3 Things To Do When An Employee Isn’t Listening To You

Boss being ignored by his employeeExperienced managers know all too well the frustration that occurs when an employee doesn’t listen to them.

There are stellar employees who understand everything from the first time and carry out the instructions to a tee.

However, there are those that seem to get information into one ear and out the other.

These people make countless mistakes, forget to finish tasks and ask the same questions over and over.

If this is happening to you, try the following 3 things to see if you can correct the situation:

Ask Follow Up Questions

You can spend hours explaining a topic and feel like you have been very thorough, but the other party may still walk away feeling perplexed.

To make sure that your staffer truly heard you and you are on the same page, it is imperative to ask follow up questions.

Instead of asking yes or no questions, such as “Are we clear?” or “Do you have any questions for me,” ask open-ended questions.

Try to these:

  • What is the first thing you will do upon leaving this office to start this project?
  • What are the main goals of this task?
  • What is the ultimate vision for this project?
  • Can you summarise what I just said?

Change the Way You Communicate

It may not be the employee’s fault that you are not having clear communication because different people communicate differently.

Some people are oral learners, while others are visual, and so on.

Discuss with your colleague the best way for them to receive information.

For example, if you are giving out directions in a meeting, your employee may not be the best oral listener, and you may be speaking too fast for them to truly understand.

They may be visual learners, and simply writing them an email with instructions would clear the communication gap between you two.

Create Consequences

If you have tried to be open-minded and tried to remedy this situation without assigning blame, but nothing is happening, it’s time to consider the fact that the person may simply be slacking off.

In this scenario, it’s important to create consequences for not listening and discuss them with your team member.

Consequences can include a verbal warning, followed by a written one, ultimately resulting in termination of employment if no progress is made.

A department or company must be on the same page when it comes to discussions, planning and working together.

Even one person who doesn’t listen effectively and consequently doesn’t carry out tasks properly can throw the entire team off balance.

This is why it’s important to correct this situation as soon as possible.

Thanks again

Mark Williams

Senior Management Trainer and Consultant

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 21 September, 2018

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