It takes a lot of effort and energy to follow up on all of the tasks and directives that we, as leaders, assign to our subordinates on a daily basis.
If we fail to follow up, then much of what we expected to be taken care of will not be.
We may insist this should not be the case…but it is.
There are reasons for this. We can’t just call it human nature and forget about it, or accept it
Perhaps our subordinates……
Don’t agree with what is being asked of them or don’t think it’s very important and will have no impact one way or the other.
Maybe they don’t think their boss really cares whether it gets done or not
or sees that there are no consequences for not getting it done.
They may even feel justified because they think they are just too busy completing other, seemingly more important, tasks and they don’t take directions from the boss seriously.
All of the above are unacceptable, of course.
As a leader, give this a few moments thought. Here are some questions to guide you.
1) Are most of my instructions actually followed? If not, why?
2) Am I often frustrated and angry – even embarrassed- when I discover that something important has not been done?
3) Are my instructions being ignored due to lack of respect for me?
4) How much more effective and successful would I be if my subordinates were to do what I ask with little or no follow up?
In our experience, we find that leaders who fail to follow up will not excel in their position.
They will spend a lot of time being frustrated, embarrassed and angry until they have a majority of employees who do not require follow up…employees who take care of business!
We’ve told you, before, about a study by Bain & Co., which pointed out that while 80% of CEO’s involved in the study declared that their companies provided a superb level of service, only 8% of their customers felt the same.
This is very likely because the CEO’s gave, or approved, directives that were never properly carried out and, of course, there was insufficient follow up to ensure the directives had been properly executed.
In retail organizations, where you have several levels of individuals issuing directives and assigning projects and tasks which have to filter down through the ranks and into the field to get to the customer facing personnel, you have to have top notch follow up mechanisms in place if you expect uniformity and brand recognition to get stronger, rather than be degraded.
All the Success!