The fundaments of manager’s every day actions should be assumption, that he always has two duties in relation to the situation with which he is dealing: (1) achieve substantial (financial, manufacturing, organizational, educational, etc.) goal of the organization, but always in such a way (2) that person for which he is responsible for will come „tomorrow” to work with feeling of being superior or at least the at same level of motivation as „today”.

Assuming the above premise, providing a reprimand should be carried out in such a way that person to whom it is given is not „depressed” and has not felt to be „attacked” and that this person still felt the desire for further cooperation. Achieving such effect is not a simple task. The diversity of human characters and situations makes it impossible to create a „recipe for reprimand”. However, the proposal from authors of the book „The One Minute Manager” has already been repeatedly tested and is an alternative procedure that gives a high level of probability of success.

Motivating reprimand – how to deal with it to achieve success?

  1. The technical conditions under which you will give the reprimand should indicate a partner-like approach to the employee (two people sitting opposite to each other; if one person drinks a cup of tea, then the other should also, or at least, it should be proposed to that person; etc.).
  2. The first contact with the employee should confirm affiliate relationship of the manager (welcome with a smile, give a handshake and start with some talk on the loose, not related to the topic of work subject – e.g. how was your holidays? I heard that daughter is very successful in art gymnastics … etc.).
  3. Presenting the subject of the meeting and issues in such a form that it is not the employee „under attack” but the presented by him behavior or act that we consider it inappropriate, indicating that it does not challenge both his competence and the person as such. During this stage of reprimand we allow the employee to present his version of the situation. Because the person who is given a reprimand often „mix” a number of topics (this is a natural desire to defend by „releasing smoke screen”), the manager should calmly and decisively (clearly) separate the facts and issues and aim on the topic connected with the reprimand. Any matters not related can be treated as subjects, to which you „will return” in the near future – „Today the subject is … and please let’s focus on it.” A very important element in this part of the reprimand is to allow the employee to tell everything he wants to say without interrupting him- even, or perhaps especially, when his behavior is aggressive, attacking, etc.
  4. After the „indication” of matters we are not satisfied with (that is what the worker did not as it should be) manager should let know employee that this fact caused a feeling of disappointment (e.g. .: I am sorry that this happened, here you let me down, etc.).
  5. After showing emotions, manager should be silent for several seconds while looking into the eyes of the employee. This „moment of silence” is a very important message for the employee, THAT MANAGER meant WHAT JUST SAID AND THAT IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. This moment cannot be too long, as this can cause „too strong and too destructive message”.
  6. Then the manager should „revive the situation” by asking the question: how can I help you, so that in the future such situations do not pop up? How will you act in the future, what will you change to avoid such a situation? This approach is very powerful information for the employee that (1) we want to work with him, that there is the future for „us together” and (2) what happened does not dispute the man, but only shows the field on which he need to revise its action. During this part of reprimand there should be set a plan of corrective actions for development of the situation or skills, knowledge of the worker in order to reduce the chances of making the same mistake again. NOTICE! Manger should not use statements like: „hope it does not happen again,” because it is a demotivating statement, reducing the employee’s sense of security.
  7. Farewell should be heartfelt and best not referring to the topic of the meeting.