you won’t seem like such a hard ass when you must do the inevitable One Minute Reprimand. Tune in for that tomorrow.