Author: Liz Frome
If you have ever felt ripped off after purchasing a product or service that did not turn out quite the way you expected, you understand how failing to follow through can hurt your customers. And in the end, hurting your clientele will also hurt your company and could be a potential risk for your job security.
If you are providing a good or service to your customers, be clear about what will be provided and when, and then do everything in your power to meet your customers’ expectations on time and with the price quoted. Failing to do so will give you and your company a reputation for unreliability and untrustworthiness that will be difficult to recover from quickly, if it is possible to repair your reputation at all.
Please keep in mind that just one failure to follow through can lose your best customer that you have had for many years. Please never think just because they have been your customer for many years that you can’t lose them. Following through is quite simple and if you are not organized and on top of your game it can have major consequences. You should always strive to follow through or there will be another client that will!
How Lack of Follow Through Hurts Employees and Coworkers
Customers are not the only people adversely affected by a lack of follow-through from leadership. Employees depend on reliability from their leaders and coworkers. If the boss does not follow up on directives or breaks promises to team members, employees may feel that it is acceptable to do the same. Please keep in mind you should always follow through with your coworkers or they may not want you on their team or want to work with you. They may also feel a bit betrayed and begin thinking that they do not mean much to the leaders or coworkers. Again, this is an easy thing to do and if you can’t follow through then please just communicate what a new deadline will be or what a change in plan may be. It can hurt morale and filter a negative vibe through the office.
All of this is likely to result in dissatisfaction in the workplace and a loss of productivity. As a leader, it is important that you establish a good working relationship with associates and consistently maintain the standards you expect in order to develop cohesion and unity within the organization, which will make for a more effective work environment.
How Lack of Follow Through Hurts Leaders
As a leader, others depend on you for guidance and constancy. If others see that you do not adequately bring these qualities to the organization, they will think that you are not fit to lead and will lose confidence in you. Oftentimes it is a lack of follow through from the leader that creates this perception. Indecision can paralyze any endeavor, but it is easy to delay action or reconsider difficult decisions. Sometimes more information becomes available that prompts us to reassess a situation, and other
times we may delay to get more feedback from associates so that they are more involved in the decision-making process.
Ultimately, though, a decision must be made, and making an informed decision and following through with it will provide you more peace of mind as a leader while simultaneously instilling more confidence in your ability among employees who may equate indecisiveness with weakness.
Some Thoughts on How to Develop Better Follow-Through
The way to develop more follow-through is to first of all be careful about your commitments. We often fail to follow-through because our commitments are beyond our capabilities. Consider what it will take to fulfill a commitment before you say yes.
If you struggle with remembering things, technology can provide you with multiple ways and tools to keep track of your commitments. Scheduling software and calendars can be useful to remind you of meetings, project deadlines, certain milestones of your business or even personal life commitments. If you are perpetually overbooked, use productivity apps to manage your commitments. Or you can paste post-it-notes around to remind you of your deadlines.
To activate a positive follow-through mindset, you can create a mantra for yourself. Saying to yourself things like “I deserve success and I am willing to do what it takes to achieve my goals, and I am committed to grow” can have the power to create a strong belief.
The law of attraction, beliefs and vision will only get you so far, there is another step you must follow.
In addition to strengthening your beliefs with mantras, you can use the carrot and stick policy to hack your mind. You do this by focusing on what motivates you. Your motivation can spring out of a fear of losing something very precious to you if you fail to follow-through, or it can be a reward that can keep you associated with your commitment until accomplishment. Make sure that this motivation is strong enough to keep you going regardless of the struggles or hurdles.
“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” Rosalynn carter