4 Ways to Hold Employees Accountable
Accountability is about delivering on a commitment. It’s not just a set of tasks you assign to your employees; it’s a responsibility to the outcome of those responsibilities.
And yes, you need all your employees to be accountable. This quality is necessary on every level of your organization – from your directors and CEO on down. Managers cannot be accountable unless the people who report to them also follow through on their commitments.
If you struggle with how to hold employees accountable, keep in mind that getting angry or acting punitive is not the way to go. In fact, it will likely have the opposite effect – shattering motivation and hindering productivity.
Here are four tips to building accountability among your workforce:
Set clear expectations.
Be crystal clear about the results you’re looking for; how they will be measured; and the steps to be taken to achieve them.
- Make every conversation a two-way street. The more ideas and strategies that come from your employees, the better. Your role is to facilitate their efforts, keep everyone moving toward the same business goal, and check in regularly to keep things on track.
- Listen actively. You’re still in charge of expectations being met, but as work progresses, keep an open mind to suggestions, ideas and any changes that need to be made.
Provide the resources people need to meet expectations.
As you consider how to hold employees accountable, remember: In order to succeed, people need the right capabilities and resources.
- What skills are required in order for an employee to meet expectations? Should you provide more direction, coaching or training?
- What about other resources? If a person doesn’t have what’s necessary to get the job done, what’s the plan? If they can’t readily access what they need, you either have to help them out or delegate someone else. Otherwise you’re setting them – and you – up for failure.
Agree on SMART targets.
During your expectations conversation, set mutually agreed-upon SMART (specific, achievable, measurable, realistic and time-bound) targets.
- If any of these targets start to slip, jump on it promptly. Brainstorm a solution or modification to your original steps, identify a fix, or respond in some other way, so you can stick to your SMART strategy.
Keep communication lines open.
People should always know how things are going and where they stand. Make transparency a way of life and always remain open to feedback.
- Effective communication flows both ways. Are people delivering on their commitments? Are they working well with other stakeholders? And, what about you? Is there anything you could do to be more helpful?
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Published on Feb 7, 2019