The biggest management myth is the fantasy that when you tell your employees to do something, they do it.
In my current organization, we have a major issue of people “not doing what they are told”. For the majority of my peers, it is the most mysterious and frustrating part of being a manager. It mysterious as we ourselves would never dream of not doing what our manager asks us to do. It is the primary reason for how we’ve gotten to where we are.
It’s a deeply held value for me that being responsible and credible is you do what you say you’re going to do. However, I’m finding it more and more challenging as I’ve advanced in my career as there always is more work than can done.
In any group of people, be that a work group, volunteer organizations, or even within your own family, there are some that you can always depend on. They do what you tell or ask of them 100% of the time.
Then, there are those at the next level. They have good intentions – but your request gets lost in a sea of hundreds of other priorities they’re juggling. Sometimes they just forget. Sometimes, they make conscious decisions to prioritize but not tell you where you fall in the priority queue. They figure if you’ve only asked once, and not followed up, it might not be that important. They’re playing the percentage game, hoping that they can take a chance and it may go away.
Lastly, there are those that are just straight up lazy and irresponsible. Unless you are somehow cursed, thankfully these are a very small percentage within your group.
Regardless of where the person who you asked falls, you need to follow-up to make sure what you expected to get done, got done. Most people don’t realize that until you tell someone that something is done, it isn’t done!