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Forget The "Sandwich" Technique by Alan Fairweather
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Forget The "Sandwich" Technique
Do you remember being told to use "sandwich" technique when you needed to reprimand someone? Let me give you an example: "Fred, I'm really pleased with how you've been progressing since you joined us and you're doing a great job. However you're not getting your reports in on time and we're missing deadlines. I'd like you to tighten up a bit on this. Anyway,thanks for all you've done so far and keep up good work."
Have you ever said something along these lines? You probably needed Fred to sort out his reporting but you didn't want to upset or demoralise him. The only problem is that Fred may not get message. The importance of it may be seriously diluted. He may hear it as, "Fred, you're doing a brilliant job, you just need to sort out reporting bit but it's not really that important." What happens then is, Fred continues to fail with his reports.
The "sandwich" technique doesn't work, it lets you off hook and it's mealy mouthed. Be direct with your people and they'll respect you more for it. You are also much more likely to get a change in behaviour. If you are unhappy with some aspect of an employee's performance then you need to tell them so. The skill is in doing it in a way that's effective and doesn't lower morale of individual.
Firstly, it's not acceptable to speak to your people just when you're unhappy about something. Tell them good news as well. As Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson say in their book The One Minute Manager - "Catch people doing something right" and tell them about it.
Some managers and employers still have this daft notion that if people are doing things right then that's what they're paid for and they don't need complimented. Ask almost any employee in Industries throughout world and they'll tell you that they don't feel appreciated by their manager.
When you notice someone doing something you do like, tell them about it. When you notice them doing something you don't like, tell them about it. Whether it's good news or bad, same rules apply. Do it as soon as possible. Acknowledgement of a job well done is not much good six months later. Also, if you don't immediately call someone's attention to something you are not happy about, then they'll assume it's okay. Either that or they'll think you didn't notice or you don't care. Do it in private. Why is it that some managers still feel it's okay to reprimand someone in front of their colleagues? Even mildest rebuke can have a negative effect on morale.