A reader of my bi-monthly newsletter sent me the following question:
“I really get frustrated when I ask the people who work for me to do a task and they just don’t do it! What are the reasons that employees don’t do what they are asked to do?”
There are seven reasons why people don’t do the things they are asked to do (or know they should do). Some of the reasons may be their own personal weaknesses, like a lack of motivation or poor attitude. However, more often than not, the real problem lies in the manager or the culture of the organization.
Before getting frustrated at others or passing judgment on their conduct, let’s look at all the possible reasons. I will briefly mention these seven reasons and where the actual problem is rooted.
- They just don’t know. This is a communication problem. They have not been told what to do, or how they should do something. It is not a good practice to assume someone knows something if they have not been clearly informed and explained.
- They don’t know how. This is a training problem where no one has instructed an individual on how to do something. This can be a result of poor delegation skills or ineffective training programs.
- They don’t want to do it. This is a motivation problem that stems from the fact that the individual is not personally driven to do what they should do. There is not an incentive or motive to stir them to action. In other words, there is no motive for them to take action.
- They are in rebellion. This is an attitude problem. Defiance is a serious dilemma often associated with agitation or belligerence toward management or an organization.
- They are in the wrong position or role. This is a selection problem because the person is “a square peg in a round hole” and is either not contented, or suited for the role they are presently in.
- They face an organizational roadblock. This is an organizational problem. The individual lacks the necessary tools, or authority to do the task effectively and therefore they can’t do what they are asked.
- They face an ethical roadblock. This is a leadership problem. The individual sees a conflict or contradiction between the alleged values of the organization, or its leaders, and what the individual has been told they should do. This is more of a problem than most people realize; for example, when sales personnel are told to literally lie to a customer to cover up an internal problem. The employee sees this as a violation of integrity, and a breach of trust with the customer.
An ideal leadership training program addresses these seven important problems in an organization from communication issues through ethical behavior.
A professional facilitator is able to pinpoint where these problems exist, and teach the right attitudes, skills and new habits to overcome them. The result is greater teamwork, productivity and profitability. Why is this important? For an organization to thrive in the 21st century, leadership needs to be encouraged throughout the organization, not simply at the so-called top of it.
Today, leadership development is everyone’s calling and responsibility.
For personal, team, and organizational leadership development issues, Leadership Excellence is here to help strengthen your leadership skills, whether you run the cash register or the whole company. Click on a link below to learn more about our services:
This is Greg Thomas on behalf of Leadership Excellence Ltd. reminding you that it was Peter Drucker who wrote, “Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”
See you next time!