Why People Don’t Do What You Want Them to Do – Part 4. Organizational Issues

In Parts 1 to 3 of this blog series, we focused on 3 of the 4 causes of why people don’t do what you want them to do at work.

In this blog, we focus on a fourth cause – Organizational issues.

That’s because there are only 4 potential causes why someone doesn’t do what you want them to do.

They are:

  1.   A skills and/or knowledge issue
  2.   A goals and/or communication issue
  3.   An organizational issue
  4.   A motivation issue

These causes mean that one or more of the following are in play:

  1.   The person doesn’t have the skills and/or knowledge to do it
  2.   The task/goal/result/objective has not been clearly defined or effectively communicated
  3.   There is some organizational barrier that is stopping them from doing it the way you want
  4.   They are not motivated to do it

In Part 1-3 of this blog series, we explained 3 of these causes.

They are: Motivation;  Skills and/or Knowledge; and Goals and/or Communication.

So, if you have confirmed that the person is Motivated, has the necessary Skills and/or Knowledge, that Goals have been Communicated clearly – and they are still not getting the task done the way you want – then the cause may be an Organizational issue.

An Organizational issue is usually the result of an Organizational Barrier.

This Barrier can manifest itself in a number of ways. Here are a few:

  • Location. This is a classic barrier. For example, people on the same team working in different geographic locations such as a different city, different office, different floor etc. It can become an even bigger problem when multiple time zones are involved.
  • Reporting. One person reporting to two people. This can lead to MIXED EXPECTATIONS, because each of the people that the individual reports to might assume that their work has the highest priority.
  • Change. A change in policy that an individual is not aware of, perhaps because it happened while they were traveling or on vacation and no one let them know.
  • Managerial Incompetence. This can happen when a manager assumes that something is “common sense” when it’s not and when they “assume” that the person assigned to the task can actually do it. Since the manager represents the organization, their ineffectiveness or “incompetence” becomes the barrier.

Any or all of these Organizational Barriers can result in a task not being done the way you want.

And, Organizational barriers might not be the only reason the task is not done the way you want.

Other reasons might include Skills and/or Knowledge issues or Goals and/or Communications issues.

In rare cases, the cause could be Motivation.

However, here is the reality of the situation for managers:

1. Since it is a Manager’s job to ensure that all the people in their team have all the necessary…

“Skills and/or knowledge” to do their jobs at the required level of competence.

2. And it is the Manager’s job to ensure that all the relevant…

“Goals are effectively communicated” to their staff.

3. And that it is the Manager’s responsibility to ensure that anything that could negatively affect their staff’s performance from an…

“Organizational” perspective is either neutralized or removed.

4. And that it is the Manager’s job to create a nurturing, supportive and encouraging environment that makes it easy for their staff to…

“Motivate” themselves on an ongoing and daily basis.

…then, if someone is not doing what is expected of them, their Manager by default owns at least 50% of the cause of why it is not happening.

That’s why proactively focusing on and being sensitive to these 4 causes will go a long way to ensure that what you want someone to accomplish will actually get done they way you want.

To read Part 1 of this series, please click here on Motivation. For Part 2, click on Skills and/or Knowledge. For Part 3, just click on Goals and/or Communication.