Most people at work are good employees.  They do what’s expected most of the time.  They work hard, come to work every day and play well with others.  Some employees go above and beyond the normal expectations.  They arrive early, stay late and are nice to have around.  But then there are those few employees and occasionally good employees, when they do it wrong or not at all.

We have all asked ourselves at some point, “What’s going on?  Why can’t they just do what I asked them to do?”

Here in this series, we will highlight 13 reasons that can affect a person’s performance and provide some ideas on how to handle them when they arise.  Many managers feel that they are just not motivated, which leads to non-specific answers to the problem.  In contrast, knowing what the problems are changes the question from, “How do I motivate them?” to “How do I improve their performance?”  Understanding this concept leads to specific actions that can be taken.

They Think Your Way Will Not Work

After showing someone how to do something, have you ever heard, “O.K., I’ll give it a try, but I don’t think it will work.”  Obviously, your employee does not believe that what they are going to do will work.  This is common when employees are given a task or have been performing a particular task a certain way for a long time.

For example:  You tell your sales/order entry person that making detailed notes after each step will not take much time and will provide a more accurate record.  But the employee is concerned that it will slow him/her down.  So, he/she makes inaccurate notes after the call is finished.

What Can You Do?

  • When getting an employee to do new things, ask them to discuss their opinions with you.  If they think it really will not work, then you need to know why, so you can deal with the issues before they start working.
  • The burden is all yours when it comes to explaining why your way will work.  Merely telling them is not good enough.  You have to sell it to them.
  • With employees, just present the proof that your way will work.  Show them that other experienced employees have been successful doing it your way.  If this is a new idea, present why it must be done and present your proof.
  • If you cannot convince your employees that your way will work, ask them to try it your way and that you will take full responsibility for the outcome.  Make sure you watch your employees closely at first so they do not deviate from your way, which could cause failure and then blaming your method for the failure.

Learn more about handling employee problems.