5 Reasons Why Your Team Will Fail to Execute Tasks

5 Reasons Why Your Team Will Fail to Execute Tasks

Have you ever wondered why getting your staff to execute tasks can be a frustrating endeavor? This article aims to explore why.

Let this article be the kick in the teeth you know you need.

One of my favorite words in the English language is “accountability”. Why do I love it?

Because to understand it, is to understand the difference between accountability and responsibility – Two terms that are often confused.

Taking responsibility means taking the blame, taking accountability is about empowering yourself to make a difference.

Empower yourself with one word

People are less likely to take accountability because accountability could imply responsibility and that could imply shame.

Nobody wants to feel ashamed so best to sidestep the whole accountability thing completely. After all, why would you be trying to make something better if it wasn’t your fault in the first place?!?

We often associate taking accountability with things we are responsible for. Not realizing that accountability is strong enough to stand up all by itself.

This article is all about accountability. You may not be responsible for a bad team. Perhaps you inherited them or you may have inherited bad systems. There may be many reasons.

The bottom line is really doesn’t matter who is at fault.

What matters is that you have made a decision to be accountable for the results of your team.

Only now can we start to make a difference and generate positive change.

The power of accountability is one of your superpowers – for the remainder of this article your name is Captain Accountability – and like Mighty Mouse, you’re here to save the day.

Why Your Team Fail to Execute Tasks

1. Be Clear or Shut up

My Dad, God rest his soul, always said “1,2,3, A, B, C”. This was his mantra when explaining the importance of clarity when giving instructions. If you don’t write down in black and white, EXACTLY what you want to be done, you can expect misinterpretations and mistakes.

When these misinterpretations and mistakes happen, a manager falls into one of two scenarios:

A. Points the finger and blames the incompetent worker. Resorting to a pattern of shaming and humiliation tactics.

B. You rip off your shirt and become Captain Accountability. Look at yourself and ask, how could I have communicated this better.

Simultaneously showing patience and gaining the respect of the worker, who is fully expecting an ear bashing only to realise you’re actually not a total twat and they may in fact have a lot to learn from you.

2. Right Task, Wrong Person

I have seen way too many times people given tasks that they are absolutely not experienced enough to take on. They lack the skills, qualities, and training.

The technicalities of the task have been taken completly for granted by the manager who knows the task well and for them its simple.

This is completely irresponsible on the side of management and will surely only lead to poor results.

The manager may justify their decision because they have given someone a chance to prove themself. But there is a time and place.

Do not let your imagination compensate for your laziness to choose the right person to do the job.

Take the time to assess whether you do in fact have the right person for the job or are you just taking things for granted and trying to fob off the task to the first gullible worker who will be naive enough to take it on.

3. The Unexpected Gift of Micromanagement

Freedom and support are conducive to a productive work environment.

The opposite of freedom and support is micromanagement. Micromanaging means one of two things:

A. You’re not a very good manager
B. You’ve hired the wrong person

Micromanagement is a gift. It’s a sign that tells us to stop and acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong and that it needs to be addressed.

If your staff can’t work in an environment of freedom empowered by access to support. Just STOP!

Something has to change. It’s either a system issue or a personal issue. Address the system first. If the system is good, the worker or the manager may need to go or there may be an internal conflict that needs to be resolved.

Either way continuing with the environment of micromanagement must come to an end.

4. Appreciation to an employee is like the sun to a plant

Managers can often find themselves in this pattern of expecting things to be done well and getting upset when things are not done well.

It really does not happen enough that staff get congratulated for being consistent and doing a quality job on a day in and day out basis.

An environment when the daily activities of the staff are not appreciated is not a growing, nurturing, or supportive environment.

This is all too common. Most staff these days would be shocked if their manager showed them appreciation for the simple act of doing their job well.

Appreciation Goals

You may want to consider setting yourself an appreciation goal.

Set a goal that in the course of the next 30 days you’re going to be appreciative 10 times to your staff just for doing their job.

10 times isn’t a lot, but it’s probably 10 times more than you’re used to.

Don’t make it weird, don’t make a big song and dance about it. Just casually slip it into the conversation.

It may feel odd at first, but as it becomes a habit you’ll see the benefits as trust, reliability, and integrity all grow within the work environment.

5. Importance is the key to execution

I saved the best till last.

If people don’t understand the importance of their task, they will do a half-ass job of it.

It’s that simple. If they think the only reason they are doing a task is to satisfy their manager’s ego or to comply with an outdated system, they will do a shitty job of the task, no matter who you are dealing will.

The crap job is not a reflection on them, it is a reflection on management’s ability to reflect the importance of the task.

As managers, we often have the experience to understand the importance of a task that may be perceived by a novice as being of little importance.

They overlook the details as their primary focus is to tick the box to say they have completed your stupid task.

Be Accountable or be a Victim

So there you have it Captain Accountability, I couldn’t care less if your underperforming staff are your fault or not and either should you.

It really doesn’t matter who is responsible. What matters is that you have the power to take accountability, which means you have the power to make things better.

You see you don’t have to change people. But you do need to change the results.

I’m not saying people don’t need to change, of course, they do, but that’s their business, not yours.

Take Action

Your job is to take action and provide them with the infrastructure and mentality that will facilitate them to achieve the best results possible regardless of who they are as individuals.

I really hope this article inspires you to take accountability and to help your staff achieve better results.

This article was inspired by the book Beyond Entrepreneurship – TURNING YOUR BUSINESS INTO AN ENDURING GREAT COMPANY by James C. Collins and Willian C. Lazier.

This is a terrific book with an incredible amount of references to real-life examples.

Looking for more ways to improve your leadership skills?

Don’t miss this article – Immediately Improve Your Leadership Skills

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