Accountability in the Workplace

As the size of your team grows, so too does the importance of accountability. I often hear business owners complain that their team members are not accountable and my response to this statement is quite simple: your team are only as accountable as you hold them to be! As the business owner or leader it is your job to set the tone, create and enforce the culture and hold your team accountable.

There is a direct correlation between accountability and high performance – the higher the accountability, the higher the performance. Let’s explore exactly what accountability is. Accountability involves employees taking ownership of their job, their tasks and their deliverables. To hold somebody accountable means to ask them why they did or did not do something. This implies asking questions which is far more effective than ‘telling’ somebody something for a variety of reasons.

So what should you hold your staff accountable to?

  • Their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
  • Their targets
  • Their behaviour
  • Their conformance to the company’s policies and procedures
  • Their commitment to the company’s vision and values

The above implies that companies need to have KPI’s, targets, values, procedures and a compelling vision in place.

From experience, the business owners that don’t hold their people accountable do so for some of the following reasons:

  • They want to avoid confrontation – Accountability does not need to mean confrontation. After all, you are just asking questions – although some of them may be tough questions, there is nothing confrontational about asking questions.
  • They want to be seen as a nice person – As a manager, leader or entrepreneur you may not always be popular but that’s the nature of the role. You are there to make decisions and lead your people. Rather aim to be trusted and respected as opposed to liked.
  • They haven’t made their expectations clear – It will be an uphill battle to hold people accountable if you have not made your expectations crystal clear in the form of KPI’s, organisational values, a vision statement etc
  • They are poor at management – There is no college, university or institution that can teach you how to be a good leader or manager. The best lessons are learnt on the job by doing and of course by making mistakes that you learn from. Make it your mission to read books, watch videos, network with and get mentored by other leaders – you will soon figure out what works and what doesn’t. Remember: you get the people you deserve – ie) the better the leader or manager you are, the better the quality of the people you attract and retain. A poor leader or manager will not attract or retain good quality people.
Complimentary Power Hour – Contact Darryn Le Grange on darrynlegrange@actioncoach.com to schedule a complimentary session to discuss your team and any performance gaps.


Author: dadmin
Website developer for Chilli Source Design.

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