William D. Green, chairman and CEO of Accenture, told the story of such a three-day training session in his company in a recent article in the New York Times. Mr. Green relates that he counted 68 things his managers were told they needed to do to be successful. He continues:
“And I got up to close the session, and I’m thinking about how it isn’t possible for these people to remember all this. So I said there are three things that matter. The first is competence. The second one is confidence. The third thing is caring. Nothing today is about one individual. This is all about the team, and in the end, this is about giving a damn about your customers, your company, the people around you, and recognizing that the people around you are the ones who make you look good.”
While I agree these are three critical rules for managers – especially caring – Mr. Green’s comments started me thinking about what my “three things that matter” would be that I would want to be sure to convey to new managers (indeed, to all employees). My three:
1) Recognize Sincerely – When you tell someone “thanks,” mean it. Don’t use positive recognition as a means to convey negative feedback in a “compliment sandwich”. Pause in the moment and sincerely and clearly express your appreciation.
2) Acknowledge Specifically – When you stop to acknowledge someone’s effort, don’t leave it at “good job.” Give them specifics about what they did, why those actions/behaviors mattered, and how you’d like them to continue.
3) Reward Meaningfully – Don’t toss of the latest company logo item or assume an employee in India will appreciate the same reward as an employee in Mexico. Either care enough to learn what is meaningful to the individual or give them the opportunity to choose a personally meaningfully gift themselves from limitless options.
What are your three “things that matter” that you would want to be sure new employees know are necessary to succeed in your organization?