Why employees don’t always do what they are supposed to

When employees don’t do what they are supposed to, quality and productivity may suffer and the risk of accidents and injuries may increase. Here are some reasons why employees don’t always do what they are supposed to and some suggestions on how to fix it.

Reason #1: Employee finds the proper procedure & equipment difficult to follow/use

  • One on one coaching
  • Identify equipment that is easier to use
  • Simplify the procedure

Reason #2: Employee forgot the proper procedure or had a momentary lapse in concentration/judgment

  • When mistakes happen
    • Help the employee learn from them
    • Avoid emotional outbursts, sarcasm
    • Try to avoid punishment for honest mistakes
  • Regular reminders
  • Signs/Postings
  • Regular refresher training
  • Keep procedure documents where they can be easily accessed by employees
  • Simplify the procedure

Reason #3: Employee did not know the proper procedure

  • Review the new employee orientation process
  • Training

Reason #4: Employee knows the proper procedure, does not find it difficult and chooses not to follow it entirely

They don’t understand the BENEFIT of the doing the activity CORRECTLY
They don’t understand the CONSEQUENCES of doing the activity INCORRECTLY
They have always done it incorrectly and have never experienced a negative consequence
Not everybody uses the proper procedure

  • Provide positive feedback when the proper procedure is observed
  • Explain/show why it is important to follow the proper procedure
  • If doing the activity the wrong way results in problems that are important but infrequent, give examples of the possible problems
    • Employee may not have experienced the problem, yet!
  • Enforce the proper procedure consistently with everyone
    • If there are exceptions, ensure that they are well understood and justifiable