by Arnold Grundvig

Employees often need help to achieve goals. Many years ago, I was asked by my boss to interview several of the employees where I worked. It was his way of training me how to be a supervisor. It went well as I reviewed the questions they had answered on the form from the personnel department.

One lady responded to the question about her 5-year goal with an answer that was unexpected. She said that she wanted to go back to school and become a nurse, so she could take care of her aging mother. I related this to my boss as I reviewed the worksheets with him. My boss chuckled and let me know it meant nothing. He had known her for thirty years and she had the same goal for thirty years. The problem was that she did nothing about it.

When employees have goals, whether they be about going to school or being to work on time, we need to help them. That doesn’t mean helping with their homework, it means helping them lay out the steps to accomplishing their goals. Sometimes, it may mean that they report to us about their classes, what they are gaining that will benefit them at work, etc. For employees with tardiness issues, it may be that they report to us every Friday how many times they were on time. Notice, I didn’t say how many times they were late. The behavior we want to increase is the one we should be measuring. That’s an old axiom.

Employees want to excel. Give them a chance to show off a bit. Then, when they do well, congratulate them. Be careful not to give accolades that are premature or unearned because that will cheapen the effect when they are earned.

© 2000-2017 Arnold S. Grundvig, Jr.