As much as we would all love to live in a world where people did what they were supposed to do of their own volition, such a utopia is yet to reveal itself. For a manager this can be a particularly unfortunate fact of life, because it can drastically decrease the efficiency of their workforce. It is therefore important, as the supervisor of a staffing body, to be familiar with a few techniques to help you persuade your employees, and to manoeuvre them into a position where they are ready and willing to perform the tasks you need completed. Below are 5 of the best ways to influence someone into doing their job!

Reciprocity Principle

This is perhaps the most obvious tool in any negotiation. If you can make it clear that the benefits of this task will be passed on to the person performing it, they will be far more likely to work hard on the project. People like to see direct results and appreciation for the work they do, and by nurturing an atmosphere of reciprocity in the workplace, staff will feel as though they are really making a difference, and will work more avidly.

Social Pressures

The power of popular opinion is often astounding. Whilst a person can be liable to break their personal principles and ignore those of others, the pressure of societal feeling is ultimately unrivalled. If you can develop a culture of positive attitude, those members of the team who are usually apathetic will realise that they are behaviourally anomalous in their work environment. Very few tools are as powerful as social influence, so within no time you will have a team of staff with the desire to work hard.


People are unlikely to work for people with whom they feel no connection, and as a superior in the business, you may find yourself in this position of alienation. It is therefore vital that your team recognise you as one of their own, and don’t perceive you simply as “management” or the boss. This is a difficult line to tread because you run the risk of losing their respect, but if you can empathise with your team without degrading yourself then they will be far more likely to try their best for you.


A difficult one to balance with empathy is the development of credibility. In order to be a successful manager, you need to be respected by your employees—authority is an impossibility for the man respected by nobody. If you present yourself to the office as an achiever as well as an Everyman, and show yourself to be a figure your staff can aspire to, you will find that productivity increases tenfold as they clamour to impress you.


This may seem like a tired cliché, but in order to energise your workforce you need to appear energised yourself! If you approach your own job with a muted laziness as opposed to a passionate dedication the your employees are likely to do the same—but if you appear to love your job, and can carry out your tasks without appearing tired and cynical, your team will almost certainly follow suit. This sort of subtle influence is invaluable to a manager.