Why Employees Don’t Do What You Want Them to Do

          Managers perennially ask why employees don’t do what they are supposed to do. While part of the responsibility falls on choices individual employees make, managers need to shoulder part of the blame, too. Employees want to succeed at work. I don’t know a single person who gets up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll go to work to fail today.” Many of the reasons employee responsibility fails are due to a failure in the employee management systems.

Five Critical Management Systems

Goal Setting and Employee Involvement

          You’ll want to design your employee management system of goal setting and employee involvement to enable employees to succeed.

  • Help to establish overall goals for your department and work unit. Take ownership of the goals that the company requires you to meet and the goals that you can subjectively set, in addition.
  • Communicate the goals of the work unit or enable employees to participate in setting the goals, to develop more employee ownership of the goals.
  • Involve employees in determining how they will go about achieving the goals.
  • Help employees know what to measure and how to measure so that they can see that they are making progress in meeting the goals.


          Delegate projects and other activities to help employees meet department goals by using effective management system delegation methods.

  • Assist the employee to make an overall work plan with dates and a timeline for key deliverables for review.
  • Share any preconceived pictures you may have of what you want the outcome or deliverables to look like.
  • Establish the criteria for success.
  • Meet with the employee at designated due dates to assess progress and road blocks encountered.

Performance Development Planning and Feedback

          Use a performance development planning process to enable employees to understand the goals.

  • Make an initial performance development plan with each employee.
  • Meet, minimally, quarterly to review progress and set new goals, if necessary.
  • Hold a weekly one-on-one meeting with each reporting staff person to stay in touch with progress and accomplishments.

Training, Education, and Development

          Training plays a role in employees knowing what they are supposed to do. They need the skills and tools essential for them to succeed in their jobs.

  • Keep commitments about employee developmental opportunities written in the performnce development plan. (The ability to grow and develop their skills is crucial to employee motivation and success).
  • Coach employee skill development daily and in their one-on-one, weekly meetings with you.

Recognition and Reward

          Recognition is the most powerful form of employee feedback. Timely, appropriate recognition to an employee is feedback that reinforces actions you want to see more of from the employee.

  • Provide recognition that is timely, and that reinforces employee learning and goal accomplishment.
  • Recognize employees for doing what you want them to do.

          In a mid-sized company, semi-annual employee satisfaction surveys are conducted. The Culture and Communications team was not satisfied with the amount of specific information received in response to the question, “How does the company make you feel that it is genuinely interested in employee well-being?” The committee devised a second questionnaire and discovered that the number one factor that affected whether employees felt genuinely cared about by the company, was positive, personal interaction time with their supervisor. Pretty powerful.

          Do you have these management systems in place? Are employees still acting as if they don’t know what you want them to do?


Source : http://humanresources.about.com/