Accountability is critical to your team’s success, but many managers struggle when it comes to promoting it in the workplace. Partially, the ambiguous nature of the term is to blame, as it isn’t easy to identify what “holding people accountable” actually entails. Is it a specific action after someone fails to meet a promise? Should that action change if the initial goal was unrealistic?
Additionally, finding suitable consequences for failing to meet expectations is challenging. And, without penalties, you rarely have enough clout to enforce any standards.
While accountability can seem like a mysterious notion, it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you want to start holding your team accountable, here are some steps to take.
Set Clear Expectations
If your team doesn’t know what you expect of them, you’ll have a hard time holding them accountable. Each employee needs to know what they need to accomplish, when it needs to be done, and why it is important.
Be definitive when it comes to describing the ideal outcome as well as how you will measure success. You also need to outline any potential consequences for falling short and make sure the employee understands everything you have presented.
Qualify Skills and Resources
For joint efforts, it’s wise to take an extra step. Evaluating the skill sets of everyone involved will help determine who is responsible for what, and if any skill gaps could lead to issues. Similarly, reviewing any available resources is also essential. After all, if the tools your team need to thrive aren’t available, meeting your expectations isn’t possible without additional resources.
You can use a similar process with individual employees, as well. However, if you are aware of your staff’s capabilities and the resources needed for a person’s task, the discussion will typically be fairly short.
Feedback is powerful when you want to hold your team accountable. By communicating regularly, offering direct feedback based on facts whenever possible, you can make sure they remain on target, increasing the odds they will succeed.
Additionally, if they are veering off course, you have a chance to nudge them in the right direction. In cases where unexpected obstacles emerged, you can also work with them to eliminate the issue early in the process.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Accountability shouldn’t just be a responsibility for your team; it is also important for you. Make sure you follow through on your promises, especially when you offer one to your team. Otherwise, you may lose their respect, and that isn’t going to benefit anyone.
When you hold yourself accountable, your team will follow your example. Plus, it keeps everyone operating based on the same standard, creating a more favorable culture.
Ultimately, by following the steps above, you can increase accountability in your workplace. If you would like to know more, the skilled team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our workplace experts today and see how our understanding of accountability can benefit you.