Wouldn’t it be great if all of your employees do what they are supposed to do, and more? Employees have different levels of ‘accountability’ skills and in managing employees; you need to help them maximize this strength. Some people have it and with minimum direction seem to execute all that is required of them. Others get distracted, and at the end of the day, they were busy, but not necessarily productive.
Accountability is about taking responsibility and following through to completion on your commitments. In order to effectively manage employees, you need to know how to keep them accountable.
As a manager, you are responsible for keeping employees accountable and the employees are responsible for getting the work done.
How can you help build your employee’s “accountability muscles?”
Clear Around Priorities
I’ve heard from many employees how management keeps changing directions. They complain that there are too many projects going on at the same time. Where are you with department or company objectives? Are you clear on the company goals and have you communicated those goals to your employees?
In managing employees, this is your first priority? You will get the most from your employees when you are clear about the goals and how each of your team members plays in the success of the department or company. Take the time to create your master plan and share this with everyone on your team.
Present the information in different formats:
- Department meeting
- Share the plan documents
- Follow up emails
- 1:1 meeting with each of your team members
Clarity around priorities helps you and your employees.
Set Clear Expectations
Now that you have created your master plan and have communicated your plan to each member of your team, it’s time to work with your individual employees.
What type of manager are you? Do you micromanage your employees, take a hands-off approach with them, or do you set clear goals and expectations and then let them deliver? Too many managers micromanage or overreact and have a ‘hands off’ approach. Both styles don’t build ‘accountability’ within your organization.
You focus is to build a balance between setting goals, creating performance expectations, and creating follow-up meetings to ensure accountability.
It’s important for you to be clear about the consequences for non-performance. Have in place an intervention process that will help you support your employees. Be diligent in following up with employee’s performance levels.
If you provide coaching and counseling and the employee is still not performing, you need to take quick action for yourself, the employee and the rest of the team. Learn more about handling low performance or negative attitudes that are not productive for the wellbeing of your team.
Be consistent in handling all of your team members. You employees will respond favorably when a manager is fair and respectful to all.
Be Accountable Yourself
The most powerful impact on your employee’s performance is the strength of your ‘accountability muscles.’ Do you follow through on what you say you will do? Are you available to listen to your staff? Your team will follow you, no matter what. They will emulate your behavior and actions. This is a perfect time for you to create your own 3-step process: what are your priorities in managing employees, what expectations do you have for yourself, and evaluate yourself on how strong you are in being accountable. Be known as a strong ‘accountability manager’ and you team will respond accordingly.
Focus your attention on the 3 priorities in developing ‘accountability muscles’ within your team – clear around priorities, set clear expectations and be accountable yourself. If ‘accountability’ is not becoming stronger with every team member, start back at priority number 1 – clear around priorities. Then go through each step until you have mastered your ability to be a strong ‘accountability manager.’
My main focus is to help managers handle the day-to-day issues that surface in interacting and building strong working relationships with each of their team members.