One of the biggest complaints I hear from front line supervisors is how they can’t get their direct reports to follow their direction. The direction may be to change a behavior, or to follow through on a promise. The phrase I hear most from frustrated managers is “I’ve told them a thousand times,” followed by “but nothing ever changes.”
The first problem here is exaggeration and the second problem is accountability. The reality is, you have probably told them a half a dozen times, not a thousand. They heard you the first time. They either weren’t clear about your request, or they didn’t take it seriously.
Assuming they were clear about your requests, the reason they didn’t comply is because there was no method of accountability. You didn’t set a date to revisit to acknowledge improvement. Even if you did revisit, there were no consequences for unproductive behaviors.
Employees want to be successful and your job is to help them course-correct unproductive behaviors so they are clear about your vision for success.