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Why employees don't do what you ask them

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Have you ever had that conversation with your employees as to why something you had tasked them with hasn’t been done?

Here is a list of reasons that you most likely will have heard. A Managing Director that I worked for in the past shared these with us as managers.

Maybe you have heard some additional ones? – we would love to hear them. 

Some of these things will not be said, the unmentionable things that people don’t want to share.

-          they don’t believe in what you are trying to accomplish.

-          they forgot.

-          they were too busy.

-          they didn’t pay attention when they were asked.

-          they didn’t think you were talking to them.

-          they gave it the wrong priority.

-          they don’t know how to.

-          they were afraid to try.

-          they were afraid to ask how.

-          they don’t care.

-          they don’t have enough time

-          they have a belief that it is not their problem.

-          they have no clear objective.

-          they don’t understand why it is necessary.

-          they had no clear deadline.


There is one thing that links all the above and could prevent 99.9% of these problems, and that is YOU as a manager. That is not to take the blame away completely from the individual, but reason by reason, ask yourself, as a manager could you have prevented this from being the reason why they didn’t get done what you have asked them to do?

In fact, put yourself in their shoes.  Think of your manager, are there things they could do differently to make sure you were able to get done what they asked you to get done yet you didn't?

I bet there is a “prevention” tactic for all of these things that you can think of!


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Published on 08/02/2013 by Emma Harle.

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