Accountability means being responsible and answerable for your actions. When employers and employees are accountable to each other, employees can trust their work will be valued and rewarded appropriately. Accountability allows people to exercise autonomy and feel more invested in the company. This incites them to perform better, more creatively and more efficiently.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways for managers to foster accountability is to lead by example. The leaders of a company serve as its foundation – and it’s important this foundation is built on accountability and integrity. As you demonstrate and build accountability among every member of your team, follow these tips:
- Set expectations early. Present your team members with a clear set of expectations, starting as early as possible. In fact, begin during your hiring process, as you evaluate candidates. If there’s a disconnect, it’s like diagnosing a disease: the earlier the better.
- Establish common values. In addition to constantly reinforcing your company mission and vision, develop systemic objectives you want every team member to prioritize. Having these points to focus on when feeling overwhelmed or swamped with projects goes a long way in helping people to keep this simple, maximize productivity and stay accountable.
- Provide feedback often. Provide your employees with frequent and actionable feedback, both positive and negative. This way, they will continually grow their understanding of how to be better at their jobs. And constant contact with their manager strengthens their sense of being connected and valued in the workplace.
- Establish a culture of empowerment. Empowerment stems from having control over your work. A great starting point is allowing employees to take charge of their schedules. This demands a high level of trust, but the return on your investment makes it worthwhile. Let employees trade shifts – and trust them to do this on their own. Of course, you need to step in if a problem arises, but you’re accomplishing a dual achievement: freeing yourself from cumbersome scheduling tasks and encouraging people toward greater ownership of their work.
- Make rewards – and consequences – clear. Your response to people meeting or exceeding expectations is fundamental in building accountability. Reward people regularly and appropriately for a job well done. By the same token, it’s essential that employees understand the consequences associated with failure to complete tasks.
- Take a human approach. Formal meetings can cause undue stress for some people, so whenever possible, keep things casual. If one of your employees is failing to pull their weight, try taking them out for coffee instead of having a more structured office or conference room meeting. This informal setting may make it easier for them to be open and honest, without things devolving into an awkward conversation. You want your employee to leave feeling rejuvenated and comfortable about taking accountability over their responsibilities.
As you develop your employees and management team for greater accountability, turn to the PrideStaff Fresno team of experts. Tied into your overall talent management needs, we’ll help you craft a plan designed to achieve results quickly and successfully. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.