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Thread: Following directions

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Following directions

    how to you get someone to follow directions?

    i've tried giving them leeway to do things on their own schedule with a due date. doesn't happen.

    i've tried giving them specific instructions as to how and when a project needs to be completed. doesn't happen.

    i've listened to their concerns and validated them and said in the meantime let's do X and then we can do Y. doesn't happen.

    i've written it out in e-mails for them to have to reference and this works a bit better but things still don't happen.

    arrgh! i don't want to, nor should i have to do everything myself. i'm trying to make it so other people can do things their own way but there is a product that needs to be produced by a certain time.

    any suggestions of other ways i can handle this? this person is new to the profession so i don't want to start down the "verbal reprimand" route, yet.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    is there someone else at your office that knows BOTH you and your employee who can provide some input? it sounds like you're making a significant effort to accommodate your people, but that may not be what they need. it sounds like this is more than merely a problem of following directions. this is a problem of ability to function in the workplace as a good employee. it seems possible that the stuff you're doing for the individual may not be what they actually need. time management skills, anxiety, who knows what's actually at the root of the problem.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    how to you get someone to follow directions?

    i've tried giving them leeway to do things on their own schedule with a due date. doesn't happen.

    i've tried giving them specific instructions as to how and when a project needs to be completed. doesn't happen.

    i've listened to their concerns and validated them and said in the meantime let's do X and then we can do Y. doesn't happen.

    i've written it out in e-mails for them to have to reference and this works a bit better but things still don't happen.

    arrgh! i don't want to, nor should i have to do everything myself. i'm trying to make it so other people can do things their own way but there is a product that needs to be produced by a certain time.

    any suggestions of other ways i can handle this? this person is new to the profession so i don't want to start down the "verbal reprimand" route, yet.
    If you are not honest with them and have them understand the importance of meeting deadlines then you are doing yourself and them a disservice. Maybe you need to lay it out on the line and say these are your expectations, you need to have this complete by this date, no and ifs or buts and you will be evaluated on your ability to reach this milestone. If you are not able to complete it then there will need to be a discussion about your ability to function in this position. Sometimes, people need to hear that before it clicks in their head that this is how the workplace is. I know this is not a pleasant conversation, but you will be happy if this person finally gets it and he/she turns out to be a supurb employee. On the other hand, they may not get it and their skill set may be better suited for other avenues available in this profession.
    Satellite City Enabler

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    If the employee is on probation, take immediate action. Make them correct the behavior and don't give an extended period of time. If it's not working out, cut 'em loose.

    You don't want them there after probation. That's when it get tough to terminate.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Time to start the discipline route, there are always people who will take advantage of a supervisor who trying to be decent,
    When I went through suprevision training we were told that about 85% of the people try to do a good job and that all you had to do was provide the tools and training necessary for them to do their job. The remainder were why discipline procedures were necessary,
    Because they wont do what they have been instructed to do does not make you a bad suprevisor. If you let them continue to disregard instructions than that changes,
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    how to you get someone to follow directions?

    i've tried giving them leeway to do things on their own schedule with a due date. doesn't happen.

    i've tried giving them specific instructions as to how and when a project needs to be completed. doesn't happen.

    i've listened to their concerns and validated them and said in the meantime let's do X and then we can do Y. doesn't happen.

    i've written it out in e-mails for them to have to reference and this works a bit better but things still don't happen.

    arrgh! i don't want to, nor should i have to do everything myself. i'm trying to make it so other people can do things their own way but there is a product that needs to be produced by a certain time.

    any suggestions of other ways i can handle this? this person is new to the profession so i don't want to start down the "verbal reprimand" route, yet.


    A. Make an assessment of the current set-up.
    - Do you have enough people to do things you want to accomplished? Are these people referred by your friend or they applied personally?
    - Do they have the proper skills & abilities to do the job?
    - Is working time properly utilized? Did you monitor from time to time?
    - Did you make follow-throughs in the process?
    - Do you have the proper tools and equipments to support your people? Did you replace defective equipments? i.e. upgraded your computers with proper software, etc.
    - Do you have the materials available right away?
    - Are they fairly compensated?

    Key word here. Motivating your people. You did Empowerment, that's fine, but make follow-ups.

    B. About the project.
    1. Set again another meeting with the group. Invite all people involved in the project. Tell them “Last time we failed, now we don’t want it to happen again”
    2. Explain well the goals & objectives of the project. Why we do this?
    3. Explain well your expected outputs. Set-up your parameters.
    4. Set a written and proper guidelines on how to do things.
    5. Highlight to them that they shall be responsible and accountable for their individual accomplishments.
    6. Reiterate the urgency and importance of time to deliver the project.

    Key word here. Don’t try. Insist your people about the urgency and importance of timely completion of an assigned activity.


    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    how do you get someone to follow directions?........
    arrgh! i don't want to, nor should i have to do everything myself. i'm trying to make it so other people can do things their own way but there is a product that needs to be produced by a certain time..... .
    Never,never,never,never,……………………………………,never do things everything yourself and never,never,never,……………………………., never subsidize the work of the others-unless that person is absent or is on-leave. Focus on your own responsibilities, that is to lead the group.

    Key word here is DELEGATION.


    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    how do you get someone to follow directions?....
    ..... this person is new to the profession so i don't want to start down the "verbal reprimand" route, yet.
    YES. You’re right there. Dismissal is the last word you should put in mind next to Reprimand. Train this person.

    Last thing, if the person still never improved in the probation stage, Implement your last word. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    He's been here about a year and a half and he still doesn't follow directions.

    And since I'm not his supervisor it feels like I can't do anything about it but whine to you all.


    Write the memo. Place a copy in the e-file and a hard-copy in the case file. It really isn't that difficult.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    dandy . . . here is a crazy idea, so take it for what it's worth.

    Approach their supervisor and propose some intense training for the employee. For a brief period of time, increase the employee's workload to be excessively or exclusively this task, even if you are just simulating it for training and not doing it for real. Have them do nothing (or little) else other than this task over and over again until it is done perfect many times in a row (or 9 times of 10, etc.). This will confirm they CAN do it. Let them know that if the task continues to fail to get done as expected afterwards, they will repeat this training. This will encourage them to do it even if it is unpleasant or inconvenient (i.e. they don't LIKE to do it), because the consequence is just having more of it to do and less of the other parts of the job that they do like.
    JOE ILIFF
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Debt is normal . . . Be weird!
    Dave Ramsey

    "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    This is more from the errant employee’s perspective…maybe he is bored…or maybe he is too proud to ask for help.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    or maybe he's just a bum... I've heard of bosses reviewing an employee's computer record to see if he/she is actually working...

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