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How a Write-Up can Build-Up

How a Write-Up can Build-Up

Written by Tim Nightingale, Nightingale Resolutions

“One of the best write-up experiences I have had in a long time, and the best part was how the employee I wrote-up left the meeting in good spirits.”

Oftentimes, when we read a rule, we think about the dos and don’ts of the equation. But, there is so much more to a rule. Rules are in place for a reason; they are designed to protect us and others from harm. Well written rules, especially ones that are focused on safety, protect employees from physical harm, maintain efficiency and decrease any possible liabilities for the company all the while increasing the quality of food being produced.

Writing an employee up for not adhering to the safety rules is an important and necessary step but comes with no guarantees of changed behavior. 

Daniel shared with me about an upcoming write-up, and I invited him to use a four-step sequence designed to increase the likelihood of a behavioral change. Because of the recent supervision training that Daniel had engaged in, he was ready to grow in his supervisory role and try something different.

Step 1) Prepare a concise list of the ways this choice affects the supervisor, the employee, the other employees, and the company as a whole. When speaking with the employee begin with the following prompt:

This is the way it impacts me and others…

Step 2) Create space to listen to their story without judgment. Use the following prompt:

Can you share with me how this happened?

Step 3) After listening to the story, summarize it and invite the employee to take responsibility using this question:

As you reflect upon it is there anything you would do differently?

Step 4) Thank the employee for recognizing alternative possibilities and complete the four-step sequence with this final invitation:

Knowing how it has impacted me and others is there anything you think could or would do to correct it?

Using these four steps Daniel reported that his relationship with the employee strengthened, that the employee recognized the potential harm that could have come from his shortcuts, committed to changing his behavior, identified ways that it could be done better in the future, gladly accepted the writeup, and even generated ideas for safety practices in other areas. 

If you, or your company, is interested in further exploring the ways that the High-Performing Team Growth Cycle can invite safer, more productive, and higher quality practices with your team please reach out to me at Tim.nightingaledc@gmail.com.