Improving accountability at every level within an organization seems to be a hot topic for most companies as they head into a new year.  In fact, if they don’t bring it up, we remind our clients that this is a great time of year to make accountability a priority.  Like most things that require improvement, in order to move the dial, you have to plan for accountability and you have to be consistent… kind of like working out.

Here are some tips to get you started on the right path this year!

Planning Gives Structure

  • Create a master plan for your team and then have each team member create their own individual plan, which ties into your master plan. If you have not done this already, go back to last month’s blog to get some ideas. A business plan is crucial for holding people accountable, yourself included!
  • Make sure your business plan includes both results goals and expectations as well as activity goals and expectations… for each and every team member, including you! Do not assume that because someone has done their job for 15 years means that they truly understand all that is expected of them in our changing business environment. Even tenured employees want to know exactly what is expected of them.
  • Explain your expectations to each member of the team so that nothing is left to speculation. We recommend that this is done in person whenever possible. Avoid email and written memos for this kind of communication!
  • AND just as importantly as setting expectations is explaining the consequences for not meeting them. Employees can be like children. If there isn’t a consequence when they fail to meet expectations, some won’t try hard enough! Be realistic with your consequences and be sure to be in alignment with your organizations HR policies.

Execute On Your Plan

Now, for the hard part.  DO THE WORK!  Make sure that part of YOUR plan is to hold yourself accountable for holding your team accountable.  A few things to think about:

  • Do you have meetings scheduled for the next 6 months (3 months at a bare minimum) to review the plans and expectations monthly with each member of your team?
  • Do you have a mid-year meeting to review and revise the plans if needed? If not, get that on the schedule now (trust us… this will not happen unless it is scheduled now!).
  • Did you communicate these expectations to other management members so that they can help you hold your people accountable… peer pressure can be effective.
  • Are you actively training and coaching each member of your team to improve their performance in order to reach their goals and expectations?
  • Do you have the managerial courage to let someone go if they don’t perform to standard?

Accountability Must Be a Priority

Where accountability usually fails is at the feet of the person who is supposed to implement it.  Sorry, but if you are the manager, that is YOU.  We understand, fires need to be put out, things get busy, and priorities shift.  But if your plan is still your plan, then your accountability plan is part of that and cannot be left out of the mix.  That would be like making a cake, sticking it in the oven and then not turning the oven on.  You are never going to get the result you want or expect without completing the process.

Start with this… if you get stuck, call us. We create accountability systems all the time! We love this stuff!

Grow Big or Go Home!