Face it, what we need most from our employees is for them to think through each of the situations they encounter in their days to create the best, most efficient and most profitable response  in the moment.  However, I find many employees don’t know now to approach their work in a way that encourages their success – to identify and play to their success, and to develop a response to correct any shortfalls. So I thought I would offer some advice through a story about my big Italian family.

We grew up in a large house (because there were a lot of us) on Cape Cod. Every New Years’ Day, we would bundle up and head to one of the beaches near us, walk the dunes, then come back and have a great Italian feast – better than the amazing ones that happened most Sundays. This was the reward for what followed next – the dreaded annual New Years’ resolutions – a tradition in our family as long as I can remember.

Dad would start our resolution process with these three words: Review (look at our past year and remember important things), Rethink (connect to today’s world and rethink how we want this new year to be), and Respond (create a plan to achieve our resolutions). Review. Rethink. Respond. Its approach was simple, effective and easy for us to be held accountable for making good decisions about our lives.

This approach also works great in the workplace. Monthly, have all employees review their current performance, progress, achievement or impact. Identify successes or shortfalls.

Then, have employees rethink how to approach the next month to maximize successes and improve shortfalls; develop a strategy with each employee to help them achieve performance expectations and work on any required skill development.

Finally, once strategies are discussed, respond (create an action plan) with specific action items that can be managed, assessed and measured (full accountability).

Review, rethink, respond. It kept six Italian kids focused on developing lives we love. It also encourages employees to develop skills, learn, play to their strengths and stay focused on things that add value and make a difference the business.

More about employee training and retention on the Mindflash blog.

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Jay Forte is a nationally ranked thought leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations – their leaders and managers – in how to attract, hire and retain today’s best talent. He is the author of “Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform The World.” Jay is a member of SHRM, ASTD, the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association. follow him on Twitter.

(Image courtesy of Flickr user NYC-MetroCardCC 2.0)

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