How you issue assignments can determine how well employees understand and carry out your wishes. You’ll overcome employee resistance if you:
- Choose your words carefully. Employees accept the fact that managers give assignments. Most gripes tend to stem from the manager’s voice tone and word choice when conveying the order. Steer clear of words such as should and must.
- Distribute work evenly. You probably have your share of both willing and uncooperative employees. Don’t overwork the willing employees because you don’t want to deal with troublesome types. Keep a written log of assignments for a while to ensure that everyone’s doing roughly the same amount of work.
- Avoid power struggles. Focus on the goal and avoid an “I’m the boss; you’re the subordinate” approach. Remind employees that the purpose behind every assignment is the organization’s success.
- Solicit feedback. If an employee balks at an assignment, find out why immediately. When you uncover a problem early on, you have a better chance of solving it.
— From the editors.