Do you have team members that don’t meet deliverables? If so, how can you keep them on track with their performance?
What is accountability?
The basic definition is to account for one’s action. Take responsibility for one’s performance and the overall success of the result.
Where is the Manager’s Accountability?
In managing employees, you are responsible for you team’s results. How can you instill accountability in them and decrease your need to macro manage the details of their work? Here are some ideas:
- Clarify expectations for each person on the team. Answer any questions they may have around what is expected of them, provide them with the necessary training and ensure they have the tools to do their job.
- If you want employees to be accountable for their performance, you need to empower them to do their work. This means if you provided them with clarity, training and tools, they are responsible for how the work is completed. If you tell them every step of the way, then they won’t own the work.
- Lots of employees don’t understand what their company is trying to do, or how their work impacts and helps the success of the organization. Explain to them the importance of their work to the team and the company.
- Be careful not to favor one employee over the other and hold each team member to the same standards. Any favoritism on the part of the manager impacts productivity and reduces accountability.
- Is the work required reasonable and can it actually be performed?
- Plan consistent communication points – either 1:1 meetings, emails, phone calls to check in on how they are doing. Clear, concise and consistent communication keeps you aware of any potential issues that might surface. Don’t just ask if they are on track with their portion of the project, rather,
- ask them where are they in the project,
- what have they done so far,
- what else needs to be done
- any problem points that may delay the project, and
- do they need support?
- Create a fun, relaxed work environment, where collaboration is encouraged and part of the overall accountability of each team member.
- When employees do meet their deliverables — acknowledge and celebrate — as this will continue the strong performance in the individual and the team.
If your current team members have a difficult time performing with quality and in a timely basis, what can you do to build this?
- Ask yourself: “How am I accountable for my work and towards my team members?”
- Do you keep the project in front of each person and make sure they are completing their work?
- Have you checked in to see why someone didn’t meet their project deadlines?
- Do you recognize when a person meets their goals?
- Do you instill appropriate urgency into the deliverables?
- Are their mutually understood consequences to the employee when they don’t meet their goals?
There are external incentives that could potentially motivate an employee to be accountable for their deliverables, yet the above is the foundation in building accountability within your team and holding each person responsible for their performance. Accountability is critical to the success of the product or service and, ultimately to the company.