Holding Employees Accountable
5 October 2017
This week, I’ve decided to begin my blog with a little anecdote that I am sure many team leaders, line managers and directors may recognise. Picture this – You have a really big opportunity to secure business from a firm that you’ve previously never had a relationship with. All they ask for you to is to prepare a document about your company.
So, as director, you delegate the task. However, the person you have delegated to assumes this a job for their team. The team, however, think it’s a marketing task. The marketing executive knows absolutely nothing about the document at all. Therefore, when it comes to deadline day, there is no document. Everyone assumed someone else was taking care of the matter. Who is accountable for the mistake?
Accountability is a tricky thing to establish, particularly when there can be several breakdowns in communication along a chain of command. It’s important that, in every situation or project, it is clear where the buck stops. Otherwise, you may well face a situation like the one I’ve just described, wherein employees assume that a task is simply someone else’s responsibility.
Knowing who is responsible is a fundamental part of success. So, how can you invite employees to take accountability for their actions? It is important that employees realise the impact of their actions and are able to set and adhere to clear standards.
If you encourage your employees to think of their level of accountability as part of their overall goals and development, they are more likely to strive towards a 100% success rate. Make it clear to them how these goals will benefit both them and your company as a whole. For example, a higher standard of work may lead to more business which, in turn, could mean greater bonuses, variety of work and career experience for your employees.
Another way to get employees to consider their accountability is by introducing measurable targets that will be linked with actual consequences. If they understand how their actions have impacted on the business and their own personal circumstances, they may be more likely to step up to the plate. Having said that, those who repeatedly commit to high standards will be able to relay this success at appraisals or one-to-one’s with their managers.
Holding employees accountable – for everything from ensuring doors are locked properly to delivering projects on time – is an incredibly important facet at the heart of every business. Otherwise, companies simply wouldn’t be able to function if their employees simply did their own thing, or what they thought was correct.
We should never be afraid to challenge our employees to step up and take responsibility. They will benefit from the experience as much as the business.
If you would like to speak to me about leadership, or pursuing the next step in your career, I would be delighted to have a confidential chat with you. Click here to see my details and get in touch.
Written By Barry Lee