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The Art of Influencing Employees: Setting Expectations, Consistency, Consequences and Praise

As a leader, you want your employees to perform well, follow your vision, and contribute to your organization's success. But how do you influence them to do so? Here are some tips on how to influence your employees effectively and positively.

Set clear expectations.

Employees must know what is expected of them to perform at their best. This means setting clear goals, objectives, and deadlines. It also means providing regular feedback so that employees know how they are doing and what they need to do to improve.

You can achieve this by

  • Clearly communicate your expectations regarding job roles, responsibilities, and performance standards. Ensure that employees have a comprehensive understanding of what is expected of them.

  • Connect individual expectations with the organization's goals. When employees see how their work contributes to the bigger picture, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged.

  • Encourage open communication and feedback. Regularly check in with your employees to ensure they understand the expectations and allow them to ask questions or seek clarification.

Be consistent.

When you set expectations, you need to be consistent in your enforcement. If you let some employees get away with breaking the rules while others are punished, you will lose the respect of your team. You must also consistently communicate your expectations as your employees oscillate between failing and meeting them.

You can achieve this by

  • Apply rules and policies consistently across all team members. Avoid showing favoritism or playing favorites, as this can erode trust and morale.

  • Be reliable and predictable in your actions and decisions. Inconsistencies can lead to confusion and anxiety among employees.

  • Demonstrate the behaviors and work ethic you expect from your team. Your consistency will serve as a model for your employees to follow.

Make consequences known.

When employees fail to meet your expectations, you must ensure they know the consequences. Expectations are in place for a reason, and when they are not met, costs rise, time is wasted, and customers are disappointed. You must help to connect the dots between execution issues and their impact.

You can achieve this by

  • Clearly communicate the consequences of both positive and negative actions or behaviors. Ensure that employees understand the potential outcomes of their choices.

  • Apply consequences fairly and objectively. Avoid punitive actions that appear arbitrary or disproportionate to the offense.

  • When addressing issues or mistakes, focus on providing constructive feedback and opportunities for improvement rather than simply administering punishment. Create teachable moments for growth and development.

Provide more praise than criticism.

Employees are more likely to be motivated and engaged when they feel appreciated. Make sure to give them regular praise for their good work. As a rule of thumb, give two to three pieces of praise for every criticism you deliver.

You can achieve this by

  • Acknowledge and celebrate both small and large accomplishments. Be specific in your praise, highlighting the aspects of their work that exceeded expectations.

  • When offering criticism or feedback, do so in a constructive and supportive manner. Emphasize areas for improvement and provide guidance on how to make those improvements.

  • Establish routines and rituals around praise. Pick a day of the week to pause and reflect on the positive impact that employees have made, and be intentional in thanking them for their contribution.


Influencing employees is not always easy, but it is essential for any leader who wants to create a successful team. By following these tips, you can learn how to influence your employees in a positive way.


Thank you for reading this blog

Executive Coach Dorian Cunion

I am a father, husband, executive coach, and former retail executive. My coaching expertise comes from 21 years of leading operation, sales, and marketing teams. I understand what it is like to feel stuck, undervalued, and underappreciated.

I also know what it takes to invest in professional development, climb the corporate ladder, and find fulfillment at work.

Your career path is a scavenger hunt. Each opportunity prepares you for the next. Allow me the opportunity to help you clarify your path and accelerate your professional development.

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