Seven Simple Tips To Improve Accountability Within Your Team
“When people feel accountable and included, it is more fun.” — Alan Mulally
You’ve worked hard for years to build your company’s culture, hired great people to do the job, and they seem to be happy doing their work. However, something’s missing that’s been bothering you for quite some time now — low productivity, and no one seems to be on the same page.
You strongly believe that lack of accountability is doing your company culture and overall business more harm and the time has come to hold employees accountable for their work.
However, you fear being labeled as an “authoritarian” boss who’s breathing down the necks of employees all the time, even when they are working remotely, as is the case in the current scenario. This is a sensitive issue that needs to be addressed fairly and firmly.
As CEO of ProofHub, I have a list of “dos and don’ts” to keep my team employees on track and accountable in the most positive way possible to ensure everyone can move forward confidently in the right direction.
Let’s discuss some really effective ways you can get your message straight and clear to your employees without damaging their morale and self-respect. Read on to know more about it.
1. Tackle Conflicts Constructively
I know some entrepreneurs who fear conflict and avoid it like the pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Workplace conflicts are common, but the way you and your managers tackle them sets the tone for the future. Ask your managers to tackle conflicts with patience, confidence, and positivity.
Running away from problems and settling for mediocrity will not get you success and admiration. It will show you in a poor light, and staff will lose confidence in the senior management, which is likely to create even bigger problems. Once you’re in the right mindset to handle it positively, you will no longer be reluctant to face this aspect of your role.
2. Say NO to Micromanagement
No employee wants to have their boss breathing down their necks all the time; keeping a close eye on every activity of theirs while they try to complete work tasks. Once you’ve set expectations and work deadlines, sit back, and let your staff handle its workload itself.
If your team knows what your expectations are, they should be able to work and manage tasks accordingly. Frequent interference, excessive authority, and domineering can upset the “balance” of accountability, and your employees will not take this approach very kindly.
3. Don’t Reward Mediocre Performances
Letting some employees continue with loopholes and accepting mediocrity is not a way to go forward. If you’re rewarding employees who are doing the bare minimum and undermining your “star” employees (who are the most productive), they will quickly lose motivation and may choose to lower standards to match with the rest of the team.
The message from an entrepreneur to employees should be clear — “You work hard and we will take good care of your career growth, but don’t expect recognition in the form of bonuses, perks, or promotions for ‘average’ performances. There’s no room for complacency or laziness in our business.”
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4. Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Clear expectations are vital to the functioning of your workforce and business. If your team doesn’t know its roles and responsibilities, how are you going to make them accountable? Effective communication removes confusions and misunderstanding, and lets employees clearly understand the goals and objectives of the organization.
Set up specific responsibilities and performance standards, and make sure these are met consistently. Be quick to point out to your team if something is wrong, so that small errors do not transform into big blunders in the future. Make sure everyone is on the same page to achieve common business goals minus confusions and delays.
5. Listen and Respect Your Workforce
When you notice some employees not delivering work as per your expectations, instead of calling them up for individual or group meetings and expressing your disappointment, take time to listen to them to know the reasons for their below-par performance. Is not using a top project management tool one of the reasons why they can’t collaborate on projects efficiently?
Are their personal lives going through troubled times? There can be so many reasons which can impact their work quality, so develop an empathetic attitude for your team and work together to find a way out of the current situation. As a leader, it is your responsibility to see everyone is in the right frame of mind, with the best tools and resources to meet the requirements you’ve set out.
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6. Provide Accurate Feedback
Every employee awaits accurate (and consistent) feedback on their performance, which should be strictly based on the performance, discipline, and code of conduct, so they can know if they’re heading in the right direction. Tell them you like their work, or if there are some areas where they are missing the mark.
You can also guide them on how to bring improvement to their work in specific areas, so the same mistakes are not repeated again. Criticize constructively, without damaging their self-esteem. Encourage them to ask questions, so they are satisfied and happy at the end of the day.
7. Follow up and Hold People To Their Word
As an able entrepreneur, remember to walk the talk. Your words should not be allowed to become meaningless and hollow. During team meetings, remind employees you’ll be following up on the tasks that people are accountable for.
Make team members known that they’ll be held accountable for their commitment to completing the task. In simple and firm words, without sounding like a tyrant, you can make it clear that there’s no easy way out when it comes to setting up accountability and meeting it.
Accountability and work culture are synonymous with each other. You can’t have one without the other. Holding employees accountable for their roles is the key to their as well as organizational success. Teams will sometimes avoid accountability as they fear they’ll be exposed.
However, the buck stops with the entrepreneur. Once every member of the team is communicated with, set goals and expectations, it will significantly improve the way your team works.
COVID-19 — Doing Our Bit For Schools
ProofHub is committed to serving educational institutions in this time of unprecedented crisis that has moved normal life off the track in most countries across the globe. A large number of schools have been shut down and their teachers and support staff have been made to work from home.
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