November 10, 2010 / 1:16 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Motivate employees set in their ways

A broker reacts while trading at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai October 8, 2008. REUTERS/Arko Datta

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Employees who are slow to react can be frustrating, especially in environments where it’s imperative to respond and adapt to change quickly. However, don’t assume these slow pokes are trying to undermine progress or resist change. They may have very good reasons for their response times.

Next time you’re waiting on someone’s input, go talk to him. Explain that you are all under pressure and that you value knowing his response. Ask that he get back to you quickly — within a day or so. He may have a thoughtful rationale for proceeding cautiously, or when he realizes that the matter is in his hands, he may speed things up.”

- Today’s management tip was adapted from “How do you motivate older reports who are set in their ways?” board on the “Ask the Expert: Peter Cappelli” board of the HBR Answer Exchange.

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