If so, then you need to think about why that's happening. Why are people making excuses? Why do they feel they need to? Why is that OK?
And then consider making "no excuses" one of your core values. Seriously.
Have you ever had a conversation with one of your employees or a colleague about some topic - be it customer experience, employee experience, strategy, or the business in general - a topic, perhaps, where you asked about its progress or why something was or wasn't being done? How did that conversation go? What were the responses to the questions? Did you hear what was being said? Were the responses satisfactory? Or did you feel like you were being put off? Were there excuses for why things weren't be done?
Is the standard response to that type of inquiry in your organization to explain it away or to cover up a known wrong?
Sadly, a culture of excuses is real.
Why do excuses become a thing? Why do people default to them? I think there are a few reasons this happens.
How do we stop this cycle of excuses?
First, we have to acknowledge that it's a problem. That's the biggest step - being self-aware, i.e., knowing that you're making excuses, not simply giving valid reasons or explanations.
Second, executives must model and foster the right behavior. They need to be accountable and be held accountable. They need to do what it is they say they're going to do. They need to not make excuses.
Third, discuss and communicate. Talk about it. Don't let it be the elephant in the room. We all know it's happening. Acknowledge it and address it. If not, then it becomes acceptable by default.
And, fourth and probably most important, get to the root cause. Understand why people feel they need to make excuses. If I had to guess, fear would be the reason - but get to the root cause of that fear; otherwise, that's just an excuse, too.
Don't let your organization's culture become one where finding excuses overshadows finding a solution, making a decision, and taking real action. As I mentioned at the top of the article, consider making "no excuses," or something comparable, one of your core values. And give employees the guidance and the freedom to live that value.
Do you find yourself making excuses when you do not perform? Shed the excuses and face reality. Excuses are the loser's way out. They will mar your credibility and stunt your personal growth. -Alexander Pope