Five Reasons Why Your Employees Don’t Listen, And How To Change That Today!
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard “my employees just don’t listen to me.” I would have thousands of dollars more than I do today. If your employees don’t seem to be listening, here are some actionable items you can take to get the results that benefit you and your team.
- Define the vision of your company. Employees need to know what the vision of the company is and what role they play in getting there. Optimum Impact’s vision is to facilitate success. Everything we do every single day is to ensure that we are facilitating the success of others through our workshops and follow-up. We believe in our vision and strive to live it every day. Your vision should be brief, easy for your team members to share with others, and displayed in every form of media that you’re utilizing. It should clearly state the overall purpose of your company’s existence. Define it. Share it with your team and live it. Your team is watching you. If you live your vision and are a good leader they will follow you to success.
- Define your company culture and core values. An employee may have the skill set required to do the job. However, if they don’t fit your company culture or have the same core values I can assure you they aren’t the right fit for your organization. Start simple and list five things—values that are important to you. Define each one of them. Defining the value clearly states what it means to you. For example, ownership; to some, it means showing up from nine to five every day at the office. For others, it means working with every customer from start to finish. Make sure you define what your core values are to you. If you want a great example of how powerful creating company culture is, check out this Zappos video on Youtube: Zappos Culture is critical. If you don’t fit into their culture you don’t work for their company, period. If you do fit into their culture you will have a very unique, fun, work-life integration career. They like to think of Zappos where people can “take a break from life” by working there. Their employees love working there. The culture is so heavily ingrained that every employee is scored on culture. Things like, “Do you go outside of your department to make friends?” Run your company like Zappos and your employees will not only listen to you but they will be loyal, dedicated, and live the vision with you.
- Leadership, leadership, leadership. Are you a true leader in your organization or just the boss? A true leader grows leaders. They surround themselves with other leaders. Kathy Heasley, founder and president of Heasley & Partners, said, “Leadership is being bold enough to have vision and humble enough to recognize achieving it will take the efforts of many people. People who are most fulfilled when they share their gifts and talents, rather than just work. Leaders create that culture, serve that greater good and let others soar.” Do you motive and inspire others to soar? Do you take the time to meet with you team members and ask what they envision for themselves? Do you create opportunities like Henry Ford did for those who may not have had the opportunities otherwise? Do you ask your team members what they’ve accomplished or do you ask them how you can help them accomplish? Good leaders empower their team members. Do your team members have the authority to make decisions throughout their day? Bob Farrell’s Give ‘Em the Pickle is used all over the world for customer service training. However, it’s a great example of the power of empowering your employees vs setting strict policies and procedures. As a business owner, your team is your most valuable asset. Without your team, you can’t serve your customers. Hiring future leaders, growing them, empowering them, and bringing them with you to reach your vision is critical to the success of your company.
- Actions are the results of your communication. How do you communicate with your employees? Are you demanding? Do you tell them what to do? Or do you encourage them to give you feedback? Do you have meetings just to have meetings? Or do you set a goal for the meeting and help your team achieve that goal? Your team is watching you. If they look to you as a leader they will observe everything you do. Studies have shown that people will imitate the actions of others even though they’ve been instructed to act otherwise. How often do you hear or say, “Do as I say, not as I do”? If your employees are getting the things done that you’ve asked them to do, either they don’t believe in or even know your vision, they don’t fit into your culture, or you don’t do what you say you’re going to do. One of my clients was famous for getting frustrated with a team member. One day, he asked, “Why doesn’t she just do what I tell her to?” The answer was easy: he never—and I mean never—followed through with any of the things he told this team member he would do. Your team members are a reflection of you. If there are things that you want them to get better at, look in the mirror and ask yourself how well you do that task or what your attitude is about that situation. Chances are you have the same challenges that your employee does.
- Hire the best. It can take up to three months to fill just one position at Zappos. Keri Ayres, the CEO and founder of Moms In Motion, spent many years hiring to fill roles. Today it’s a privilege to work with the team of eighty-four strong Moms In Motion. There are several steps you must accomplish to even be considered for an interview. There are many deselection steps throughout the automated process (I’ll share how to automate your recruiting system in another blog). You must show your skill set and fit into their culture before you’re even considered for an interview. This process weeds out anyone who won’t be a good fit for Moms, leaving only the best of the best. If you’re hiring bodies to fill seats, stop today! Even if you have to pick back up some of the workload yourself. It’s that important. Define your vision, your culture, work on your leadership skills. Providing an anonymous survey to your employees is a great way to find out what they think of you as their leader. You’ll want to take their constructive criticism seriously. Have a good look in the mirror. Take a few leadership classes. Read a few leadership books. Practice your skills and get feedback again. Wash, rinse, repeat.