One of the number one complaints I hear from executives, managers, and small business owners is a version of “My employees just won’t (bleep) listen, (bleep, bleep)!” Getting people to do what you want them to do has probably been a problem going back to caveman times. One of the best solutions has to do with uncovering reasons that are important to the other party, and not the requester, to complete the task.
This theory was made evident in my home about a few years ago. During a re-organization of the division of labor of household chores, the task of making ice was arbitrarily added to my list of responsibilities by my wife. While I am usually on the ball in completing my list of to-do’s, my duty to make ice never really made it into my stream of consciousness.
After several weeks of my wife using different methods of joking and prodding while she unwillingly made fresh ice, she finally shared with me why she wanted me to do it. Apparently the twisting of the ice trays to release the cubes into the ice bucket hurts her wrists. While the task of making ice may not be that important to me, saving my wife from a painful situation certainly is. Now that I understand the true importance of the task, I make sure that we have a full ice bucket on a daily basis. The task has become more than just a task for me. How can you make a task more than just a task for your staff?