When employees say that they’ll do something, you expect them to do so – the same goes for leaders.
When employees fail to follow through, they are sometimes seen as being unfit for the task – the same is true for leaders.
It can be unsettling when someone makes you a promise and then doesn’t follow through with it; Especially, if that person is in a leadership position.
One rule of thumb is, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it.
Don’t promise to send an employee to a training class and later say it’s too expensive.
Don’t say that you’ll terminate an employee if they do a certain behavior again and then let them off the hook.
Don’t lead on about giving someone a raise, and then drag your feet or put it off for a ‘better moment’.
A promise is a promise, no matter the scale.
Even if the promise is revolved around meeting for lunch or calling someone back, that is a commitment you made to not only them but yourself.
Leaders need to be prepared to follow through with each commitment they make. If they don’t, the consequences can be devastating.
If it’s not a promise that one can keep, then don’t make it.
It’s difficult for one’s words to carry any weight at all when they don’t follow through.
While there are explicit expectations which are expressed by the leaders themselves, there are also implicit expectations that people hold leaders to, like being fair.
If leaders don’t follow through with their promises, employees might believe that they don’t have to either; Ultimately, tampering with productivity.
When people in leadership positions don’t follow through it affects not only how other people view them, their credibility as a leader, the productivity of the company, but how other people view themselves.
After all, employees rely heavily on their leaders for a lot of things. When leaders don’t follow through, employees may feel like they don’t matter or hold importance to the company, which can change their perspective on things.
Stand behind what you say.
Shrugging off promises can accumulate over time and cause real problems.
Don’t shy away from having those tough conversations – hold people accountable.
Although, when promises are kept, it’s a good opportunity to reinforce that good behavior. Acknowledge and recognize when other people meet their promises. Hopefully, this rippling effect will catch on and more people will follow through with their promises.