Yesterday, I was conducting management training to some new “Generation X” managers. One of the skills this group struggeled with was knowing how to improve performance with their employees. The general approach of this group was laid back, and more of a passive management style.

This group of managers wanted employee commitment to work goals, yet also wanted to remain flexible with their employees. Striking  a good managerial balance was the key struggle.

One stratgegy I gave them was a 3-step method. First,  describe what the employee is doing that is creating a problem and express why that behavior is a problem. Second, be specific about what the employee is to be doing. In other words, clearly specify the desired behavior. Lastly, explain the consequesses both positive and negative.  The employee needs to clearly understand the importance of their actions or behaviors. In summarizing the discussion, the manager needs to express confidence that the employee will be able to help the team achieve desired goals.�